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The key to Yamantaka’s sound lies in their uninhibited ad­mixture of East and West, their commingling of the band’s ancestral musics with more contemporary genres to explore the complications and contradictions of dual identity. By simultaneously inhabiting a variety of cultural forms, the band shatters the comfort with which colonialist cultures have ap­propriated the image and art of Asian and Native peoples to assemble a wholly new hybrid form.

This form is Noh-Wave, and it draws from both pop and J-pop, British prog and Japanese psychedelia, punk rock and Iroquois social songs, black metal and Chinese Opera, noise music and Noh theatre. The re­sultant sounds can be seductively soft or electrifyingly loud, but they’re invariably the stuff of a vision­ary new approach to popular music.

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