Hieroglyphic Being - The Disco's Of Imhotep (Technicolour) 1

Hieroglyphic Being – The Disco’s Of Imhotep (Technicolour)

We have been made to believe that electronic sounds are just for Movement, Enlightenment, Primal Afflictions and Entertainment purposes, but it’s much more… It’s Sound Healing, but the ancestors would call it Frequency Medicine. Medicine is Healing and this project is dedicated to one of Earth’s first Healers: High Priest Imhotep.”

Good old Imhotep. Quite what the ancient Egyptian polymath would make of being coopted into the philosophy behind a record that is brutally efficient on a 21st-century dancefloor remains anyone’s guess. He was certainly eclectic in his areas of expertise so perhaps cutting a rug would nestle in quite comfortably. Next to the sculpting and all-round nobleman-type behaviours, why not?

Putting such musings aside, what is true is that this Chicago record by Hieroglyphic Being, aka Jamal Moss, on the excellent Ninja Tune offshoot Technicolour is powerful, rough, and ready to batter the nearest club into submission. It’s polished but also manages to hold onto a raucous grit across all its four to floor thumpers. It may have an idea of music as a great healer but, to these ears at least, it’s primarily a collection of rather large and rather excellent house tunes. House tunes at the decidedly deep and quality end of the spectrum, even if they are rudely hectic and energetic. Chart fodder this is not, thankfully.

The creator of The Disco’s Of Imhotep is an eclectic fellow. Equally at home performing free jazz as electronic music, whilst also finding time to work with Marshall Allen, the current Sun Ra Arkestra bandleader. Coming out of the windy city and influenced by the likes of Ron Trent – creator of the most classic of classics ‘Altered States‘ – has clearly not shackled him to one genre. However, this album is defiantly for a dark dancefloor near you and defiantly Chicago. Moody and eerie synths orbit around crushing drum machines with those familiar and timeless patterns. The title track pulls in some electronic pulses from up the road in Detroit, but then the interaction between those two great cities, house music and techno, has always been fertile.

It’s hard and cosmic stuff. Most definitely disco for the now and not a retro sound, despite the inspiration and indeed, the title. Refreshing in how uncompromising it is whilst still easily finding its place within the pantheon. Not hard to hear the influence of mentor Steve Poindexter who was equally bludgeoning in his approach to making people dance. Whether one buys into the holistic stuff surrounding music in general and the album, in particular, is one thing, what is unavoidable is that a track like ‘Crocodile Skin‘ is pretty much guaranteed to rattle you onto the dancefloor. Rolling bassline, borderline distorted percussion and disorientating pulses drifting above it all. Stick in a strangely uplifting and ethereal atmosphere and it’s all rather excellent. An easy place in any quality house or techno set. Indeed equally appropriate for generating steam out your ears at home.

Very high quality, original house music that moves the genre along whilst acknowledging its heritage and the pedigree of its influences. Amongst a slew of records that are enjoyable but offer not much new to the movement, The Disco’s Of Imhotep is a joy. Startling but also not avant-garde for the sake of it. It has a soul about it without ever being explicit. A soul that speaks of the urban landscape, for good and ill. It works on all levels and is a welcome addition to the soundtrack of 2016. In tumultuous times, perhaps music can be the healer after all.

The Disco’s Of Imhotep is released on 5th August 2016 through Technicolour.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.