email me
To order a copy of any of the CDs just send a cheque for a min of £10 (per CD) payable to 'Tower Hill Stables Animal Sanctuary' together with your details to:

Tower Hill Stables Animal Sanctuary, Asheldham, Essex, CM0 7DZ 

As soon as your cheque arrives I will post your CD(s) - 100% of your money goes to help feed the animals at the sanctuary www.towerhillstables.com

Or use the Paypal donation link below - please remember to say which CD you would like in any message you send

Thanks
15th November - Olav Martin Bjørnsen (Windhawk) who is an expert reviewer from the excellent Progarchives website says:

"Originally active in the early 80's, it took 20 years and the dedication of keyboard player Martin Morgan to present the music of Yak to the world. Arguably not the best of band names, but thankfully the music is much better than what one might expect from a band with a name which gives some funny associations.
Instrumental, progressive symphonic rock is the name of the game here, with the keyboards as THE dominating instrument. Lush, mellow moods and harder majestic ones; slow themes as well as faster more complex motifs - the keys are ever present and totally dominating on all tunes.

More often than not we're served multilayered keyboards; up to six different layers at most if my hearing and analyzing skills were up to it when going through this creation. A minimum of one symphonic layer from the tangents will be found on most compositions, and additional layers will often be provided as organ or piano. Flute-sounding layers and spacey sounds are other often used textures from the keys, and there's also the flowing solo segments with a guitar-tinged sound to it. Additional elements utilized are synthesized versions of backing vocals/choir, lighter floating melody lines and deep, slightly ominous sound layers.

The focus is on mood and atmosphere rather than complex creations though; some dissonances and disharmonies are used as effect but most of all this is a harmonic production in a modern symphonic tradition, which I guess will be classified as neo-progressive by many.

Musically we're talking a mix of influences from Genesis and Camel mainly, with inspirations taken from the more atmospheric creations of these fine acts from the 70's. Some compositions sound more like the one than the other; but most times the music comes across as a mix of both.

It's a nice release; no filler material on display albeit nothing truly outstanding either. There's captivating moods and melodies aplenty though, and I suspect quite a few fans of symphonic rock will view this as one of the better releases of 2008."


14th November - Nick May of Whimwise - former guitarist with The ENID says:

"I bought this the other day , at some gig or other .      Very tasteful atmospheres . -  Great stuff!!"

13th November - James Unger of "Ungers Wonderful World of Progressive Rock" writes:

"Four years ago I first heard the music of Yak and was really taken back by the fine collection of songs. I was waiting a few years to hear something new and with "Journey Of The Yak" there is no dissapointment. This time out Martin Morgan (keyboards) is joined by Dave Speight (Drums) and Gary Bennett (Bass) who as a trio have crafted one awesome album. Musically this is 48 Mins of pure magical instrumental progressive rock. Morgan's keyboard work is stunning and creates a highly textured symphonic palette for Speight and Bennett to mix and blend in some great instrumental interplay. The music of Yak is refreshing and creative and I love the sound of this whole band. You can buy this CD at www.yaksongs.com"


Dave Aitch - Myspace Muscian says:

"The NEW CD - so I got the new CD and put it into the car CD player as i drove home from work after a long day in the office. I didnt know what to expect - I am thrilled to say what I got was a BIG YAK SIZE SURPRISE - a professionally produced sound but more importantly an original piece of material that stays fresh from beginning to end.
I dont listen to a lot of this type of music but I've gotta tell ya , this is good listening - it covers a spectrum of feelings from energetic to sad through to positvely radiant - great stuff YAK - you suprised me in a big way - I've now got a real quality new album to listen to - Congratulations to all involved"  - 2nd November 2008


Derek Wales - Serious Music Fan - 15th November 2008

I just received the new album by Yak today and its absolutely superb. Prog Rock at its best and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Many thanks Martin & the guy's for producing something so good.

The proceeds of the album go to a good cause as well. If your into Prog Rock, you wont want to miss this one!


