Hakim Murphy hm505 Analog Scriptures album art

I pour most of my thoughts about music into reviews, because while manifestos might last longer and get a few more clicks I’ve always thought that all this shit is academic if you don’t have positive examples to point to and illustrate your pet theories about techno, house and the lovely people who know how to do them.

So it was in a review of Malcolm Moore’s Deep Core album that I last wrote about Hakim Murphy, as one of a group of mostly Chicago-based and certainly Chicago-influenced producers who rose to prominence in the early 2010s and shared a similar aesthetic and ethic when it came to dance music:

It was lead (in their own quiet way) by people like Steven Tang and Hakim Murphy, Chicago Skyway and Hieroglyphic Being, Giorgio Luceri and Malcolm Moore. They didn’t all know each other but most of them did, and what they shared was a sense that somewhere along the line, deep house and techno had gotten lost gazing into their own navel. As a necessary corrective, they burned the previous 10 years of (mostly forgettable) records and started over, picking up the timeline back in the mid-’90s and taking it back to basics with the classic producers and their magical music machines (symbolized by Tang’s production alias, “Obsolete Music Technology,” which is really how mainstream dance music was thinking about this kind of shit at the time.)


Of these producers, Hakim Murphy has always had a spiritual aspect to his records, which often felt like musical invocations that some studio engineer recorded on the sly than simply “tracks.” That is more accurate than I thought judging by the words accompanying Analog Scriptures, a new nine track album from Hakim Murphy under his hm505 alias.

The album idles on “Beaming,” which could probably best be described with a series of Buddhist phrases that I only half-understand. These white hot synths flood the mind for a moment that’s over before it can be acknowledged — a musical description of an episode of euphoria, the “peace that passeth understanding.”

I could do this track by track, line by line, beat by beat. There is always something happening under the hood in a Hakim Murphy track — strange beats that come from nowhere and that seem out of place and then fall into an intuitive order. Of particular note on Analog Scriptures is the minimal 8 bit fuzz bomb “Test Screening,” the lo-fi psychotropic “KP Acid” and “Athletic” which as Hakim notes is built around from that seminal selection of samples that Mike Huckaby disseminated and which have shown up in a remarkable number of compositions.

hm505: Analog Scriptures LP (Machining Dreams / July 2020 / Digital)
1. hm505: Beaming (06:55)
2. hm505: Changer (06:45)
3. hm505: Reflection (06:12)
4. hm505: Mtones (07:26)
5. hm505: Test Screening (06:44)
6. hm505: Lancer (06:41)
7. hm505: Buzz (05:51)
8. hm505: KPAcid (06:57)
9. hm505: Athletic (05:57)



Back To Life: Originally published in 5 Mag issue 183 featuring Phenomenal Handclap Band, Boddhi Satva, Milly James and more. Support 5 Mag by becoming a member for just $1 per issue.