Hieroglyphic Being – The Disco's Of Imhotep - 2016 Techno LP
Vinyl, LP, Album
Released: 05 Aug 2016
Style: House, Acid, Techno, Experimental
A1 The Shrine Of The Serpent Goddess 1:06
A2 Sepulchral Offerings 4:55
A3 Spiritual Alliances 4:33
A4 Heru 1:10
A5 Crocodile Skin 5:06
B2 The Way Of The Tree Of Life 5:13
B3 The Disco's Of Imhotep 4:27
B4 Nubian Energy 3:51
" Moss has genuine outsider credentials. Born in Chicago, he spent a period of the 1980s homeless, traded his TV for a pair of turntables touched by the hands of deep house godfather Ron Hardy, and played his first paying gigs as part of a sound therapy program, spinning records for the physically and mentally disabled. Moss is a direct link back to house mecca the Muzic Box—and through his interest in Afrofuturism, spirituality, and science fiction, his work offers a route forward, too.
By and large, Hieroglyphic Being’s music has been a little too roughshod and unusual to trouble the mainstream. But The Disco’s of Imhotep marks Moss’ long-playing debut for Ninja Tune (through their imprint Technicolour), his biggest label yet, and it finds him successfully squaring the circle. It’s his most approachable collection to date while not diluting his music’s signature oddity. Unlike last year’s collaborative LP We Are Not the First, which linked Moss with former Liturgy drummer Greg Fox and members ofSun Ra Arkestra for an improvised ensemble piece, The Disco’s of Imhotep is angled straight at the dancefloor. 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. Moss calls the style “synth expressionism” or “rhythmic cubism.”
On “Sepulchral Offerings,” melodies cascade from the skies, kickdrums morph and warp, and waves of hi-hat and cymbal swing into frame, veiled in distortion so they hiss like rattlesnakes. Moss’ productions often have the sense of being loosely tethered, their intricate layers barely clinging together. Here at least, though, the sense of slip and slide works beautifully; in jazz, they call this swing.
The other thing that Hieroglyphic Being has derived from jazz is his sense of mysticism, his music’s appeal to a sort of cosmic consciousness; the album’s title nods to an ancient Egyptian physician thought to have ascended to godhood. Moss discusses his songs not in the modern parlance of bangers and sick drops, but as “Frequencies and Vibrations...to Heal the Mind and Body and Enrich the Soul.” This is no puff. At its best, The Disco’s of Imhotepfeels spiritually nourishing. Ringing chimes and the tones of an unearthly choir glitter within the fabric of “The Way of the Tree of Life,” while “Spiritual Alliances” winds together gauzy synth soundbaths, G-funk melodies, and slappy percussion; it bumps along at a frisky 130bpm or thereabouts, but its predominant feel is one of beatific stasis.
Elsewhere, Moss lets a little chaos creep in. A brief interlude named “Heru” imagines the electric zither meditations of Laraaji’s Day of Radiance invaded by the sort of industrial beats favored by Shapednoise or Regis. “Nubian Energy” is a wild jackin' house that apparently lets several tape loops run concurrently, leading to a cacophony of clapping hands, shrieks of ecstasy, and a voice that deliciously repeats the words “Getting hot up in this motherfucker!” Still, here even grotty noise is turned to blissful ends: that tape hiss that runs through “The Shrine of the Serpent Goddess” wafts around like fine mist blowing off a waterfall." ( pitchfork)