Listen: Hieroglyphic Being & The J.I.T.C. Ahn-Sahm-Bul – We Are Not The First


The enormous, dark shadow of Hieroglyphic Being expands, his frantic, fizzing, thumping fringes drift to absorb and frame the experimental free-jazz peals from his new, meticulously assembled group, the J.I.T.C. Ahn-Sahm-Bul. The pairing of Moss' stomping, methodic-in-its-chaos electronics and live, free-jazz improvisation by pillars of the experimental music and performance community (Sun-Ra Arkestra, Liturgy, Other Dimensions in Music) is an organic and complimentary fit, the vibrant, improvised colour splashed over the rolling, relentless black canvas that Moss constructs.

It evades labelling, each track masterfully adopting disparate genre tropes – it's never purely one thing or the other, the jazz elements are too prominent and responsive for it to be electronic music merely featuring a sax squeal or clarinet murmur, while the rhythms are wrong, the sequenced bassline at odds with the sensibilities of the genre to simply call it jazz. The growling, ominous, cranium-tapping bass burbles and growling drum rolls, the chilly vocals of Shelley Hirsh flutter and writhe from some distant netherworld, whilst the live, organic instruments drift in and out of the circuitry, quietly announcing themselves before launching into confident examples of their potential. The record dances from intensely agressive to ethereal and misty-eyed, terrifying to subdued to optimistic, all whilst remaining absolutely idiosyncratic with the strong scent of Moss.

It's tone calls to mind recent work by Afrikan Sciences and Co La's collaborative, improvised 'Lifted 1' project with Gigi Massin and Max D, released on PAN earlier this year. Obviously comparisons to Sun Ra are unavoidable, while in parts the dischordant, challenging, dense energy of the tracks lean towards metal/prog groups – the Mars Volta perhaps. 'Three Days More' sounds a bit like Bjork singing across Massive Attack's 'Paradise Circus', before it unravels into a cosmic improvisation session.

It's more than the sum of it's parts. 'Super-group' is word that is tired and twee and struggles to even approach doing this project justice. All I can come up with is 'power-unit'. Which is shocking. (You're Fired – Ed.)

In all seriousness it's properly dark and incredibly detailed. 30th October sees its release via RVNG Intl., as a limited edition double LP, CD or across a load of digital platforms. No excuses.