Montreal’s Phoebé Guillemot resurrects her RAMZi moniker for a new 10-track LP on Music For Memory. Not just a name, RAMZi is more a way of thinking, which allows Guillemot to tap into a parallel universe. The alias, akin to a spirit summoned from wild imagined forests and woodlands, which goes a long way toward explaining RAMZi’s trademark electro-organic sound. A music that’s perhaps dub-techno derived, but also huffing heavily on Jon Hassell’s Fourth / other world-building concepts.
Appropriately, given its desire to celebrate and invoke nature, the album, Hyphea, began life as the soundtrack to Frederic Lavoie`s mushroom-loving documentary, Fun Fungi. Phoebé describes each piece as “an adventure” in “a different ecosystem”. Together, however, they form a whole, where “ambient house” atmospheres are bashed by soft, filtered, blurred and broken beats, and the resulting, rippling, rhythms are anything but regular. Instead, a terrain of gentle tribal tumblings, full of alien Amazon tones.
Whistling, Will-o’-the-wisp whispers, faerie frequencies, flit and fly above warm, womb-like bottom-end. Details, machine-made reeds, woodwinds, and wildlife, dart and weave about melodies manufactured from temple bells, tabla, and harpsichord-like keys. Vocal snippets are sampled, stuttered, and spun into intricate webs. Don’t get the wrong idea though, this electronic Eden is far from a totally downtempo trip. The opening Afloat is proper party music. Paradise, on a packed way, way past midnight dance-floor.
Plus, the closing Nightquest is the sort of deep, meditative post-house manoeuvre that fellow Canadians Mood Hut used to make.
RAMZi’s Hyphea is out now, on Music From Memory.