It becomes obvious Houti Kush will be an odd journey once the frogs start ribbiting on "Ramzi Prophecy." Half ambient and gently propulsive, the album recontextualizes chill-out clichés—nature-scapes, tribalist percussion, wordless cooing—into something seductively ambiguous, sometimes even sinister. Indeed, evil always seems to lurk around the corners. Demonic, pitched-down spoken word duels with Guillemot's warbled autotune, fostering a tension between the dark and light that, when set against mossy atmospherics, sounds like Enya having a bad trip. That constant push and pull only heightens the tape's alien allure.
Guillemot's way with percussion is also something to behold. She makes drum tracks that feel sticky and malleable, as if she's building them out of chewing gum. "Princess Of Cups" could pummel if it didn't melt on impact. Hearing the spongy groove of "Etwal" is like putting your ear to a damp forest ground. The record's latter half carefully straightens things out. Guillemot folds reggae chords into "Tcha-Moun" and layers rhythms on "Land Of Kush" until they sound something like techno.
There's a natural lean to Houti Kush's movement that makes it seductive in a way that's hard to put your finger on. Camped somewhere between vaporwave, techno, ambient and new age, it exists firmly and defiantly in a liminal zone. In touching on so many ideas without ever giving into one established style, Houti Kush is 41 minutes of unrepentant, beguiling weirdness distilled into one cassette that outlines why the prolific 1080p is so fascinating.