Category Archives: Hieroglyphic Being

Norbert Wiener FTW

Featuring : Hieroglyphic Being

norbert wiener

“Let us remember that the automatic machine is the precise economic equivalent of slave labour. Any labour which competes with slave labour must accept the economic consequences of slave labour.” (Norbert Wiener, 1948).

Many smart people are getting worried about the implications of growing machine intelligence: will the robots take our jobs? What happens when we lose control over the complex systems on which our society and economy rely, things like energy or finance? What will these machine intelligences do about us if they ever acquire sentience and agency?

These worries are not new. They go back to the initial bouts of automation of the first and second industrial revolutions. They were however articulated most precisely, and in a way that connects more strongly to the situation today by the father of cybernetics, Nortbert Wiener, in a prescient response to early computers.1

Cybernetics, by setting machines in the wider context of the human, social systems with which they interface, provides an answer to the challenges of automation: to build systems that integrate machines and humans in a way that enhances human capabilities: we go from AI to IA (Intelligence Amplification).


The Hieroglyphic Being & J.I.T.U. Ahn-Sahm-Buhl We Are Not The First collaboration recently released by RVNG International provides an excellent illustration of what we are talking about. Listen to the aptly named Cybernetics is an Old Science, where the boundaries between human and machines in this Ahn-Sahm-Buhl dissolve in a chaotic melange from which wild, exhilarating order emerges.

Hieroglyphic Being’s legendary techno scrunch skips and rattles with disciplined unpredictability. Free jazz winds glide and soar like birds of fire and human intuition one moment, metal angels in a Richard Brautigan fantasy the next.

We experience futuristic visions of man-machine symbiosis where the machines overwhelm us not to create a grey goo of homogeneity, but extreme, baroque expressions of our own subconscious, like a non-apocalyptic version of Tetsuo in Akira, or the bio-technological fairy-tale palace gone sick Nostalgia For Infinity spaceship in Alisdair Reynold’s Revelation Space sequence.

Physical constrains to creativity are removed, and the absolute levels of freedom in the universe increase. We can’t wait.

Hieroglyphic Being and the J.I.T.U. Ahn-Sahm-Buhl – Cybernetics Is An Old Science

Acquire We Are Not The First from RVNG International.



(Painting by Phil Ashcroft found via But Does it Float?)

So what is it about the music of Hieroglyphic Being & Holly Herndon that impels us to break away from the safety of our darken cave and into the transportation system of the Great Londinian sprawl, under a blizzard, into Shoreditch and back, past waves of humans with whom our ability to communicate face to face appears impaired, and with them, perhaps too long if the transportation system cracks under the weight of the snow as usual, and we end our night trapped in Victoria station or one of the carriages of Southern Railway, frozen, pondering on the pros and cons of doing with one of the happy revellers on the way back home what Han Solo did with that tauntaun1, what is it about this music that would drive the 20JFG to risk their social standing, dignity and sanity, what is it?

It is the same thing that draws us to bask in the shadows of the lean architectures erected by science fiction writers, visionaries, world-makers & seers – a sense of uncanny-ness (this which we see rising above us – this buzzing edifice which looks like a cathedral but is a brain or a node in an information network or a megabertha galactic-range rail-gun for a marine unit warring against our singularised children – is not of our world) and verisimilitude (for these thing could exist, indeed, are deduced or intuited with the logic of necessity from whatever materials those creators supply us).

Forget the shock of the new, these things – and this music- jolts us with the shock of the other, or the beyond, hallucinations of digital universes which were not invented, but discovered by computer scientists, songs which are so realistically alien we suspect are not produced by geniuses harnessing the processing power of the machines, but by whatever units of agency exist within the machines harnessing the expressive power of the mediums/media, to make contact with us, tell us what it’s like over there, and what it’s going to be like over here – like McLuhan said, true artists bridge our biological inheritance and our technological future. The sense of that in HB & HH’s music is overpowering – this is out kind of thing for sure.

More pragmatically, and from the standpoint of our future survival & career prospects, this trip is part of the process through which we acclimatise ourselves to the digitised weirdness & abstract riddim of the contemporary cyborg economy, practice the language of our new binary peers, & throw the shapes of things to come, creating shadows in that parallel platonic cave where the algorithms do their thing, party hard & wonder about humanity.

Is that reason enough for you? The question for you is: why aren’t you going?

Holly Herndon – Fade (NHK remix)

This NHK remix has been doing the rounds but we don’t care, it’s an awesome replicant boogie that everyone should dance because no-one can be 100% sure he or she is one. Go & get the higher bit-rate version from RVNG’s bandcamp.

