On his last release, The Shaman, Mingo took his listeners into a vivid off the grid world barely touched since its ancient inhabitants occupied the territory. He carries that theme into his latest release with the equally gorgeous landscapes of The Ancients. This album conjures up vast open spaces and tribalism fused with an electro-ambient soundworld.
The album starts off with the aptly titled track Ascension – featuring lush white noise layers to create a backdrop, while a slow-moving, electronic arpeggio, morphs and rises as if to bring you to a higher level to prepare you for the hour long aural journey.
On the title track, The Ancients - soft strings and a warm analog “hum” guides you through most of this epic, nearly 13 minute long track, paying homage to the wisdom of the ancients. More electronic arpeggiation appears on this track, with an almost baroque feel to it at times.
A trance-inducing percussion plays out in the third track Ritual. Airy pads and the hiss of shakers are combined with shell chimes, giving this track an earthy, organic feel. The next two tracks, From The Dust and In Ether have now fully engulfed the listener in a dark dream-state induced by this album.
Dreamfield, is pure Berlin School pleasure, taking the listener to a slightly unexpected place as we reach the pinnacle of this journey. Next comes along the atmospheric track - Origin, and then we are carried into Relics, which introduces piano to the mix. Its lonely notes find their way through the foggy washes around it, a kind of dreamy meandering. We are then taken to the next epic and final track, The Hollowed. Airy whispering pads rise and fall, occasionally enhanced by electronic shimmers, eventually bringing us to the end of this sonic journey.
Headphone listening is imperative to take in all that this album has to offer. The listener will become truly ensconced in the electro-ambient dream world that is The Ancients. It will take you some time to emerge back into reality and fully come out of the trance induced state that this album will no doubt put you in. My advice – don't resist, put the headphones back on and hit play one more time.
The Ancients – Nine tracks running just under one hour long. Available in August 2017. For more information, visit www.mingosphere.com
Review by Jorge Rodriguez