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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
Yardsss ∅∀‡ have announced new dates in the pacific northwest including stops in Bellingham and Seattle! These are likely to be the last two shows of the year, both all ages and sliding scale.
10.26 Bellingham, WA • Make.Shift
10.27 Seattle, WA • Teatro de la Psychomachia
Yardsss tends toward the dark and droning and bombastic, with heady, swelling orchestrations. Perhaps because human voices appear so rarely and the music is so evocative, it occasionally brings to mind Emeralds' Does It Look Like I'm Here? It doesn't take many listens to understand that Krueger is breaking boundaries not for the sake of being (or seeming) transgressive, but to make sounds that awaken actual feelings—uplifting, inspiring emotions. - Portland Mercury
The first full-length album from Portland's Yardsss ØØØ is now available to stream and download wherever fine music is sold and streamed. We'll let the album speak for itself... as well as some music writersss...
"Regarding Krist Krueger's Yardsss: If you read about it before listening, you'd likely mistake it for a liberal arts master's thesis. Where most bands play "shows," Yardsss puts on "performance case studies" and multimedia installations, including a collection of songs inspired by—not covers of!—avant-garde composer John Cage. All this could be completely obnoxious except for one thing: Yardsss is transcendentally, earth-shatteringly gorgeous. If you can make music like that, you get to call your show a case study." - Portland Mercury
"Masterfully cohesive listen not for the faint of heart; immerse yourself in chaos and find wabi-sabi in the soothing ferocity of an album straddling shoegaze, electronica and psychedelia as one unifying tone for the present day. It will blow your fucking mind." - Echoes And Dust
"Delves into soaring drone noise and melody as cacophony reminiscent of late-80s/early-90s Swans, Emeralds and Popul Vuh." - New Noise Magazine
[Literary] Yardsss ØØØ releases latest short stories 'You're Literally Not Literally Doing Nothing' and 'It Keeps You Even At Rest'
Yardsss ØØØ main creative force and project ringleader, Krist Krueger, has just released two new literary pieces exclusive to the SG Blahg below. Without further adieu...
You're Literally Not Literally Doing Nothing
Paul reminded me today of a part of myself that I'd somehow lost or at the least suppressed and anchored so deeply it would at best be an afterthought, its defensive properties entirely lost when needed most. It's the part that says 'no' and says so for myself. The part that sticks up for myself in the moment, not after the fact when I'm alone and my mind latches on to the negative internal reactions it seems to excel in manufacturing.
When I was a teenager growing up in that small blue collar town everyone knew; from teachers to city council members and even some police that if they didn't want to go round after round on ethics and moral fortitude they should turn the other way.
I once and very vocally berated and condemned a police officer for issuing me a noise violation at a show I threw in a garage until he finally just drove off. Adults said I had 'no respect for authority' and they were right. I also had no fear and indeed gave no respect to those who didn't offer it in kind. Of course I showed up for that court date, effectively defended myself and got the fine dropped.
Two weeks later I walked off my job after I defended the kitchen staff from another bought of our trust-funded abusive alcoholic boss's infantile temperament who then held a butcher's blade just under my chin and maniacally screamed 'you wanna get fucking cut right fucking now!?' for the entire dining room to hear. I just stood firmly and stared intensely but calmly in his eyes until he dropped the knife on the floor and stormed back to the bar. Guess his mother who owned the place put him on 'administrative leave' for a while after that. Fire in my guts, confidence and no time for bullshit at fifteen years old.
I'd been convincing myself that I still had it knowing full well that even if I did I wasn't using it for me. It's easy to delude ones self when those attributes are still present, when it's always there for friends, for community, for anyone other than yourself. Like a soldier with a martyr complex always volunteering for the front line repeating 'I'll be the shield against all enemies for all others but the bullet meant for me I'll just take and lay down.' I suppose everyone sees themselves as a savior sometimes. The grand sacrifice, blaze of glory, only this blaze never dies down. It's a series of self-effacing breaths continuously stoking the flame and no rain to dampen the pyre. The wider the burn radius the greater the subjugation and the less of myself allowed to remain present while somehow still convinced self-preservation is an active ally.
It's been fourteen years since I've felt truly empowered. Fourteen years until Paul reminded me just today. I'm gonna fight like hell to remember, to keep this close again, to control the flame as best I can and stop being so agreeable and forgiving when it causes me pain. Maybe it's time for others to ask my forgiveness and maybe it's time I only offer it when I can, when it feels right, and keep some of that fire in my guts for myself.
It Keeps You Even At Rest
Seat yourself in a dark room, close your eyes and detach. Imagine your skeleton representing your past is one step behind and the skeleton which is your future is one step ahead. Imagine you as you perceive yourself between them, all three marching, left-right, in time with the ticking of the clock's second hand. That's the reality of time, it keeps you even at rest. You never cease marching forward, it never slows or pauses. We are perpetually marching forward until we cease to be as shall our past, present and future. We were born in a flash and so quickly shall we also bow. Sleep soundly and may your dreams be infinite.
Yardsss launches a new, and first for the project, song-a-week series titled Epithets ØØØ as of March 1st 2017. The series, as with Krueger's six prior such series' features new material written, recorded and uploaded each week. The process is intended as a writing and skills exercise while also purging creatively. Epithets ØØØ will lead directly into writing and studio prep for the second full-length album to be titled Osia. In the meantime a new collection of all singles and collaborations is slated for release as of March 31st 2017 and the first full-length album Quietus is due out on June 9th 2017.
Stream and download the series on a donations basis via the Self Group Bandcamp Mart.
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