Spectral Hypnosis: Contact Cult (Music Video Premiere), We Are Ghosts

Portland electronic artist Contact Cult gets some meditative analog video treatment from artist Ritzy Sheens, plus Israeli improvisational band We Are Ghosts show what it’s like to jam out in the desert.

Spectral Hypnosis is a recurring series, featuring mesmerizing songs for one to lose sense of time and space, mind and body. +++ ALL SPECTRAL HYPNOSIS POSTS + ALL COLUMNS

We Are Ghosts

Hailing from Israel comes We Are Ghosts, an experimental and mostly-instrumental collective that “brings together musicians to create a one-time adventurous encounter that can not be reconstructed.”

Guided by principles of restriction-free improvisation, their latest release, A N D A R T A, was recorded live in the Negev desert of Southern Israel in Fall of 2014, and is an amazing document of restraint, especially considering that it is a ten-person collaboration, involving instruments as diverse as the iPad, glockenspiel, banjo, and klingandhum. On the opening track, “Yahalom Shachor”, one can really sense the view of a desert at sunset, as the vocals of Shany Kedar carry the strings and percussion far off into the skies. You can now purchase the whole record on Bandcamp for a mere $5, and help support Israeli label Schwartz Neon Licht Music in the process.

Contact Cult – “Ascetic Phase” Music Video (Premiere)

Heavy with monkish connotations, the album opener for Contact Cult’s Hylozoist is “Ascetic Phase”, a meditative track inspired by the chaotic intersections of will, faith, and desire, as well as Steve Reich’s piece, “Phasing Pianos”. The track’s gradual descent into guitar and noise-driven chaos is given color by analog video wizard Ritzy Sheens, who made this entire video with the LZX modular video synth and the Audio Damage Sequencer 1. From start to end, one is invited to follow an all-seeing eye through various states of expansion, contraction, and manipulated pattern, easily becoming lost in the streams of pixely detail.

Hylozoist is the debut release from Portland electronic musician Contact Cult, and can be purchased now via Translinguistic Other. Stream the whole record below.

Contact Cult – Hylozoist


Written by
Vee Hua 華婷婷

Vee Hua 華婷婷 (they/them) is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer with semi-nomadic tendencies. Much of their work unifies their metaphysical interests with their belief that art can positively transform the self and society. They are the Editor-in-Chief of REDEFINE, Interim Managing Editor of South Seattle Emerald, and Co-Chair of the Seattle Arts Commission. They also previously served as the Executive Director of the interdisciplinary community hub, Northwest Film Forum, where they played a key role in making the space more welcoming and accessible for diverse audiences.

Vee has two narrative short films. Searching Skies (2017) touches on Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States; with it, they helped co-organize The Seventh Art Stand, a national film and civil rights discussion series against Islamophobia. Reckless Spirits (2022) is a metaphysical, multi-lingual POC buddy comedy for a bleak new era, in anticipation of a feature-length project.

Vee is passionate about cultural space, the environment, and finding ways to covertly and overtly disrupt oppressive structures. They also regularly share observational human stories through their storytelling newsletter, RAMBLIN’ WITH VEE!, and are pursuing a Master’s in Tribal Resource and Environmental Stewardship under the Native American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota.

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Written by Vee Hua 華婷婷
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