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Current Wire magazine front cover artist Hieroglyphic Being’s debut album for Soul Jazz - The Acid Documents - is an album made up of tracks first released last year only ever available in a bespoke edition of 100 copies (yes 100) – in the form of a homemade CD-R – made exclusively for the Sounds of the Universe record store.

This album is now released officially as a one-off edition of 1000 copies on coloured double vinyl, CD and digital, fully remastered with artwork by Japanese artist 2Yang.

Hieroglyphic Being, aka Jamal Moss - who features on the front cover of Wire magazine’s current issue – is a DJ/composer/sound artist who makes pioneering, experimental, boundary-pushing Afro-futurist electronic music.

Born and based in Chicago, Moss’s music embodies two of the cultural foundation blocks of the city’s musical lineage; that of Chicago’s original Acid House sound (c. 1986), that of Frankie Knuckles, Phuture, Marshall Jefferson et al, alongside a rigorous experimental sound searching that taps into the cosmic musical lineage of pioneering artist Sun Ra whose Arkestra landed and was based in the city from 1946-61.

This association with Sun Ra is by no means hypothetical, having just been in the studio with the Arkestra leader Marshall Allen and a host of free jazz players for the album Hieroglyphic Being & JITU Ahn-Sahm-Buhl’s ‘We Are Not The First.’

Similarly his relationship to Chicago’s original acid house pioneers of the late 80s is no hyperbole. Originally menotored by artist/producers Adonis and Steve Pointdexter, Moss also now runs his own Mathematics label which has released music by foundation acid house pioneers Lil’ Louis, Adonis and many others. To quote Moss, ‘I am the last of the line of producers directly influenced by Ron Hardy (the pioneering acid house DJ) at the Music Box.’

Moss grew up in the south side of Chicago. After being thrown out of the home of his adoptive parents, he then spent three years homeless living on the streets of Chicago, living a nocturnal existence as a gigolo in Chicago’s alternative clubs. He began his career as a DJ at the pioneering Liquid Love parties at Chi-town’s legendary Power House (home of Ron Hardy’s MusicBox) around 1989.

What clearly defines Moss’s music is that while sometimes pushing the limits of sound to an ear-splitting dimension of experimentation and DIY-electronics – the music is always clearly a progression of the lineage of black music. In the words of fellow Chicagoans, The Art Ensemble of Chicago, it is simply ‘Great Black Music.’ And yet in this uniquely defined sound, Moss somehow manages to draw into this world elements of industrial music, German electronic music (Cluster, Harmonia etc), Detroit’s sci-fi techno artists (Atkins, Saunderson, Craig) and more.


(The second Hieroglyphic Being album on the new label, under his moniker Africans with Mainframes, will be released on Soul Jazz Records in January 2016)

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