Mark Hughes - Reviewer for The Dutch Progressive Rock Page

Yak seem to have had a rather on/off history, originally having been formed by Martin Morgan (keyboards) in 1982. It wasn't until 2004 that the first Yak music was released, performed entirely on keyboards. Two full band live albums followed, the first in 2005, the second a year later, but the line-up that recorded those CDs was somewhat transient and by the time new material was being streamlined on the inevitable MySpace page, the main yak was alone again. The power of the internet then stepped in and soon Morgan was joined by Dave Speight (drums) and Gary Bennett (bass) who had, respectively, previously played In Peter Banks' band Harmony In Diversity and Nick May's Whimwise. 

Despite having an instrumental line-up similar to ELP, Yak sound nothing like the more famous prog trio. This is primarily down to Morgan who generates swathes of moody, tuneful music that has more in relation to Camel than the sturm und drang and virtuoistic pomposity of Keith Emerson. In addition, Morgan manages to get some quite authentic guitar sounds from his keyboards which gives the band a bit extra bite. The six instrumental numbers are worthy symphonesque pieces with the longer tracks having plenty of atmosphere and stylistic changes to keep the listener engaged. The departure, if you'll excuse the slight pun, is Dearly Departed, a elegiac lament which successfully combines piano and synths, including some very nice flute sounds. The stand-out piece is the title number, a grandiose number that has hints of early Genesis as well as the aforementioned Camel. A great number that rounds the album off superbly. 

The album is a decent purchase for lovers of symphonic-type prog but an extra incentive is that all profits from the album, as with the previous three Yak albums, are being donated to the Tower Hill Stables Animal Sanctuary which cares for over 400 rescued animals. The charity relies solely on donations to pay a monthly feed bill of over £5200. As it is the season of goodwill why not treat yourself to a very good album and at the same time help to look after some unfortunate creatures who are unable to look after themselves. 

Conclusion: 8 out of 10 


Review by Ivan Melgar Morey - Special Collaborator at Progarchives


A few days ago I received a PM from Martin Morgan, keyboardist of the British band YAK, asking me to review his album (A big risk, because when an album doesn't impress me, I say it loud and clear), so he sent me a copy of Journey of the YAK which was released on November 14, 2008.
As usual and to avoid conditioning my review to previous releases, I didn't told him I was already familiar with the band due to their surprising debut Dark Side of the Duck (Nobody could expect an original and solid release with such a terrible name), an album that was conceived in the 80's but only saw the light in 2004.

So when I received the copy of "Journey of the Yak", placed it on my car's DVD before a long travel...What a surprise, the album is even better than the already good debut, the sound of the band has evolved to such point that I believe it's unfair to have them in Prog Related, today YAK is a borderline Symphonic/Neo Prog band or at least Crossover, but shouldn't be left in a category for not purely Prog artists.

Martin's work on the keyboards is simply impeccable, even more impressive when you notice that YAK is a trio with Dave Speight in the drums and Gary Bennett in the bass, so Martin has to synthesize the missing guitars, flutes and other instruments , and his use of Mellotron is delightful, reminding me of GENESIS early albums.

But it would be unfair to rest any merit to the other members, because a band is as good as their rhythm section because they are the spine the spine of the band over which the keyboards can create and even improvise if necessary.

The album starts with the pompous Gates of Moria, but don't expect some soft Medieval Tolkien based track, the band hits us with all they have, the keyboards immediately take the lead with lush and versatile performance, but the real strength is provided by the rhythm section that carries the wight of the song.

It's obvious they have a bit of the 80's sound, but all the music has it's main origins in the classic Prog pioneers of the 70's, but without falling in the easy path of cloning anybody. Very solid opener.

Entangled in Dreams begins soft and oneiric, with a guitar entrance (Guess that played with synths) that suddenly stops and leads to a re-start with a piano that carries a soft jazzy hint. 

And then, the radical change comes, it's time for a vibrant passage that had me at the border of insanity trying to discover which band it reminded me, after a couple repetitions the name came to my mind, the keyboards reminded me of UK (Danger Money era) being that Martin's style is very reminiscent of Eddie Jobson. After another radical change into a calmed melodic section, the band shows their power with the grand finale that flows perfectly to the end.

In Jadis of Charn YAK surprises with a pompous Baroque introduction with bells and organ, a soft but haunting Mellotron choir maintains the dark atmosphere and then, the band explodes in the vein of Nothing to Loose by UK but with a more elaborate keyboard, a very radical change that as usual was unexpected.

