Way back in my formative years, I stumbled across a novel entitled ‘Aztec’ by Garry Jennings. I began to read it, with some trepidation as it was a tome of some 1000 pages. However I found myself completely hooked.
The author researched the historical epic for 12 years. It wasn’t the graphic and frequent scenes of sex and violence that gripped me, but the detailed, colourful, visceral and lavish recreation of the Aztec empire and life in Mexico that the author skilfully creates. Whilst reading the book, it literally felt like I had visited another time, place and culture.
I’ve always loved the feeling of being able to escape into a book or piece of music completely. Just to escape reality for a little while and immerse myself in something that makes me completely forget everyday life.
So in 2020, with the world struggling to cope with the effects of Covid 19, I locked myself in the studio and decided to create a little world of my own, deep in the jungles of South America, back in time at the height of the Aztec Empire, where powerful Shamans practiced ritual and sacrifice to appease ancient Gods.
It was fun making this album. It gave me the chance to blend a lot of natural and organic sounds with some intensely electronic, synthetic sound sets which work well together. And it gave me the excuse to use one of my all time favourite instruments; the terrifying “Aztec death whistle !” Which is liberally sprinkled over the last half of “Into the Deadlands”
Inspired by Gary Jennings ‘Aztec’ and Mel Gibson’s ‘Apocalypto’, I hope The Dark Shaman album will take the listener on a dark and intense journey into the mystical and magical realms of ancient mesoamerican shamanism.
Steve Barnes aka Divine Matrix