Hieroglyphic Being – ‘Reel Torque: Volume 1’ Cassette [Reel Torque]

Second time in as many days that we’re talking about almost gone releases – blink and you missed it styles – so apologies in advance if you’re chasing this one down. Needed to share this though, as I was fortunate to get my hands on one of these live mixes from Hieroglyphic Being, a limited cassette released as the first in a new imprint / series titled Reel Torque.

Here also seems as good a time as any to step in to the cassette debate realm. It’s always going to be wax love for us; vinyl first and foremost for format, collection and quality. That said, the increasing number of damaged plates coming in at over 10 pounds as standard is starting to get embarrassing. Remember when records were limited to 1000? Then 750? 500? 300? And now 150 even. Lesser quantity pushes up prices and quality down, and the result has been great releases coming out in smaller quantities on the more cost-effective cassette solution. And while Jamal Moss aka Hieroglyphic Being could release on any format and it would be gone by daybreak and sound dope, the circumstances surrounding the industry have re-ignited my love of tape, and this format definitely suits the raw sound of Hieroglyphic Being live.

Reel Torque: Volume 1 was recorded at the Endless Race at Newcastle upon Tyne, the closing night of 2012’s Tusk Festival. Although not specified on on this mix, as standard Hieroglyphic Being blends his decks with analogue gear instead of a standard turntable and mixer set up, creating his own edits live and on the go. Here he mixes in his soul, disco and Chicago house flavours with varying hardness from the acid side of things. There’s 45 minutes on each side of the cassette in which he swings backwards and forwards across the 4/4 genres, but always comes back to an acid house and techno core. A bit different to the afrobeat, house and jazz base that some of his top mixes are known for, but nonetheless mind-blowingly good. There’s a reason he’s one of our favourite all time DJs and producers, don’t sleep on the man’s output.

Complimenting his mixes is rather difficult in words, as Hieroglyphic Being is the master of live selection and going off vibes, as opposed to sticking to the same bpm and style for consistent blocks. A lot of veteran DJs criticise the style – but never the selections – until they see him go live, and watch how he seems to be flowing the mix on a totally separate level. Maybe it’s the nostalgia but theis mix in this format, all rough and ready like the man’s mixing style, but this tape really captures the primitive raw-dance spirituality of a Hieroglyphic Being live set.

The full package is great. The sleeve by Savwo is wicked, and with the hand-stamped cardboard on the pink cassette it’s a quality aesthetic they got happening.

No previews for this one, you’ll have to trust in us and Hieroglyphic Being and track yourself down a copy.

via Boomkat
**Limited Edition Pink C90 cassette with J-card design & illustration by Savwo, housed in a hand-stamped outer sleeve** Reel Torque is a new mixtape label administered by our staunch pals behind Manchester’s Faktion events and clubnights. This first issue is an extract of a warts-‘n-all recording of Chicago’s dancefloor mystic, Hieroglyphic Being, captured in full flight on 06/10/2012 at Endless Race, the closing party for Newcastle’s Tusk festival, on a now-legendary European tour which saw him turn a practically sober monday night crowd in Manchester into mind-blown, sweat-drenched devotees for life (a recording of said night was attempted, and failed due to cosmic intervention). Recorded at the start of his fateful voyage, this tape starts with a true baptism of acid fire, overdriven tae f**k and intended to separate casual listeners from the freaks. Soon enough the fader’s cut to classic disco and continues to swerve between Jamal’s own, precious edits of new wave, boogie, earliest house and warehouse acids without a pause for breath. You’ll never come close to fully capturing the vibe of Hieroglyphic Being in situ, towering over the decks, eyes in the back-of-his-head and swaying like a cult leader preaching jakk gospel, but we reckon this performance comes close. Warning: if you’re a DJ pedant, or can’t handle a bit of grit on yer biscuit, you need not apply. This one is for the reeel freeeks only!