As usual the song flows perfectly from start to end, this time with less changes than in the previous track and crafted perfectly so every section links perfectly with the next one, 11:30 minutes of pure Prog Rock.

March of the Huorns is another long track that also starts with a short Baroque intro, but in this occasion they hit us with a sonic wall almost instantaneously, as in all the album, the Eddie Jobson influence in the keyboards is more than evident, but we must not forget the perfect work of bass and drums.

The constant dissonance between the rhythm section and the keyboards is outstanding, as if bass and drums were always with the feet on the ground, allowing Martin Morgan and his keyboards to wander through the space with the confidence that a strong anchor is there to take care of the coherence, fantastic team work, one of the most solid ones I heard lately.

The first part of Dearly Departed is a dramatic piano performance in which the skills and versatility of Martin are placed in evidence, then suddenly the rest of the band contributes to create a soft and lets say Classically inspired melody that works as a short interlude between an epic and the closer.

The album is closed with Journey of the Yak a beautiful song that reminds me of 4 men era GENESIS with a touch of STRAWBS, soft but at the same time powerful, but nothing is predictable with YAK, suddenly and without previous announcement they jump into an incredibly frantic passage that reminds a bit of the most Symphonic oriented works by Jean-Luc Ponty, just when I was expecting that they will finish with this energy, but the music morphs again into a more delicate finale.

It's always pleasant to listen a relatively new band making good music inspired the Prog pioneers but at the same times with a fresh approach that fits perfectly in the 21st Century.

Four stars without any doubt. 

Review by Maribor from Progarchives

Yak was one of those bands that was around in the 80s but never managed to release an album, for whatever reasons. Twenty years later, the band leader Martin Morgan resurrected some of the old songs and played them on the album Dark Side of the Duck with the aid of his array of keyboards and his programmed drums. The end result was anything but spectacular, but it did show Morgan's music had a great deal of potential if he would only play it with a real band. This is exactly what happened on Journey of the Yak.
Journey of the Yak is full of prog stereotypes – allusions to 70s progressive rock songs, allusions to Tolkien,... but this becomes less of an issue if you focus only on the music. Martin Morgan has finally done it. He has created an album that shows off his natural feel for good melody and tasteful lead keyboards. He knows how to play, but good melodies are always paramount. 

For those of you familiar with Yak's history, you know that they were formed in the 80s when the neo movement was gaining in popularity. Therefore, you are right to assume that Journey of the Yak is full of Genesis influences. There's even a title (“Entangled in Dreams”) that obviously borrows from Genesis. There are also some influences from Camel and ELP that I notice, but Morgan never tries to hide his love for classic prog. However, I think the most important element here is that Morgan always plays with a great deal of melody in mind. Sure, there are lots of prog influences, but they are presented in a very good way, with good keyboard sounds, good melodies and fine playing. 

I think it was the right choice for Morgan to enlist the help of only a rhythm section for this effort. He is such a strong keyboard player that the addition of too many other instruments would distract the listener from his extravagant keyboard skills. Morgan shines throughout the record, even using some effects to simulate a guitar on the keys. He's the star here, there's no doubt, but both other guys perform admirably. 

With Journey of the Yak, Martin Morgan has finally realized the potential shown on his previous recordings. He has finally managed to put it all together – the good compositions played by a real band this time. Journey of the Yak is unashamedly derivative, but the compositions are solid and make up for the lack of originality. Hopefully, this isn't the last hurrah from Morgan and whatever group of musicians he chooses to work with and I hope to hear more from him in the future. 


Review by Alan Mallery - GNOSIS

A Yak is commonly defined by Wikipedia as “a long-haired bovine found throughout the Himalayan region of south Central Asia.” But it is in fact also an instrumental progressive rock band England who were originally active in the early 80s, reforming in 2004. This is their 3rd cd presented as a trio of keyboards, bass and drums. 
It is clear from the song titles, the first being “Gates of Moria”, that our Yak has left the confines of Central Asia and journeys to parts unknown. This song opens with a sweeping lead melody over arpeggiating synth figures that will take you back to some of Pendragon’s “The Jewel” album, or perhaps Steve Hackett’s 70’s repertoire. 