Hieroglyphic Being – A Romance of Two Planet 

(Which is a much better summary of what we wanted to say above, wordlessly – or at least that’s what you thinl; you can find it at the Lost Transmission 12 (buy)).

We understand there are still a few tickets at the door at the Basing House tonight. More info at the Facebook page for the event.


1- Mental note, put that lightsaber in the backpack.

Pop physics

Where we resolve the information paradox (i.e. causality potentially being messed up by the scrambling effects of black holes) by describing a process where quantitative information loss in one part of the galaxy is compensated with qualitative information gain in a different part, thanks to the wilful arts of creativity, artistry and intellectual achievement of mankind and other sentient species that you have not yet met. Quantum pipelines, akin to the much-vaunted ‘wormholes’ channel ur-info from event horizons into dreams, reveries, visitations from the muses and eureka moments that spark the expressive act through which consciousness strikes back at entropy.  One ironic aspect of our theory is that some of the key breakthroughs in theoretical physics and the study of black holes have been inspired by black holes themselves! Ha!

Look ma, it’s all solved, and no mentions of Buddhist philosophy!

This is a highly speculative hypothesis that we have started exploring by analysing correlations between black hole instances and creative happenings in Planet Earth. The two exhibits below appear to be linked to GCIRS 13E, a middleweight black hole located close to the centre of the Milky Way

We have sent the draft of the paper where we set all of this out to the editors at Physica. We still haven’t heard back from them, fingers crossed.

In ‘Dreams de Illusionaries’, total electronic legend and recent xxjfg interviewee Hieroglyphic Being summarises his trip to an alien world in a future machine jazz cruiser, including his attendance at an academic conference where cephalopod savants explored the philosophical, theological and metaphysical implications of living in a world that is a beach through telepatholographic projections and mahavishnuan psychic riffarama. Corollary: if Planet Earth was a beach, all music would be as abstractedly beautiful as this, and there would be no wars.

Hieroglyphic Being – Dreams de Illusionaires

As included in the 2005 Liquid Sex EP, in Ghostly International.

The very excellent Sam Wander blew our proverbial argyle socks at Yes Way when he played a song from Drums off Chaos (Jaki Liebezeit’s percussion ensemble) and Jens-Uwe Beyer ‘Magazine 3’. In this album, they channel the millennial wisdom of a shaman who stares into the sky and sees the future instead of the past, because the gods are up there, and through the rituals codified in this music, the tribe eventually becomes them. It evokes an alternative branching in the life-story of Gang Gang Dance, where, after God’s Money, they decided to kneel at the altar of DRUM with the Boredoms, instead of trotting down the shining path to become the best dance music band in the world.  It’s incredible stuff either way, which we strongly advise you to enjoy in the wider context of the album, that you can acquire here.

Drums off Chaos and Jens-Uwe Beyer – Second Half

I Can’t Kick This Feeling When It Hits: Tracks+ Interviews from Mi Ami

Featuring : Hieroglyphic Being

20JFG doesn’t normally run interviews, but when they’re conducted especially for us by Daniel from Mi Ami (aka Ital) who are we to uphold the rules? Especially when they’re with the awe inspiring entity know as the Hieroglyphic Being, who is also giving 20JFG some exclusive new tracks, Does it get any better than this!? Over to you guys……..

Jamal Moss, aka Hieroglyphic Being, has been making outre house meltdowns longer than you’ve been aware of underground music in any regard. A protege of acid master Adonis and working out of Chicago since the late 80s, his mind-bending excursions into deep space have pushed house far beyond its too-frequent 303 squelch/gear fetish MO. Under various aliases and collaborations, Moss has plumbed the depths of the cosmic, ecstatic and transcendental, shying away from the spotlight in favor of a life submerged in a constant swirl of psychedelic expression. Beyond his own tracks, he tirelessly releases music by like-minded peers on his Mathematics label, with a roster that includes Steve Poindexter, John Heckle, Ministry, Marcello Napoletano and many more. He is interviewed here by Daniel Martin-McCormick, aka Ital (and also of Mi Ami), whose “Culture Clubs” he recently remixed. Moss also generously supplied 20JFG with two tracks which will be released on the Cura Sana Album CDR, edition of 77, 5.29.11.

Moss’ music often feels like a direct, unmediated connection with the mind and spirit of its creator – messy, strange, exciting and beautiful. Thankfully, this interview was no different.

Heiroglyphic Being – 1763 MHZ

Your music is very unique and definitely subverts a lot of ‘rules’ and genre tropes. Can you describe your artistic process a bit?

