“One of the ironies about the recent “outsider house” wave—a faddish piece of dance music terminology to describe any club music that is self-consciously lo-fi or rhythmically off-kilter—is that its practitioners, being mostly straight white males, were rather more insider than those who built house music in the first place. You could not accuse Jamal Moss of this. The music Moss produces as Hieroglyphic Being—and under a variety of pseudonyms and collaborative ventures including the Sun God or Africans With Mainframes—shares an interest in degraded sonic textures and damaged rhythms. But 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 of Sun 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.” — via Pitchfork
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