RAMZi’s music is a curious organism.
RAMZi is Vancouver (formerly Montreal)-based producer Phoebé Guillemot, intentionally elusive to find on the Internet. Their 2014 album BÉBiTES was recently re-relased on cassette, which you can purchase here. Despite BÉBiTES being a very electronic album, RAMZi still manages to maintain a sense of organic ambiguity. Perhaps Ramzi’s most fundamental ingredient is the way she uses digital effects as instruments: a noise dial quickly turned to maximum or the sudden automation of delay do a lot to add Amazonian vastness to the sonic space. The production sensibilities of RAMZi make the rainforest tapestry believable, and additional listens reveal subtly imbued sounds layered beneath.
Some of the drum-driven tracks on the album are firmly rooted in dance music – you can imagine tribal warpaint, sweat drenched rituals, quicksand, primal and oozing mating calls. It’s hard to describe the music in ways other than adjectives. It’s effortlessly evocative.
BÉBiTES is “jungle beats” in a very different sense. The dance elements of the tracks are amoebic and full of motion, rippling between soft and alarming with a masterful command of effects and restraint. RAMZi relishes in the ambiguity of her compositions, from her bandcamp: “RAMZi is this dual entity polarized into opposites (masculine/feminine ethos/ego, genuine/perverse, romantic/insensitive, free/captive, etc.)”. There is certainly a feeling of polarity between the different sounds in BÉBiTES. Many of the tracks have palpable “beats”, rhythms or drum sounds to latch onto. The other elements are more intangible and lofty: hoots and squeaks and sampled frogs, layers of primal ambience to pad the jungle floor.
RAMZi feels psychedelic in a visceral, tribal, ancestral way. You can download BÉBiTES from RAMZI’s bandcamp.