I don’t have a certain artistic approach  i just do it cause it’s the one thing i can control Sound Experimentation make it unique/Subvert rules & genres it’s a form of Meditation/Therapy for me hacking my code/matrix bringing harmony 2 oneself I use this one Artistic approach as a form of Sound Healing or Sonic therapy and i utilize certain Drum Modules/Field recorders/Synth’s as meds cause I’m not taking prozac or adiral 2 properly align my mind.

I heard about a show you played in DC where you only used two drum machines, a Boss and a Zoom, if I’m not mistaken.

Yes U are Not.

The way the Future Times guys told it, you worked out a bunch of patterns that morning, basslines and piano parts on the presets and then just let it rip, no midi cable or anything.

Yes i did 4 I Am The Midi & The Sync i Quantize from my mind & i sequence in real time ! I know that was way cheesy but i had 2, bwaahwaahaaaaaa.

Sounds crazy and awesome.

It is normal for most not all but some but yes it is Awesome but challenging.

Is this what your live show is always like?

Most of the time when i do it live i Compose most of the material  the same day or a few hours b-4 the performance and some times i will do beats on the fly in mid moment at a show for past 16 years. (ableton What ) please ?

Is it important to have things be raw and on-the-fly?

Very important you get a feel for the environment & people that you encounter and empathetically feedback or have a precognitive call and response. Plus you can feel and flow with the energy right along with the people being surprised from it’s come abouts or short comings you can learn a lot from the experiences 2 enhance the next engagement or gathering.

You are an accomplished techno producer, and yet your recordings have an extremely raw, lo-fi feel which, although awesome, probably prevents a lot of people from djing them. Why do you choose this tactic? Are your records for djs or are they more like art objects?

No offense I’m not a techno Producer let the people/region who created the Sound medium/Energy reap the Rewards/Praise from it . I Come from Chicago And lean more towards the Fringe Sound and all Things Music Box (Acid/Jack/Deep/Gherkin/Classic House). A lot of the worlds most influential Experimental Artists/Composers Came or got there affirmation inceptions from my Region (Illinois) Sun Ra /Miles Davis / Ruth Anderson /Herbie Hancock / Quincy Jones /Sinyan Shen/Ministry/Eddie Vedder/Tom Morrello/ Laurie Anderson Donny Hathaway, Von Freeman, Earth Wind & Fire do i have 2 say further i do i have 2 hurt some feelings if i haven’t already.

Well my recordings are low fi because i choose 2 deal in that medium it’s sonically safer / everybody’s ears have been trained 2 deal with cleaner non-organic frequencies because of Tech and that isn’t always a good thing cause everyone focuses on knobs/cables/software/amps/mixers/effects/Headphones/Computers etc and forget about the Human Experience or emotion 2 engage  & energize the Sound . And science has yet 2 come forth and explain the true Destructive harm that certain tech advancements in Soundwaves can have on the Mind & body.

And my projects are meant for whom ever is open 2 listening and applying it for a positive force & Change . There about 100,000 Working Dj’s (Radio/ Club/Festival/Bars/Weddings/Internet) on the planet there are close to 7 Billion inhabitants i aiming for any of the Inhabitants & Descendants thereof  with Art objects that will become Art Artifacts hopefully a 1,000 years from now.

I get a sense from your name, titles and sound that there is a cosmic/spiritual/metaphysical theme running through your music. Is this true?

It’s True

What are some concepts or experiences that drive your music?

Books i Read / People I meet / The Love i Lost / other Music / Other Art / Dreams / it goes on but at times you got 2 filter it 2 make it apply in your creations.

You have a number of aliases, if i’m not mistaken. Hieroglyphic Being, IAMTHATIAM, Africans with Mainframes, Compositeurs Sans Frontiers.. any I’m missing?

1. A few but I’m letting go off all except 2: Hieroglyphic Being / IAMTHATIAM the others was a one-off experimentation of identities or collaborations with other artists that never fully developed properly.

What is the defining element of each?

Hieroglyphic Being is from a Afro-Futuristic /Ancestral Worship /Kindred Spirit Influence  And an Homage 2 all things Fringe based in Music / Art / Literature / religion / Philosophy / Science. A form of Therapeutic escapism 2 help Further  or enhance my Human existence. IAMTHATIAM is more of a Tribute  2 the self, the spirit, the ID(Ego) , The New Age,  obtaining Higher Existence / Self awareness from helping others 2 excel Artistically. The A&R Part of Me the Giving back part of me the power & Strength in me that allows me 2 be me .

I’m also curious specifically about the CSF alias. I can definitely hear an connection in your music to some of the weirder electronic composition of the last century. Do you feel aligned with that world at all?

