Review: Ancestral Voices – Night Of Visions

Ancestral Voices - Night Of VisionsNight Of Visions waits patiently. It’s a ritual conducted in the dark; a quiet stir of shakers, sonorous metal plates, electronic claps and smoke-like wisps of woodwind and voice, sent drifting into the sky like a soft spiritual probe. In the absence of volume (the record feels respectful toward the time of sleep), repetition is used to thicken the sentiment. Strange overtones and percussive spasms melt into the night, arcing over sand dunes and washing through the mouths of tombs. There’s an undertone of expectation and imminence; low drones hang in the stomach like giddy excitement, as though a spiritual energy is awakening within the exchange of synthesisers and echoing clacks of percussion, massaged into existence by the soft persistence of Ancestral Voices’ ritual-dub patter.

The key to this palpable anticipation is the manipulation of absence. The upper frequencies quiver with translucent textures and dissipating phantoms; sounds that evaporate before they can properly materialise, drones that cling to the horizon line and refuse to come any closer. Within the outlines are allusions to material and origin, and my mind traces the faint images of pyramid stone and clouds of tropical birdsong, collating the strands of implication into hallucinations that speckle the twilight. The only vibrations that hit with fervour are the hums of bass and the electronic beats, running beneath my feet like tectonic disturbances, kicking up the sands of melody and light so that they form strange, anthropomorphic silhouettes in front of my face. The record unfolds at the hands of meditative concentration, although Ancestral Voices never entirely divulges the object of his transfixion.