A number of years ago we heard Jamal Moss‘ aka Hieroglyphic Being “Sample/Pattern” mix and pretty much lost it. A tribute to OG Chicago DJ Ron Hardy, “Sample/Pattern” was recorded on two belt-drive turntables, analog equipment and an old Gemini disco mixer. This could have been a nod to cruddier times, a kind of cocky “we knew you when,” but instead the mix is completely transformed by its dark wash, all the tracks—even the immediately recognizable and soulful—faded in Moss’ hands. As the mix continues, he builds further into dark spaces, eventually removing whatever borders he had reigned himself in with and plays a bugged out, thoroughly in-the-red version of Nitzer Ebb’s “Join in the Chant,” which sounds genuinely frightening, overblown man repetitively yelling “Guns!”, “Fire!” and “Lies!” Since that monumental mix (which you should seek out, it’s around), we’ve heard very little from Moss, aside from mentions of him as being “enigmatic.” Our dance music column, Heal Yourself and Move, has occasionally mentioned Moss and his label Mathematics, but only briefly. Moss and his giant dreadlocks (and weird JNCO ninja outfit), seemed to be mostly afloat in lost electronic artist land until the last year or so when he began to release record after record. Bringing him into a full light is the ever-reliable Resident Advisor, who made Mathematics their label of the month, interviewing Moss about his sudden productive upswing and commissioning a new mix from him. They also get him to reveal why his first record was so good: “My ex-girlfriend, who I was dating at that period of time in my life. Because the sex was really that damn good. It made me get up in the morning and hit those drum machines.” Apparently, the Being is human after all. Catch him in New York this weekend if you’re around.
Download: Hieroglyphic Being, Mathematics Mix