Pitchfork (Website) - "At its root, it's four-to-the-floor club music, but of a fluid and organic nature, too wild to be corralled into a Pro Tools grid."
Since he began releasing music during the mid-'90s, Jamal Moss (best known as Hieroglyphic Being, among several other pseudonyms and collaborative ventures) has been restlessly prolific, with dozens of EPs and full-lengths appearing via his own Mathematics Recordings as well as highly regarded labels such as Spectral Sound and Soul Jazz Records. The Chicago native's experimental house sound is equally informed by the interplanetary jazz of Sun Ra as well as his city's industrial scene, and his spontaneous recordings, while often danceable, always defy the conventions of dance music. Released in 2016, The Disco's of Imhotep is his first full-length for Technicolour (a Ninja Tune sublabel focused on experimental house 12"s), and it provides a good entry point for listeners who have yet to dive into his overwhelmingly vast, usually brilliant catalog. Considering how sprawling and lengthy many of Hieroglyphic Being's full-lengths are, the album seems considerably more restrained at only 33 minutes. His tracks generally don't seem to have clear beginnings or endings, as they feel like brief snapshots of moments in time, and with all of these tracks clocking in at five minutes or less, they seem more excerpted than his usual albums. This just means that what's included is incredibly potent, however, and nearly every cut here is exhilarating. Unlike Moss' previous 2016 full-length, K.M.T. (the debut album by his long-running duo Africans with Mainframes), most of the tracks on Imhotep aren't punishingly noisy, but there are several tracks that nonetheless include heavily distorted kick drums. "Spiritual Alliances" tucks in some lush organ chords along with its siren-like synth melody and buzzing bass. It's incredibly detailed, yet it sounds free and easy. "Sepulchral Offerings" is more intense, piling on several layers of bumpy beats and sparkling, stargazing synth melodies while never sounding cluttered, which is impressive given how rough and lo-fi it sounds. The title track submerges everything in a gorgeous layer of echo, and the playful "Nubian Energy" ends the album with several layers of strange looped voices and handclaps under a thick, hissy beat. The release does an excellent job of touching on several facets of Moss' personality, and will most certainly encourage newcomers to seek out as many of his other recordings as possible. ~ Paul Simpson