The second track “Entangled In Dreams” starts with a soft synth accompaniment overlaid with a melodic flute track that remind you of the same atmosphere presented on Camel’s “Snow Goose” album. This gives way to the sweeping “guitar” lead again which states the melody over lush piano and synth washes. This flows into a more energized section with the “guitar lead” melody over organ flourishes, and back again to the easier laid-back section. If you like the aforementioned bands this track will give you that pleasant feeling of familiarity without coming off like an exact clone. 

The rest of the tracks feature longer atmospheric synth washes which give way to edgier organ licks which again take a cue from Steve Hackett’s late 70s works such as “Defector”. Four of the six tracks clock in around the 10 minutes range, which gives ample opportunity for the melody and themes to be presented appropriately without overstating their welcome. 

Synth tones take a cue from both old school organ and mellotron sounds as well as modern synth washes. I only have two small quibbles with the album. Even though the band is a three piece, the tracks seem written to also have guitar, with many tracks utilizing a Korg-workstation style guitar lead patch. In the absence of a real guitar player, it might have been better to use more aggressive synth lead sounds that didn’t try to emulate a guitar exactly. Also the electronic styled “Simmons” tom toms may give you an 80s way back machine feeling that seems out of touch with today’s production styles, but generally doesn’t detract from the music. 

Overall the compositions themselves are interesting and melodic, though not overly complicated, and well played. I would recommend taking the journey with Yak if you are into instrumental melodic symphonic progressive in the style of Steve Hackett or Camel. 


Review on Prog Rock & Prog Metal eZine - Album of the Month Jan 2009!

Yak is a project fronted by keyboard player Martin Morgan, followed by a incredible and talented musicians, their music is so versatile, beautiful and atmospheric, full of grandiose musical passages, where  structured instrumentation displays a deep Progressive Rock feel, combining elements of  Symphonic Progressive Rock and Hard Rock full of amazing instrumental passages, where the keys are ever present and totally dominating on all compositions and, the guitars are beautiful and refined, sometimes fast and heavy. The instrumental prowess on "Journey Of The Yak"  is top notch, to best describe, the music on this album is pompous and bombastic, with a vintage sound, inspired by great british bands such as "Camel", "Genesis",  "Greenslade", "Caravan",  "Yes", "IQ" and "Marillion". Almost 50min of varied instrumental emotions, a journey through the past present and future of the best Progressive Rock style. You must definitely listen "Entangled in Dreams", "Jadis of Charn", "March of the Huorns" and "Journey of the Yak" and you will find a creative sense of sound and musical texture to create a enjoyable album. Brilliant, fantastic, and amazing work, highly recommendable... 


May 2009 - JERRY LUCKY writes...

Once again I am amazed at how much progressive rock there is out there. For the past couple of weeks I’ve been listening to the band Yak that hail out of the UK, Essex to be exact. I guess you could call it their fourth CD, if you include a couple discs that consisted of live jam sessions. Yak’s new disc is entitled Journey of the Yak and consists of six wonderful instrumental tracks created by a trio of musicians, Martin Morgan (keyboards), Dave Speight (drums) and Gary Bennett (bass). For the record the band originally came together as a quartet in 1982 but folded a couple years later, only to come back onto the music scene in 2004. It’s also probably worth noting that Speight currently plays with the Enid-offshoot entitled Whimwise.

As mentioned Journey of the Yak features six instrumental compositions and other than two short three-minuters the others are all just under or a little over ten-minutes. I’m reminded a little of band’s like The Enid but more perhaps by the Enid offshoot Craft who released one album back in the eighties. The music is highly structured and elaborately arranged but isn’t quite as orchestral sounding as The Enid, but still very symphonic in nature. These tracks are all pretty up-tempo and at times really place an emphasis on the rock part. Each of these tracks will move through any number of dramatic sections all hinged together by moving themes and classically styled musical motifs. And while never overly busy or complicated the structure of these songs is quite varied and ever changing. In other words, there’s lots going on in each track. We’re treated to many recurring themes, excellent Mellotron samples, changing dynamics, all manor of keyboards, brilliant melodic riffs and more than enough symphonic flair to keep you coming back for more. 

Not knowing what to expect it’s always a special treat to be won over by such excellent music. Journey of the Yak is music that will easily appeal to a wide swath of progressive rock fans. If you’re into the trio approach of bands like ELP or Craft or the more symphonic Japanese bands like Outer Limits or certainly bands like the Enid or Whimwise, well then Yak is right for you. I’m really liking this record and highly recommend it. Great job!


