Chicago-based electronic producer Jamal Moss is likely known to most readers for his outings under his Hieroglyphic Being alias, and he’s certainly a guy whose associations with the Chicago house scene go deep. Mentored in his early days by legendary producers Adonis and Steve Poindexter, Moss can probably count himself as one of the last producers out there directly influenced by Ron Hardy’s DJ sets at the Muzic Box, as well as the darker, more industrial-edged music favoured by Medusa’s, something that would lay down the seed that Chicago institutions like Wax Trax would grow further. Moss describes his parallel alias I.B.M. (Insane Black Man) as “post-industrial angst for urban environments”, and as its title suggests, this compilation ‘From The Land Of Rape And Honey’ sees him digging through shoeboxes of cassette tapes and minidiscs to collect together ten previously lost tracks.
Despite the title grab from Al Jourgensen and the fact that there’s even a track here titled ‘Ministry’, the tracks collected here sit closer to stripped-back, grinding and abrasive techno than anything approaching electro-industrial or EBM. Frequently there’s an emphasis upon relentlessly monotonous rhythms, with ‘2nd Soul Of The First Body’ sending an implacable kickdrum pulse thudding against a gathering web of gauzy atonal synth buzzes and tape distortion, the treated vocal fragments skittering through the grit offering the only hint of colour amongst the grey shades. ‘Tribal Retribution’ meanwhile sees snatches of field recorded tribal vocals fighting to be heard like some stray radio transmission amidst almost claustrophobic layers of crunching distorted polyrhythms and grinding abrasive textures.
Elsewhere though, ‘Babel’ makes more concessions to the dancefloor, sending a more spacious 4/4 kickdrum pulse rolling against jittery analogue synth arpeggios and clattering percussion fills, a streamlined trajectory nicely picked up by ‘Bless The Mission & Toil’s dry mechanical beats and eerily funky bassline – indeed, it’s the only moment here that suggests a possible Wax Trax influence. As you’d expect, there’s a frequently dirty sense of rawness to these tracks, with much of the material here resembling experimental studio jams more than anything else. That said, fans of stripped-back and industrial-edged analogue techno explorations will find much to enjoy here.