Jamal Moss will return to the Sequencias label for a forthcoming release under the Sun God banner.
Electronic music virtuoso Hieroglyphic Being – real name Jamal Moss – will release a new album in February 2013 entitled Imaginary Concepts.
It’s a windy London afternoon and Jamal Moss emerges from his hotel on The Strand, introduces himself and emits the kind of bellowing laugh that immediately puts you at ease. I didn’t know what to expect from the Chicago born producer, DJ and label boss best known as Hieroglyphic Being; email correspondence prior to our meeting was brief and to the point, and I half imagined our conversations to be as awkward and confronting as his discography.
The superbly titled “Cosmic Bebop” marks an outstanding and typically singular return to Rabih Beaini’s Morphine Records for Hieroglyphic Being.
Raibi Beini’s Morphine Records will turn to Jamal Moss – aka Hieroglyphic Being – for their next release.
With Caribou’s massive remix of Virgo Four’s “It’s A Crime” being undoubtedly one of 2011’s best and it must be said, ubiquitous tracks, it was always going to be difficult for Rush Hour to follow it up. Wisely, Rush Hour’s choices for this second round of remixes tread the slightly more esoteric side of house, sidestepping any attempt at trying to strike gold twice. Of course this doesn’t mean that these remixes from Capracara & Scott Fraser and Hieroglyphic Being respectively should be read as failures; if anything their dark qualities highlight the fact that, although undeniably effective, there was actually something slightly naïve about Caribou’s remix.
Not Not Fun, the backwards glancing Los Angeles label run with a DIY ethos by Amanda Brown, has secured its spot in the zeitgeist thanks to continual references from Simon Reynolds ahead of his new book Retromania, most notably a central feature in a recent editon of The Wire magazine. The unexpected emergence of Not Not Fun offshoot imprint 100% Silk has been one of this year’s more pleasant surprises, unveiling deliciously oddball, lo fi deviations on the house and disco template from the likes of Maria Minerva, Cuticle, Gillette and Ital.
The latter breaks free here with a superlative release on Lovers Rock that comes backed with added incentive to investigate in the shape of a Hieroglyphic Being remix. “Culture Clubs” could be viewed as the natural successor to the shimmering house pulse of “One Hit” from Ital’s Theme, with Ital, aka Daniel Martin-McCormick, demonstrating an elegantly intricate approach to dizzying shifts in rhythmic direction throughout. Spread across a delicately stripped down array of percussive touches, the increasingly schizoid directions the melding of chords and strings take have a truly narcotic effect.
McCormick employs similar pitch shifting methods on “Eternally Yours” though this track discards with the shimmering melodics – in its place is raw, beatdown Detroit house with tinny, downwards glancing, stunted rhythms at the fore whilst stretched out vocals cascade around the nether regions. Never quite finding a natural groove, instead the track uneasily shifts, accruing increasingly abstract intentions as it progresses.
Given the esoteric sounds that permeate through every Mathematics release, label boss Jamal Moss aka Hieroglyphic Being seems a perfect fit to invite on board for remix duties and his resultant remix of “Culture Clubs” is typically unique. We’re not entirely sure what studio techniques Moss employed to get the viscous stretched out qualities that pervade the oddly Caribbean sounding results, but it’s reminiscent of listening to a sped up loop of the recent Andy Stott LP whilst drowning in hallucinogenics and sitting through season one of Twin Peaks.
Jamal Moss freely admits he has never been in the now or the know. The Chicago based producer has been making singular house and techno under a range of aliases – most notably as Hieroglyphic Being, IAMTHATIAM, and the Sun God – for well over a decade. The nature of his work, often complex and experimental, may have prevented mainstream recognition but has earned him a cult status in the underground. And his beloved Mathematics label, first launched in 1996 but only truly prolific in the past five years, has provided the perfect platform for Moss to launch his sound on inquisitive ears. And it’s that sound, borne of a tough, lonely upbringing, instilled with the DIY ethos, and gritty yet strangely beautiful, that sums up the man himself. His approach to music – and life – is at once complex and simple, full of wonderful contradictions. A man neither in the now or the know, indeed, but Jamal Moss wouldn’t have it any other way.