Richard Watts publishes this review in the June/July edition of the Classic Rock Society Magazine

Yak was originally formed in 1982, folded in 1984, but was kept alive by keyboard player and songwriter Martin Morgan. He obviously has a great sense of humour, for example in 2004 Yak released "Dark side of the Duck", the copyright of this recording is owned by "Yaksongs and a small furry creature from the crab nebulae" and "all instruments fashioned from wood, metal & plastic".
Yak are a three piece instrumental band comprising of keyboards, drums and bass. To me they often sound like a combination of early Genesis and possibly what ELP would/could have been like today? However, you would be forgiven for thinking that the numerous keyboard solos were actually guitar solos, the sound is so similar and the delivery of them so slick and quick. there are only six tracks on this 48 minute CD. so you know each track is a good prog-length. The musicianship is superb and there is not one poor track on the disc. What is surprising is that all costs have been privately funded and the entire proceeds from sales will be donated to the rescued animals at Tower Hill Stables Animal Sanctuary

Richard Watts - Classic Rock Society


ProgNaut review - 3rd February 2009

It’s tough writing a review for an album like “Journey Of The Yak” without gushing like a fanboy; especially when every note on the recording strikes a positive response. After several years of listening to hit and miss projects from once respected artists like Marillion it’s great to find a CD that satisfies from beginning to end without reaching for the remote to skip past tracks of uninspired ballads. 
Talented keyboardist Martin Morgan is the mastermind behind “YAK”. The original group was relatively short lived, existing as a collective between 1982 through 1984, yet the music of YAK endured as Martin continued to composed and record material for the next 20 years as a solo artist, multitracking keyboards to emulate a four-piece band to great effect. After listening to the material from his first release “Dark Side Of The Duck” on MySpace I was mystified to discover this was all done by one guy on keyboards. 

For his 2008 instrumental release Martin expanded YAK by enlisting drummer Dave Speight who was working with ‘Harmony In Diversity’ (a group spearheaded by X-Yes guitarist Peter Banks) as well as ‘Whimwise’ a project of Nick May (former guitarist of The Enid), and bassist Gary Bennett. The trio then set out to record what I feel was the best progressive rock album of 2008, “Journey Of The Yak”. 

For the uninitiated, the music of YAK harkens back to the golden age of 70s’ symphonic rock from pioneers like Camel and early Genesis; as well as the solo albums of Steve Hackett (which is amazing considering there is no guitarist). Martin emulates the emotional sustained guitar tones of artists like Steve Hackett and Andy Latimer beautifully. I needed to refer back to the CD sleeve to see if the line “Martin Morgan plays Fernandes guitars” was listed somewhere in the notes. 

The compositions are beautifully arranged and performed with power, passion, and precision without resorting to self indulgent noodling or a bombastic barrage of light speed solos and arpeggios. "Journey Of The Yak" should also appeal to fans of UK , Happy The Man, Edhels (France), Mind Gallery, East ( Hungary ), and Solaris ( Hungary ). What more can I say but rate this a perfect 10 out of 10. 

And there is more to recommend this album than the music itself. The CD is being sold as a fundraiser for charity – with all proceeds going to Tower Hills Stable Animal Sanctuary. Yak absorbed all the productions cost, so the money collected from the sale of the CD goes directly to Tower Hills Stable. 

Tower Hills Stable Animal Sanctuary is run by Fiona Oakes who takes care of 400 rescued animals including 34 horses and 35 elderly dogs, 51 cats, and assorted sheep, pigs, cows and numerous smaller animals. Fiona takes no income, there is no staff, and all administrations costs are met by private donations. Every penny spent goes towards feed bills. For more info on Tower Hills Stables see, here 

Reviewed by Joseph Shingler from ProgNaut on February 3rd, 2009


16th April 2010  - Steve Petch from Progmeister.com writes...

