Ancestral Voices is Liam Blackburn, already an established DnB producer as one half of duo Akkord, and solo as Indigo. His new alias is quite a change up, the result of a new life path and a new approach to creating music.
Incredibly atmospheric, and at times overwhelmingly dark, 'Night Of Visions' was inspired by Blackburn's own experience of a shamanic ceremony that took place in the Amazon jungle. The album functions as "an insight into a subconscious journey", a record of this transformative life experience. It feels like some sort of ancient artefact, recovered from the earth after centuries of slumber.
Stream a sampler of the record below, and let Ancestral Voices guide you through the stages of the ceremony...
Night Of Visions
COLOUR: Red Ochre
This was made as the intro to the album. The Dawn of Night marks the beginning of the ceremony. Setting the tone with suspended harmonics and a very slow and evolving pace. I wanted to create the sonic experience of what I felt the first night I spent in the Amazon - a sense of dread, anticipation, mystery and apprehension... a few flickering candles dancing in the darkness and a strong smell of burning palo santo.
COLOUR: Burnt Sienna
‘Earth Ritual’... summoning the spirits of the Earth. The drink is consumed – both bitter and hard to swallow. I wanted to create a building, steady rhythm that progressed though gaining more intensity as the medicine takes effect. Building into a marching rhythm towards the end to signify the journey has begun.
COLOUR: Forest Green
The first step out into the jungle since the beginning of the ceremony. Slowly clambering through the Maloka and emerging into a symphony of sonics that sound completely alien. The trees and plants are overwhelmingly striking and dancing in the moonlight. A huge web connects the organisms together making it One, a whole living being. A constant and driving beat holds the sense of pushing forward into the unknown. The pace quickens.
COLOUR: Raw Umber
Visions coming on strong, can’t stand up right. Basking in the beauty and intricate geometric shapes and vivid colours. The medicine takes full effect and streams through my consciousness. A beautiful cerebral state of being, washed with colour and sounds that I have never experienced before. A strong and powerful connection to the effects of the plant sink deeper into my body and mind. Rushes of light and electricity stream through my being. Calm before the storm.
COLOUR: White Gold
Entities and spirits - curious as to where the medicine will lead. Opening channels of the mind and thinning the veil between the physical and etheric realms. A ritual dance of heightened perceptions and a summoning of the dark and light, to merge as One. Vibrant geometry and living scenes are projected through the third eye making hidden things visible and bringing intense emotions up to the surface. Vivid images of an etheric shaman blowing pipes of smoke to purify the body.
A purge of all the repressed ‘dark’ emotions from lifetimes of experience. Hands and knees submerged in the forest floor being consumed by the jungle and its living entities. Seeing nature as it truly is - a vast network of species that all work in symbiosis. Being assisted by the medicine to overcome any fears that have accumulated over time - having to face yourself before being born again.
A surgical operation by the arachnids. Spider-like beings pulling away anything that doesn’t belong in the energetic system. Carefully dissecting, spinning and weaving threads of geometric forms and repairing any torn or damaged ‘strings’ that hold everything together. Being accelerated through tunnels of light into an abyss of sharp and jagged edges. Confronting conditioning and fear.
The Feathered Serpent
COLOUR: Indian Red
Building strength. Consumed by the medicine, a sense of presence by some supreme entity. A symbol of the masculine energy that both seeds life and destroys it. Riding through the ether on the back of a serpent observing a multiplicity of lifetimes. Faced with truth in the most beautiful but sinister way.
Rebirth & Dissolution
COLOUR: Purple / Indigo
Spaced out and gliding through geometric planes, witnessing colours that do not exist where we usually reside. Glowing hues and flashes of light spinning in synchronicity - a dance, free-flowing. The peak has been reached and a steady descent begins back into the body to embody the lessons learned throughout the night. Being put back together - from the fragmented self to the whole.
COLOUR: Yellow Ochre
A glowing sense of relief and accomplishment. Seeing through the depths of the experience and arriving at a place that has been out of sight for so long. Uplifting choir-like harmonics heard in the distance from a far away place. Looking up at the stars, dancing and flickering like butterflies.
Sleepless Night, First Light
COLOUR: Ultramarine Blue
Calm and serene. The plateau of the experience. First light breaks through the trees and into the Maloka. Absolute clarity, feelings of love and appreciation for nature, life, and the cosmos. The inner and outer worlds merge and become an ever-morphing fractal of colours, shapes, emotions and feelings.
It’s extremely hard to put into words how the experience felt and how it has changed the core of my being - very grateful to be alive. This track signifies the end of a profound journey and the beginning of a new one.
'Night Of Visions' is out 27 Nov on Samurai Horo. You can pre-order the vinyl here, and the super mega full release bundle here. Ancestral Voices will be playing Corsica Studios on 4 Dec as part of the Northern Electronics x Samurai Horo showcase.