The improvising trio Yodok III are about to release their latest album, Legion of Radiance, on the Consouling Sounds label. The group consists of Swedish (though living in Norway) drummer Tomas Järmyr of Zu and Barchan, Norwegian tuba player Kristoffer Lo, and Belgian minimal ambient artist Dirk Serries, who’s also recorded as Microphonics, Fear Falls Burning, and Vidna Obmana, among other projects.
This is dark, slowly sprawling music that takes as much from synth-based artists like Tangerine Dream as from a free jazz-adjacent group like Supersilent. Echoes of Sunn O))) and Sigur Rós can be heard in the slowly unfolding dronescape on Legion of Radiance, but Järmyr’s drumming is an unfettered clatter that, particularly in its uses of toms, recalls Tony Oxley. It’s hard to specifically categorize it—it’s also difficult to believe the sounds are being made by electric guitar and amplified tuba (and “flugabone,” whatever that is). It’s not jazz, or metal, or ambient music, but this album could easily be played alongside Dead Neanderthals‘ Endless Voids (on which Serries appears) or Supersilent‘s 9 or 12.
Legion of Radiance is a single 68-minute track, so we’re presenting an excerpt, which you can check out below:
The band says, “Yodok III was born when Dirk Serries was invited by Tomas Järmyr to join him and Kristoffer Lo for a record after being in awe for Dirk’s Fear Falls Burning album Frenzy of the Absolute. In the studio in Norway they discovered a mutual language, one of pure improvisation. One to construct on the spot themes that both are epic and intimate, powerful and silent. Introspective and large in scope. Yodok III is foremost a live band where the real interaction becomes solid as a slow rolling emotional thunder of harmonics between the amplified tuba and electric guitar, guided by the ever amazingly wide scope of Tomas’ drumming.”
Yodok III have four previous releases, all available on Bandcamp and all worth your time.
Live at Dokkhuset Trondheim (Norway) 28 10 13
Live at De Singer Rijkevorsel (Belgium) 13 06 14