At this moment in time there is an abundance of great prog bands and music around. However, only very few capture the essence of the genre enough to allow  listener to become immersed in the mood or atmosphere of the music's intention. Journey of the Yak is one of the few. For the lovers of Steve Hackett from Acolyte to Spectral Mornings  will find this album a dream to listen to. No mean feat when you consider the scarcity of guitar on this album. Martin Morgan's wicked pitch bending and clever keyboard voicing has all but the most critical nerd fooled into thinking that he has a Strat in there somewhere. When i first listened to this album i kept waiting for the singing to start and after i listened to these crafted pieces for the second and third time i was glad that it didn't. So many band are making albums now that brim with fantastic musical events yet marred by poor vocals, especially none English speaking bands. Yak's music stands up on it's own and does not need the accompanyment of vocal and lyric. It's nice too to hear real drums as so many musicians now place reliance on the virtual/software technology to represent their rhythm. Dave Speight on drums along with Gary Bennett playing bass make a huge difference to the album taking the soundstage away from being of the modern manufactured sound. It can be heard that a great deal of attention to detail has been made especially to the careful selection of Mellotron sounds portrayed via Martin Morgan's Kurzweil. 

From the opening drones of Gates Of Moria to the grand Hackett like outro of the title track "Journey Of The Yak" the whole disc seems to brim with gems. So many albums of this nature sound at their best when listened to via a good Hi-Fi and this one is no exception. However, i found that Yak's music lends itself equally to the car, i-pod or discman. Litening to "Entangled In Dreams" reminded me of when i rushed home with a copy of Spectral Mornings and slammed it onto the turntable and was then transported to a better place. Yes folks it really is that good. "March Of The Huorns" begins with a little more of a sedate pace yet still manages to explode into an organ lead barrage of shear joy. Gary Bennett's bass playing on this track really carries the whole piece along beautifully. I was caught a couple of times in the kitchen playing air key's to this track.  "Dearly departed" is the most sombre piece on the album openingwith a very warm solitary piano and moving into a slow and enjoyable conclusion with some great Mellotron sounds, not least the flute pad that brings it to a close. 

I make no apologies for perhaps too many references to Mr Hackett who incidentilly said of this album "that it was beautiful music". But i am firmly convinced in my own little world that this is the album that Genesis should have made following Wind and Wuthering instead of trying to attract ladies. I was told by the gentleman who sold me the disc that proceeds from the sale go to the tower Hill animal sanctuary and that all production costs have been met privately. A brilliant cause methinks as it cost a fortune to keep the animals fed and clean. Check out fiona@towerhillstables.com should you like to make a contibution via paypal. 
All in all this album has a feel good factor in that it transports you back to better days. If you want a quick try before you buy click onto Yak's myspace site www.myspace.com/yaktunes and have a listen.
In the present world we seem to be no longer kings with regard to football, cricket,industry,politics or economy. Yak reminded me of a time when we where and that somethings can only be imitated. Prog rock as we know it is predominantly English and Yak demonstrate this point admirably. I hope that Martin and the boys don't sit on their hands and let this talent go to waste. I for one would pre-order any forthcoming Yak album.



PROGARCHIVES Special Collaborator "AtomicCrimsonRush" published this review in August 2010

Martin Morgan kept the Yak dream alive since the band's formation in 1982 and the result is the band are finally able to release some excellent instrumental progressive albums. The "Dark Side of the Duck" began the voyage and the band set sail to embark on their latest venture "The Journey of the Yak". The band's members have ties to prog legends Yes, Whimwise and The Enid and so you may expect the influences to come out strong on their album. In fact the influences of Camel and ELP are far more pronounced. The use of multilayered keyboards, with flute-sounds and scorching guitars are the dominant force. The Steve Hackett style guitar breaks are mesmirising. There are even passages of vocalisations using synthesizers in the soundscape. 

The album evokes pleasant aural imagery of wide sweeping plains, vast mountain scapes and Tolkienesque fantasy horizons. The atmosphere is dreamy and haunting but never less than uplifting and evocative. There are some intricate complexities of music such as the title track and these sequences are juxtaposed with simple pieces such as 'Dearly Departed'. The beauty of this track is it's melancholy melody that touches the emotions, especially the flute sections that have a powerful resonance. It begins with beautiful piano, a very pretty melody that is consistent and rather sombre but utterly compelling. It is a short track but so endearing and lulling in a dreamy way. 

