Hieroglyphic Being - The Seer of Cosmic Visions
- David Pollock
- 19 September 2014
New album from Jamal Moss is winning combination of raw, rhythmic, primal dancefloor afro-futurism
He hails from Chicago, Illinois, but don’t confuse Jamal Moss with your regular epochal house producer. Despite an early initiation to electronic music listening to Ron Hardy at the city’s seminal Music Box club, Moss is just as influenced by the freeform space-jazz of Sun Ra and his Arkestra, and it shows in his ferociously diverse productions. This record is a compilation of his back catalogue (he’s recorded for labels like Clone and Klang Elektronik, but most commonly for his own Mathematics Recordings), and it’s the perfect primer for his sound.
What’s most surprising about the nine tracks on the record isn’t their wilful diversity, but rather how well the collection hangs together perfectly as a set. It opens on the title track, which begins with a thumping bass line that surely wouldn’t have sounded out of place on the dancefloor at Tresor in the early ‘90s, but Moss takes it to new and thrilling places with a synthesised wind tunnel effect which gives the track a hypnotic funk.
Similarly, ‘How Wet is UR Box’ isn’t as abysmal as the title suggests, but still manages to be a little oppressive in its repetitive crunch. ‘Space is the Place’ calls out Sun Ra itself, a murmuring pocket symphony of glitch electronica, while later tracks like ‘Letters From the Edge’, ‘A Genre Sonique’ and ‘134340 Pluto’ get even deeper into this combination of raw, rhythmic, primal dancefloor afro-futurism and an almost playful experimentation with instrumental melody and jazz structures. The whole hugely distinctive effect serves to play music with an evocative air of techno classicism and the beats to match, yet one whose structures find plenty of space in which listeners away from the dancefloor will find new sounds to explore.