You stand waist-deep in murky black liquid within a vast swamp. The sun has long since journeyed to the other side of the planet, but the shroud of darkness glows with an eerie luminescence and allows you to see. Pairs of eyes attached to silhouetted bodies of all shapes prowl in the trees, slowly walking circles around you but never lessening the distance between. What are they? Why are they watching you? Why won’t they come any closer? You listen . . .
Electronic music is a gateway to innovation and originality, as it allows an entirely from-the-ground-up creation process. Many producers utilize the lack of barriers by synthesizing replicas of long-established genres and instruments, but a select imaginative few reach for the furthest stars. Houti Kush is the newest full-length by Ramzi, helmed by Montreal-native and aural explorer Phoebé Guillemo.
There isn’t really anything like this delightfully perplexing album. Guillemo makes wonderful use of propulsive tribal percussion, nature soundscapes, wordless vocals, and a multitude of uniquely constructed synths and loops to craft amorphous song structures that shift and lurch with obscure beauty. She achieves a masterful balance of light and darkness on this record, which creates a seductively sinister feel throughout.
The songs here contain trace elements of dub, techno, ambient, new age, and vaporwave, but none of those terms can accurately encompass what’s contained here. These tracks embrace an unparalleled weirdness, and they embody something entirely new and unknown. It’s a truly fascinating listen, and it’s one that will leave you scratching your head. If you’re seeking dub-tinged experimental electronics, this album is for you.
– stasi (@stasisphere)