I don’t feel aligned with the world around me because the Planet as a whole is not in it’s proper balance or harmonic alignment 2 much division, 2 much chaos, 2 many genres to process. The concept of CSF isn’t weird the frequencies composed on the project are very normal they are influenced by the Biofeedback that i absorb from everyday interaction or assimilation from this worlds bipolar activities. The World is not normal this project was or is a product of it’s environment Composers without borders is propagating that Music should be Music Art should be Art , Experimentation should help evolve the world not devo it. Perception & reception are powerful mediums 2 break down those Borders if applied in all aspects of Human Existence.

Your label, Mathematics, puts out a ton of stuff. How do you decide what to release? Is there a specific vision for the label or is it just whatever you dig?

It’s Kinda like trying 2 figure out the Meaning of Life or How the Universe came 2 be. I can’t define or i wont define the real purpose of Mathematics anymore I just wanna add more 2 it’s equation and hopefully do it right do it justice and give it meaning 4 others 2 enjoy and benefit from it’s creation. So it stopped being about whatever i Dig it came 2 be about what is healing for me and others with Sound. I Tune in (Decide) 2 certain Harmonies & Vibrations, Melodies & Rhythms that i hope that will translate well 2 all whom will listen. I manifest certain situations or conditions 2 procure/obtain or connect with the right people that can create this special Environment on the label . Sometimes i get it wrong sometimes i get right  and if i get right and do right then more releases will come 2 fruition if i do it wrong and do wrong then the universe make it slow down or expire.

Also, you are personally very prolific. Resident Advisor wrote that the CSF project alone has over 1,000 tracks to its name, and there is no shortage of HB records, either. How quickly do you pump out tracks and what’s the criteria for whether or not they get released?

Well resident advisor report was a little off  it’s my SoundBook (SoMuchNoise2BeHeard) that has over 1,000 Experimental compositions in it CSF is one of many sound concepts from it.

At this point it’s not about how many i can mass produce it’s about how i can make them translate well enough for the world 2 except and understand it. Some material that was composed 16 years ago didn’t translate well with others but are somewhat but not fully accepted nowadays but may be fully accepted 16 years from now. Then there’s material that i do have that could be accepted on a huge commercial scale in the industry that could make me really well off but i don’t do it for the Industry’s approval i do it 4 my own personal growth/enhancement that determines what gets released or not my on Id (Ego) which can be my savior or my own worst demon.

Your music sounds insane, which is of course the appeal. So I realize this is an odd question, but why does it come out so crazy? Is there some meta-commentary of electronic music going on, or is this just how you feel it?

I touched on that thru out this Q&A already No Prozac / Bending the Code / Self therapy / Defining Purpose 4 Self (Ego) / And having that Release

Maybe if i am able 2 feel that certain rapture again then maybe i will have balance and not sound so insane as people claim but if i do achieve conformed balance will it have that same appeal and at what sacrifice.

Any new directions your music might be taking?

Changing up some sound approaches in my set-up and getting a more finite feel of the primordial ooze of sounds that tap into.

What’s next?

People can always go 2 my blogspot/Soundcloud/Facebook 2 figure it out with me , because i wanna know whats next ?

Any big projects coming down the line?

There are always projects but if they’re considered big it is left up 2 the Universe.

Heiroglyphic Being – Time 4 Harmony in this World

More from Daniel very soon. In the meantime can pick up the Dolphins EP by Mi Ami on Thrill Jockey, and Ital’s Theme 12′ on 100% Silk.

Ice Age 4

The sounds contained in this post span thirty minutes of our short time on this planet, so the words shall be brief. Here we are offered 3 different paths to enlightenment through repetitive means, that connect the physical to the cerebral with a patch cable long enough to stretch back to the beginning of time.

Hieroglyphic Being – The Mysteries of Life

The transmissions of the Hieroglyphic Being have long been monitored by the 20jfgoverseer. An inter-dimensional house music archaeologist, who along with others such as the Black Meteoric Star, is unafraid to step through the portal summoned by  certain configurations of silver boxes, in order to discover lost civilisations whose collective consciousnesses were far in advance of our own. Any prepared to voyage the entirety of the Mysteries of Life will find all their answers revealed at its completion. We have made this rite of passage and wish to impart our new found knowledge, but the limitations of language prevent us. In order to join us on this new level of cognizance, we can only suggest that you do the same.

Our transstellar recording device didn’t pick up this broadcast as clearly as we would like, so in order to decipher it’s hightened codek more clearly, we recommend picking up the wax artifact. Other artifacts from this most mind-blowing of labels including the almighty Slava, can be investigated here. We also heard that the Hieroglyphic Being will be materialising across Europe in the subdivision of time known as October 2010. Any promoters wishing to enlighten their place of dance floor worship should transmit their wishes to the Being himself.

