September 13, 2008
A Complete and Realised Concept: Imhotep – ‘Blue Print’
Imhotep, real name Pascal Perez, first came to the attention of the music world as primary producer of influential French rap group IAM in the late ’80s. Born in Algiers, Algeria, Perez originally trained as a teacher, and brought these skills to the group, teaching them the fundamentals of their music. He evolved musically throughout the ’90s, and is known for having a love of not just music, but sounds and atmospheres in general, leading to work on film scores. 1998’s ‘Blue Print’, a solo instrumental release, shows this love throughout. The album is the soundtrack to Perez’ travels through Morocco, and, although it may not have been intended as a ‘concept album’ in the generally accepted definition of the term, it is a perfect example of a project flawlessly realised. It plays fluidly from start to finish, intersecting longer pieces with short musical ambiance clips of Moroccan musicians, and combining traditional North African sounds with modern Hip-Hop/Dub/Reggae production. It is the first album of its kind that I have come across that is equal as a whole to the sum of its parts.
Enjoy the examples below, and please make sure you go and buy the album if you like what you hear!