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- Zero Hour by Interplanetary Prophets
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I've been following Jamal Moss's (Hieroglyphic Being, The Sun God, I.B.M , IAMTHATIAM) etc. output for many years. He's probably one of my current favourite producers. Not every track he does hits the spot for me but when he's on the money I think he's untouchable. I've seen him perform live on one occasion and it blew my dome right off. I've also caught him DJ'ing twice and he's like no other DJ you're ever likely to encounter. DJ snobs would be cringing at the way he throws plates onto the decks, clashing beats mixing up Ron Hardy edits, classic acid house, re-editing stuff like Plastikman's 'Spastik' on the fly, throwing in EBM, New-wave, NYC disco etc. He's all over the place. It's arguable whether this is simply bad DJ skills or being cutting edge/ avant-garde. It depends on your perspective, but regardless he gets those bodies moving and into a sweaty frenzy. His output is fairly relentless with appearances on Klang, Gigolo, Spectral, Interdimensional Transmissions, Djax, Frantic Flowers, Bio Rhythm etc. (I could go on). Not to forget his own Mathematics Recordings who also embrace other artists plus his own Mathematics offshoot +++ which releases some real raw shit. If you can get hold of those records then grab them as they are mind blowing. Incidentally the artwork for this is totally inspired by the +++ hand stamped DIY aesthetic.
Daniel Martin McCormick (Mi Ami, Sex Worker) has been producing as Ital since around 2011 I think. He's made some good tracks and done a few bits already for Planet Mu. Some of his tunes have been heavily inspired by Jamal's productions, bordering on plagiarism you could say but hey Jamal’s productions are inspirational so it's fair game I guess. Prior to this release they have both appeared on the same record with Hieroglyphic Being remixing Ital's 'Culture Club' on the Lovers Rock label but this is the first time they have collaborated in the studio proper. This has come as a result of a live performance at the Unsound Festival in 2012.
So what we have here are three tracks edited down from studio jams. I'm not sure about Daniel's working methods but this seems to be the route Jamal preferrers and he keeps his shit RAW, even recording to video tape!
First up is 'Burning Chrome' a dense rugged sci-fi techno extravaganza with lush chords and skittering rhythms and despite the rough edges manages to include some soulful warm sounds but it does really feel like a sketch rather than a fully realised and refined track but then that was expected.
'Zero Hour' has a touch of post-punk electronics with Jamal making a rare vocal appearance complete with effects adding a sinister atmosphere with barely decipherable phrases over an off kilter hypnotic beat and some manic bleeping and blooping.
Finally 'Running Out Of Time' dispenses the beats and wanders into slightly cosmic synth terrain with some bass pulses adding a darker edge.
On the first couple of listens I'm in no way blown away. I think things feel perhaps slightly confused and they're yet to find their footing in terms of working together, bearing in mind this is their first and perhaps a mere one off collaboration - but it's an interesting brew regardless but I'd like to hear them gaining a better understanding of how they both work as individuals and somehow translate that into something that could be some exciting times for the future of techno.
Good stuff no doubt but perhaps my expectations were a little too high for a project that's in it's infancy despite the experience of the characters involved. Still I’ll be adding it to the shelf and it has lots of potential to be a grower. Part of the reason Jamal’s productions took so long to gain recognition was simply because he was and still is ahead of the curve. I’m glad he’s finally getting his due after all these years. Hope to hear some more from this collaboration in the future.
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