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Proceeds from 'Cultus' go to local Portland orgs and nonprofits including Outside In and Defense Fund PDX as well as local mutual aid including support for evacuees of the Oregon wildfires * If you'd like to donate directly you can do so through Self Group's PayPal
ABOUT THE ALBUM [DIRECT FROM YARDSSS]
It may not be apparent given the instrumental nature of the project but Yardsss is very much a political band. We stand on our anarcho-syndicalist and collectivist principles; we release our recordings independently through a collective we established, all decisions are made utilizing direct democracy and must be unanimous, we navigate our creative sphere with a known responsibility and requirement to support our community, to take accountability for the wellbeing of others. One way we actively exercise that is by making all of our releases, shows and tours benefits with proceeds going to local Portland organizations, nonprofits and mutual aid. Communities raise each other, catch one another when we fall on hard times, keep each other safe and provide support when needed to get back on our feet.
We chose 9/11 as the release date for this album as the events in 2001 and the US Federal Governments’ response to those events very much apply to what is continuing through the present day. Nearly fourteen months after, then-President George W Bush, announced the formation of the Department of Homeland Security; an agency that would combine twenty-two law enforcement agencies under one central bureau. DHS effectively locked-down the borders with TSA and later ICE alongside response units like BORTAC, created militaristic checkpoints at all ports of entry (most visibly and notably airports), vastly expanded the mass surveillance of American citizens with the hasty passing (forty-five days after) of the "Patriot Act" (see the ACLU's infographic) and effectively and otherwise quietly declared martial law on the United States.
In 2003 DHS absorbed the INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) and in doing so divided the agency into two separate new agencies being ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and CIS (Citizenship and Immigration Services). Among its many atrocities, ICE agents are known to abduct immigrants and future citizens at courthouses while they attempt to file immigration and naturalization paperwork. All of this under the guise of “keeping Americans safe from ‘the terrorists.’” The attacks on the World Trade Center towers and building seven killed 2,976; the US retaliation two years later under false premise and incorrect intel has killed 1,690,903 Iraqi, 80,644 Afghani and 80,000 Pakistani people as well as the imprisonment and torture of individuals, many solely on suspicion, at prisons like Guantanamo Bay.
The means and methodologies of Governments to suppress dissent is vast and not new to the world, especially the United States. What occurred with the post-9/11 creation of DHS, the militaristic arming of local LEO’s, the lack of oversight and recourse against both the Federal as well as local Governments, qualified immunity, police unions and an array of defense methods to evade accountability all play a role in the enhanced brutality, lawlessness and terror that law enforcement enacts on citizens.
Post-9/11 also saw the drastic rise of hate crimes directed toward Islamic, Middle Eastern and BIPOC individuals within the US including the burning of Mosque’s and Middle Eastern-owned businesses among countless other horrific acts of violence committed by citizens on other citizens. This racism and bias was given license and direction to violently act out through paranoia seeded at the highest levels of Government and validated by the militarization of public spaces.
It’s been known by the FBI since at least 1992 (and antifascists well before) that racist, far-right white nationalists had enacted a plan to infiltrate police forces throughout the US; in the Pacific Northwest especially. If you think that LEO’s are impartial or neutral we implore you to look at the events even just in the last decade through this lens to understand that in part what is happening has been known for three decades; that racism absolutely and unquestionably exists within the agencies from local police through DHS and that since the advent of the Department of Homeland Security license has been given, though publicly applauded in the last almost four years by the “Office of the President”, for decades.
Abolish the police. We need community-driven organizations and mutual aid that support our communities directly, that are specific to the needs of those communities. We do not need a brutal force that only serves to punitively punish by incarceration, fine, show of force through physical brutality and murder. We must as a community collectively and uniformly abolish systemic racism and act every day in ways that make us safe, that protect our community members, while bearing witness and intervening directly when our community is at risk.
We wish to make it very clear; if you are racist, homophobic, transphobic, antisemitic, islamophobic or otherwise attempt to enact violence on our community (human or animal), don’t buy our records and don’t come to our shows. #weprotectus
"America is just a word but I use it." - Ian MacKaye / Fugazi
With love and solidarity,
To further study and inform yourself about the Patriot Act we suggest the following sources (also used as references for this article):
ACLU: The Sun Must Go Down on the Patriot Act
ACLU: Surveillance Under the USA Patriot Act
ACLU: Summary Of Conference Report on Patriot Act Reauthorization
Crimethinc: The Age of Conspiracy Charges
NY Times: In Debate Over Patriot Act; Lawmakers Weigh Risks vs Liberty
US DOJ: The USA Patriot Act
"Where runs the line between drone, ambient, and post-rock? It sometimes seems as if the borders between these genres are often blurred and porous as dexterous bands navigate them without much trouble. The feedback and delay on post-rock’s guitars elongate, the atmosphere of ambient quivers with the shattering, world-erasing susurrations of drone and all falls before just sheer music, no labels needed. Incidentally, this is exactly how I’d describe Yardsss‘ upcoming release, ∅∀‡ | Cultus. It’s an expansive slow burn of an album, taking its time to build towards some really fascinating crescendos, sounds, and musical ideas.
This sort of album can be super hard to unpack but, luckily, Yardsss aren’t going to just leave us hanging. “Cultus I” starts off with a long ramp of slowly unraveling and building silence, all the way to its cataclysmic end. Pay special attention to all the instruments going off in the background of this explosion of energy, the way the guitars swim together into a million and one shattered tracks, coming back together into a whole. It will probably make sense to you if, in these moments of musical chaos and cohesion, I told you that this entire thing was recorded live and was completely improvised. Makes sense, right? You can feel that raw energy on it as the first collapses around you.
If you still have doubts, perhaps the punk infused, no holds barred guitars and drums that usher in the middle segments of “Cultus II” will convince you? They harness that unbridled energy even more, running wild with the core of Yardsss’ sound on this release. And then there’s “Cultus III”. Actually, I’m going to leave the third track for you to explore. It’s a ride and then some, clocking in at just below twenty two minutes." - Heavy Blog Is Heavy
"On September 11, Portland experimental group Yardsss ∅∀‡ will release their new album, Cultus via Self Group. The album is a trio of extended improvisational pieces that prominently feature drones, dissonance and an ominous aura, bringing to mind the epic and eerie sounds of Godspeed You! Black Emperor or the no wave symphonies of Glenn Branca. It’s at times chaotic, beautiful and overwhelming, and today they’ve shared the lead track from the album, titled “Cultus II.” It’s a pulsing piece of dark psychedelia, underscored by a krautrock pulse, that builds up into something powerful and hypnotic, eventually boiling over into a climactic post-rock roar. The symbols in the group’s name indicate which lineup is involved, and in this case, Yardsss ∅∀‡ signifies the full lineup of Paul Michael Schaefer, Robin Levy and Krist Krueger." - Treble Zine
"Free your mind and your brain cells will follow! WTF – Portland’s Yardsss is the straight up JAM and so is their soon to be released album ∅∀‡ | Cultus. Their improvisational Space Kraut Rock never fucking misses a beat, and that’s why I have their song “Cultus I” on repeat. Listening to their music makes me happy and stoked to be alive!" - Cvlt Nation
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