Hieroglyphic Being The Disco’s of Imhotep Technicolour
Avant-garde electronic music is frequently in thrall to the spiritual abandon and healing resonance of sound. Even then Chicago producer Jamal Moss operates on a higher plane. Though ostensibly an experimentalist working within the parameters of techno, abstract house and jazz, his music is even more singular than that would imply. Moss prefers to describe it as ‘synth expressionism’ and ‘rhythmic cubism’ shot through with a cosmic take on Nubian heritage.
In practice, his music is a kind of danceable noise; highly melodic but mesmeric in its stilted structures and proclivity for blown-red distorted kicks and frequency abuse, as evinced in his euphoric, occasionally difficult live sets. The Disco’s of Imhotep is, in part, one of his more accessible recent releases, a concise nine-tracker indebted to the spirit of the titular Egyptian demigod and healer.
As with almost everything Moss throws out – and there’s a lot of it – …Imhotep is great, and frequently sublime. The languid temple shimmer of The Shrine of the Serpent Goddess quickly gives way to Sepulchral Offerings’s arpeggiated backbone and iridescent stabs of synth. From there on in we’re served a consistent offering of acid squelch, 4/4 ballast and harmonious flutters, drifting down from the firmament and up from the Delta. Crocodile Skin and the title track’s superlative muddling of these are highpoints, but Nubian Energy, with its louche, barely comprehensible vocal samples and lo-fi sub-bass, rounds things off on a gloriously unnerving note.