Album of the Day: Hieroglyphic Being, “The Disco’s of Imhotep”

We’re just now turning the stone on Chicago’s Jamal Moss, aka Hieroglyphic Being. He’s starting to get the critical acclaim he deserves, despite a prolific career that spans 20 years. The Mathematics Recordings founder and electronic producer released two painstakingly-crafted LPs in 2015: the stunning The Acid Documents on London’s Soul Jazz Records, and the chilling large-ensemble spiritual expression of We Are Not the First, which featured Liturgy’s Greg Fox and members of Sun Ra’s Arkestra. A groundswell of verbose press clippings followed, a WIRE cover, a Resident Advisor film feature, and so on.

On The Disco’s of Imhotep, Moss’s fever-streak resumes with a brief 9-track consolidation of what feels like a bookend to The Acid Documents. What it lacks in length it gains in directness; while The Acid Documents was prone to leftfield passages of experimentalism, Disco’s feels poised and charged for attack. Punishingly raw bass drum blasts, laced with bleak synths, resound in a spiritual matrix. The clanging hardwares and industrial tones relent very little, but it reveals a strangely soulful and sinewy kind of emotional viscera.

Moss is an inspiring, consummate force in experimental music, a rich human spirit seeking emotional solace through his work. Dance and movement offer emotional healing, and Moss’ arrival at such a dynamic hybrid of ideas on The Disco’s of Imhotep is a great gift, but also a compelling cause for working back to the beginning.

Joseph Darling

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