(New Album Review) Contact Cult- Hylozoist

Contact Cult is psychedelic dark ambient by Troy Micheau, the main guitarist of Swahili, who released their latest full-length in two years, Amorvevx, off Translinguistic Other in March. Swahili stand out from a lot of minimal-wave worship for their spacious psychedelic vibe and relaxed tempo. If you get the chance, check out Amorvevx soon, as it’s pregnant with all sorts of unexpected gems, like the shimmering closer “Mokomokai”.

Contact Cult is also pretty unconventional stuff– what are we looking at here, exactly? Like my buddies in Antecessor, Micheau took a page from Pulse Emitter and went for a radical, raw, genre-bleeding take on kosmiche synth sounds for Hylozoist, also released on Transliguistic Other in July. The mutilated textures of drone noise…the spooky transcendence of the original New Age of Iasos and Steven Halpern…all this is just sound in the end, and the idea is to throw it all into the crock-pot to create a strangely beautiful sort of mystic synth-futurism.

You wouldn’t typically encounter music this diverse in its aesthetic-synthesis outside of Portland. The standout track, “Extract”, ripples and swells like bvdub and Loscil’s most gorgeous productions, but with the already vague skeleton of ambient techno even further drowned in the mix. Elsewhere, on tracks like “Narcotomist” and “Ascetic Phase” Micheau punctuates some eerie tribal dark ambient with cool and glowing synth arpeggios and effects. The approach behind Hylozoist comes from the name: “Matter-Zoist”. Seek the inherent connections in all things. This is headphone music un-beholden to any specific genus, and recommended to all fans of dark ambient sounds.


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