Pitchfork (Website) - "[E]ight tracks of Moss and Reusse at their most unrelenting and there's a coarseness to every texture that at times might make you mistakenly think it was just slapped together. Yet the frequent references to Egyptology suggest a greater thought at work...it becomes mesmerizing."
Illustrator: Paolo Parisi.
Africans with Mainframes is a long-running project of Chicago-based experimental house artist Jamal Moss (best known as Hieroglyphic Being) along with the considerably less prolific Noleian Reusse. The duo have released numerous 12" EPs of bizarre acid house since the early 2000s, but their 2016 full-length debut, K.M.T., is easily their biggest and most bugged-out statement yet. As with everything Moss does, these tracks were captured in real time using analog equipment, and they avoid clinical precision in favor of gut feelings and ruthless experimentation. Most of these tracks are lengthy and relentless, pounding away through thick layers of distortion for eight to 12 minutes at a time. While they pump everything to the max so that it seems like there's no room to breathe, they still manage to find a way to sneak in some subtle variations. Opener "Anachronistic" has an unbelievably caustic distorted kick drum, which frequently cuts out only to slam back in, making everything even more intense. "Negroid Spinx" (the album's shortest cut) also plays with similar pacing, cutting the beats out so the acid synths can shimmer for a moment and then snapping back to the beat. "Qustul Artifacts" is a surprising kosmische ambient track, pairing shimmering arpeggios with static, and then it's back to the jarring kick drums and laser-like synths. The title track is a bit slower, but its somewhat snotty melody and giant, erratic kick drums assure that the track isn't lightweight. Final track "Meroitic Script" was entirely recorded in reverse, so the beats and bubbling acid synths rush at you like a tidal wave for its ten-minute duration. K.M.T. is the most exhilarating acid house album in ages. ~ Paul Simpson