In evolutionary theory, species that share an ancestor are said to be of common descent. There’s nothing common about the music of Los Angeles quintet ANCESTORS. To peg or try to pigeon hole the art they create would be missing the point. But for most, reference and understanding lays the foundation for common ground. What Ancestors ‘shares’ is a unique vision to create something passionate, vital and challenging. OF SOUND MIND is a journey through the past into the future; a signpost for a quickly emerging force of musical power and creativity. Where Ancestors showed signs of promise on their debut Neptune With Fire, they have trail blazed new pathways with the 8-part opus Of Sound Mind. They have channeled the freedom of progressive stalwarts King Crimson, the craft and insight of Pink Floyd, and the depth and brooding of Neurosis. The ‘common descent’ lies in the courage they share with these aforementioned groups to push the limit, cementing their foundation without rooting themselves in the general trappings of music journalism or pop culture. To put linear constrictions on their journey would be an insult to all that have strived to create something new, the true essence of art and expression. Ancestors weave an unorthodox mixture of sonic textures, down-tempo riffs and rhythms, accented with well-crafted melodies and at times full-throttle assaults. The combination delivers a cohesive journey akin to the ambitious undertakings of avant-garde musicians like Eric Dolphy, Peter Brotzmann or Miles Davis. Of Sound Mind is something to be returned to over and over, always offering a new reward.
Lyrically and thematically, Of Sound Mind contemplates the quandaries of human psychology and its effect on and within the development of modern society. Although essentially conceptual in nature, the record is a blatant transition from the allegorical and mythological framework of their debut Neptune With Fire. The 8 part, 1-hour plus album lends meaning, while actively seeking answers, much like the work of Camus or Thoreau. Without absolution or authority, Ancestors insight a thought crusade with meaningful intent.
Recorded, mixed and mastered at Infra Sonic Sound by Pete Lyman, known for his diverse work with Mars Volta, Qui and No Age. Ancestors, including contributions by notable Los Angeles artists David Scott Stone (Melvins, Unwound, Slug), Sera Timms (Black Math Horsemen) and cellist Ramiro Zapata have created an album truly Of Sound Mind; a refreshing and aptly named experience of incredible proportions.