Hieroglyphic Nubian - Sounds of the Future
A few Saturday's ago I saw Sun Ra Arkestra play in all their cosmic glory at the packed out Barbican Centre, London. Though Sun Ra himself is dead, his presence was strongly felt via the ensembles loyal sound and via the weird and wonderful projections of the man himself surrounded by soupy visuals, shapeshifting colours and astral lights filling up the large hall walls. I found myself in the front row and was engrossed for both the band's wild sets. The highlight of the night came as the Arkestra wandered out into the aisles in a sort of jazz-spaceman-samba procession.
Another highlight of the evening came via the surreal sounds provided by DJ, Hieroglyphic Nubian who performed in the Barbican bar area during the show's interval. Hieroglyphic Nubian AKA Jamal Moss has long been part of the Chicago house/techno scene and draws deep inspiration from free-wheeling jazz and experimental music. Stood behind large decks and mixing desk he delivered a thick wall of sound and intricately mixed samples that wound their way from rare vintage vinyl finds to distorted contemporary beats. The effect was enveloping - abstract sounds pieced together amid a soundscape of booming reverb and buzzing white noise. Hieroglyphic Being's sound is dubbed 'Afro-Futurism' and that is probably the best way to to describe his far-out style - boundary-pushing Sun Ra would have approved for sure, and was probably looking down on the occasion from some inter-galactic otherworld, clicking his fingers in time.
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