Yak Attack is a live electronica power trio from Portland, Oregon. Founded in 2013, the band has experienced steady growth over the past few years and has been building buzz by touring frequently throughout the Pacific Northwest, California, and the Mountain West. The group’s music is best described as “organic electronica”, using skillful playing, live loops, and tightly constructed songs combined with raw improvisation to build high-energy and uplifting dance music from scratch, where every note is played and recorded live. The band draws on influences from a wide spectrum of electronica, such as house, drum and bass, and breakbeat, along with elements of jam, funk, and jazz. The result is a live show that is musically sophisticated but widely accessible, with a diverse and engaged fanbase that travels to out of town shows and continually returns to see what the band will do in its next live show.
Yak Attack was founded when Dave Dernovsek (keys), a Colorado/New York transplant with a competitive classical piano background, met Rowan Cobb (bass), who was building a name for himself in the Portland live music scene as a founding member of numerous successful touring bands. The two shared an interest in creating a livetronica project – Dave had been experimenting with various loop-based setups for years, and Rowan’s prior electronic band, Alpaca!, had just broken up. The two met Nick Werth (drums) at one of the group’s early shows. Nick had quickly built his musical reputation from his stellar abilities at the drum set, as well as his family connection to the band Snarky Puppy (his brother Nate plays percussion in that group, and Nick currently plays in Ghost Note, featuring Nate and Sput among other Snarky members). Initially a fan of the band, Nick was touring full time with local legend Scott Pemberton’s band, but found time to guest on percussion and xylosynth at various Yak Attack shows, laying down some tracks on the band’s first album, Real World Conditions, which was released in 2015. With the departure of the group’s original drummer in early 2016, Rowan and Dave asked Nick to take the drum set full time, and the current Yak Attack lineup was born.
Yak Attack has performed at summer festivals such as Treefort Fest, Joshua Tree Music Festival, Guitarfish, Northwest String Summit, Apple Jam, and Contour Music Festival. The band has also established itself as a strong afterparty band with capacity late night shows following acts such as Phish, String Cheese Incident, and Sound Tribe Sector 9. They have shared the stage with many established or up and coming acts such as Juno What?, TAUK, Turkuaz, The Magic Beans, Break Science, Funk Hunters, YAMN, Fruition, World’s Finest, and Acorn Project. The band continues to ramp up its tour schedule and looks forward to bringing its unique dance party to a venue near you.