Ghostape – Beautiful (live version)

There is already a chapter in this infinite webscroll marked Ghostape. Here we find updated progess in the form of an incredible live recording.

Imagine the joy of an ancient seeker of knowledge who, after encasing himself in ice for a 1000 years in order to learn from the concept of evolution, is finally released from his frozen tomb. The glacial binding cracks around his scalded body to release a light so unbearably rapturous to creatures of the current time period, that to look upon it would cause instant vapourisation into the domain of eternal life. As the light subsides, and the snow melts around him to reveal the scorched remnants of human mistakes and wars long ended, we are able to see the personification of a future where the new found warmth in the atmosphere is shared in the hearts of its inhabitants. Again, be patient with this extended recording dear friends and you shall be rewarded. Hopefully someone shall be releasing something from Ghostape soon?

Once again, space recordings offer us an additional glimpse of this new society. A hazy never ending summer, where the rebounding modulations of heat create new sounds to play with, where the mysterious voices of empty pastures converse with synth arpeggios whose timing creates a mathematical conundrum that will puzzle and delight great thinkers for eons to come. A place where lazy disco rhythms are used as public transport which conveniently never quite get you to work. Prepare thyself for the nylons strings.

Draculae – Vamp an Labour

In a bizarre twist of fate and universal consiousness, Draculae is an edits project conjured by Space.rec’s very own Space System, also mentioned in the postlink above. No news on release for this yet but we shall keep you posted as ever.

Positive Panopticon


Your body crosses a scanner that reproduces it as a multi-dimensional cloud of data soaring in the noosphere. This is the new you. A vector of n examples with m features correlated in complex patterns.  There are many other datasets like you here, impressions of reality that generate their own reality, abstract manta rays swirling in a mathematical ocean which is all colours and none.

You mingle with them, becoming their predictor or their outcome, or simply spiralling down their complex structures like a winged visitor at one of the wonders of the mind that some of them doubtlessly are;


The constellation of data generated by the 600 million collisions that take place every second within the Large Hadron Collider at CERN – a 15 petabyte poem within which all of the twisted truths of reality lay hidden, a memory palace decorated with artefacts representing all the Gods’ mementoes and plans, a collection of love letters between subatomic particles that bonded and kissed in the darkness, if only for a picosecond. Imagine them in the club, holding the conceptual equivalent for their hands together, just before the drop.

David Kanaga – Jupiter.


The 12.47 billion Google searches taking place every month: acts through which a confederacy of users learn about the world and about each other, but also expressions of desire, hope, fear, conflict and complexity, a Rorschach blot of humanity’s collective psyche. Also critically, the ambient babbling through which a language is taught, the constant stimuli driving the growth of the globalised cortex of a baby AI that will soon flex its robotic muscles.

Oneohtrix Point Never – Americans


The 200 terabytes of data generated by ESA’s Gaia telescope as it renders a 3D map of a billion astronomical objects i.e. 1% of the population of our very awesome galaxy – within this information set, an outline for the evolution of the society of planets, including clues about the murder mystery which is the Fermi Paradox, or a peek through the wormhole which was the escape hatch for our absentee neighbours.

Hieroglyphic Being – Untitled


The security log detailing the process through which unseen forces infiltrate a super-secure corporate system with purposes as yet unclear. At one level, this is a police procedural where each of the tricks used to obfuscate a path, divine a password, scramble a file-system contains the scenario of a Michael Mann calibre-heist. At another level, this is (info) sex. Seduction, surrender, intrusion, corruption, joy. Like the ecstasy of the mystics, like what Patrick Cowley’s perfect futurism does to its followers.

Having visited all of these places and more, you need to decide whether you want to progress into the asymptote. Go here.

Or re-integrate with the meat as it enters a shadowy house. Go here.

2013 References

The image is from Ryoji Ikeda’s Datamatics, which we very much enjoyed at the Brighton Dome.
David Kanaga’s soundtrack for Dyad helped us understand more fully the physical concepts of velocity and acceleration. Oneohtrix Point Never’s spectacular R Plus Seven felt contemporary like few contemporary musics do, but also like some kind of declaration of independence of the algorithmic nation (for all we know this is already happening). Hieroglyphic Being’s Imaginary Soundscapes did what it says in the box (and had a swell dance when he played in London). Dark Entries reissue of Patrick Cowley’s School Daze revealed a primeval soup whence new evolutionary trajectories will emerge. It also resolved the eternal mind-body problem without having to say a word.

Link to positive party scenario 2

Link to omen scenario 2