The real feature of this music is rather than just background music there is an imposing mood that grabs hold and refuses to let go. I have heard the music many times now and it is always a new experience as the listener is allowed to take from it whatever he or she wishes. There are long lead guitar breaks such as on the title track. Morgan is masterful on keyboards, particularly mellotron, Dave Speight produces innovative metrical patterns on drums and Gary Bennett is the rhythm machine on bass. 

On the opener 'Gates of Moria' the keyboards dominate and there are swishes of wind effects and a strong melody. The atmosphere transports you out of the real into the imaginary realm like all good music should. You can visualise the sounds. The opening track is compelling and has a hypnotic melody that draws you in with every listen. 

'Entangled in Dreams' has a soft flute and acoustic sound. The melody on piano carries it along beautifully, and this is echoed with the electric guitar, a virtuosic performance of huge string bends and harmonics. The Hammond sound kicks in and it sounds more like ELP in this passage. This is one of the best works on the album and it grew on me very fast like osmosis. I think it is more like Camel than other pieces or "The Snow Goose" album especially, it certainly has that classic 70s prog sound so difficult to emulate, though Yak have managed to do so masterfully on this album. The ending with haunting flute sounds and ambient guitar and keyboard is absolutely spine chilling prog; a masterpiece track that really resonates with my senses on every listen. 

'Jadis of Charn' features a Baroque intro and then an infectious hook in melody. The guitars are heavenly with strong string bends and they are played over relentless grinding organ. In particular I like that riff 7 mins into it that locks in and reminds me of 70s prog such as the early Genesis or Caravan or even Nektar come to think of it. I would rate this track as a definitive highlight. This is the reason I listen to prog; to discover scintillating, captivating music such as this. 

'March of the Huorns' begins with Classical Baroque nuances, choral voices, and then a huge sound blast of keyboards backed by the crash of drum and bass. There is an interplay of instruments creating tension and release that all prog songs should encompass. The sound embodies a sense of wonder and exploration. The Emerson like Hammond sound is always welcome and those Gong-influenced spacey guitars that rise and fall over embellishments of sporadic drumming; a pure delight to my ears. The melody on guitar is now familiar after several lessons and always lifts my spirits high. This chugs along at a brisk pace with heavy handed piano and strings via mellotron played with dexterity by the hand of Morgan. 

The final track 'Journey of the Yak' is the absolute fresh sound of Yak and this featured as a track on "Prognosis 4" that came as a sampler with the Classic Rock Presents Prog magazine and introduced me to the band. Interlaced within this last epic are some incredible proggy moments. It begins with piano and huge lead guitar in a wall of sound. It locks into a rather jagged staccato riff that sounds orchestral and the way the drums kick in is enough to gain my attention. The main drawcard is the Hammond blasts once again that remind one of Rick Wakeman or Emerson. The virtuoso musicianship of the trio is incredible and they go into full flight on this. At 3:40 a deep staccato drone introduces the new time sig and the Hammond organ crunches a wondrous motif with some soaring spacey guitar passages. The music has an organic quality with dissonances in sound and metrical shapes that fracture the rhythms. At 7:04 a warm piano chimes in and it rings the mood down to a serene feel, then the Andy Latimer style guitar lead break takes it to a new level. This is some of the best music I have heard in a long time.

So, overall the album is a remarkable throwback to all that made the 70s great, when prog was a dominant force; virtuoso musicianship, lengthy tracks, extended keyboard and guitar solos, moody atmospherics and a conceptual framework: that pertinently describes "The Journey of The Yak".


​Kinesis Progressive Rock Site says...

This 2008 instrumental CD is one of the best British progressive rock albums in recent memory, pure classic prog, close to Genesis (or Steve Hackett solo) and Camel. Yak are a keys/bass/drums trio, but their sound is bigger than that -- after hearing this, you will swear that there is a guitarist in the band, one who has the expressive Hackett/Latimer lead style nailed! In fact, keyboardist Martin Morgan is playing the guitar parts from a keyboard, the best emulation of that sustained electric guitar style we’ve ever heard. Of course a guitarist or two will be required live, as the guitar and keyboard sounds are layered. Just when you’ve despaired of ever hearing a British prog band create the real thing again, you are rescued by a Yak. “Sounds like Dave Greenslade jamming with Genesis​
Simply make a donation to charity (suggested £10) to recieve a copy of the album

"Beautiful Music" - Steve Hackett