AMN Reviews: Mombi Yuleman – Hours Lost (2022; ZeroK)

UFOologists refer to a concept known as “missing time” – typically several hours or more that a person allegedly abducted by aliens has erased from their memory. Mombi Yuleman invokes this notion in Hours Lost, an experimental and weird ambient release inspired by one of the first self-reported kidnappings by extra-terrestrials – that of Barney and Betty Hill.

Yuleman employs layered drones, cracking static, patterned and patternless percussion elements, deep rumblings, and simulated vocalizations to generate haunting soundscapes. He loops aspects of these sounds to create hypnogogic and modestly catchy harmonies – for example, Hypnosis has a repeating trance-like synth pattern accompanied by abstract radio noises and electroacoustics. The Visitors combines slowly-oscillating yet massive waves of sound with aleatoric percussion and effects in a cinematic fashion. Other tracks utilize sequenced arrangements with undulating chords, subtle beats with otherworldly tones, and airy layers with machine sounds of non-human origin.

Each of these pieces is relatively short at between 4 and 7 minutes, and has its own distinctive character. Given the above description, any fan of disturbing ambient, dark drones with strange post-industrial sounds, or modern takes on Kosmiche music will find plenty to like here.

Ultimately, like all reports of supernatural findings subjected to scientific scrutiny, the abduction of the Hills was debunked (or, at least, the Hills were unable to provide convincing evidence of its truth). But one does not have to be a believer in order to enjoy all kinds of media that explore these concepts. Thus, in the grand tradition of speculative science fiction, Yuleman explores fantastical ideas – in this case giving such inquiries a concrete and enjoyable musical grounding.

Hours Lost came out on August 26 on the ZeroK label, a subsidiary of the Unexplained Sounds Group.

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