Daniel W J Mackenzie produces works of noise, drone and conceptual composition under his given name and the more studio focused project Ekca Liena, and is an active performance collaborator in numerous groups. His artistic studies of sound through installations and academically driven experiments have developed alongside released albums of composed work.
Veiled State continues the story that began with Slow Music for Rapid Eye Movement. It started to come together around the same time as Gravity and Grace, but was left unfinished when that one was being prepared for release. Although heavily processed, both albums contain a surprising amount of bass guitar, which might be obvious to some when comparing them both. Like its title suggests, Veiled State aims to portray the hidden mysteries of the subconscious mind, and in parallel the invisible worlds that exist alongside our own in every aspect of our lives. It’s a deep plunge into extended contemplation, touching on both the unique magic and the shadowy oppression of those places that can be hard to reach, but are always there.
The character of the album really took shape one early summer night in Brighton a few years ago, where the sky and the sea were incredibly dark and the warmth and humidity were almost tropical. I was out walking, listening to an early draft, and the combination of elements – the feeling of the air, the stillness and slow movement of the sea, the silence of the sky – had an amazing subtle intensity, it felt like there were multiple worlds all trying to fit into one framework of existence. Things felt incredibly alive and present, yet imperceptible to the primary senses. This is one of a number of examples of the unseen that Veiled State is alluding to.
Veiled State is the fourth release in the central album story that forms the backbone of Ekca Liena’s sizeable discography. Arriving in the still warm afterglow of 2018’s Gravity and Grace – a dark, seismic journey of destructive outbursts and galactic peaks – the album brings about a sense of calm, guiding itself through a series of environments that are at once familiar and otherworldly.
Extended passages of loosely constructed instrumentation elevate the compositions to solar realms, though a distinct root of buried pulses and slowly evolving loops maintains a connection with a solid base. In the sonic recesses, quiet ruminations of delicate improvisations and subtle sound design whisper unidentifiable secrets through the mix. It is the communication between these elements that gives Veiled State a sense of tension, but a sense of life, that shapes the message it relays from an unknown subconscious.
Written, performed and produced by Daniel W J Mackenzie
Thank you to the label for releasing this music and to listeners across the world