Sunday, August 06, 2006


The Rape of Palestine

to the repetitions of History...

"While Muslimgauze's beautiful, frequently Koran-inspired packaging and exacerbating titles smack of pure political agenda, the music itself aspires to timeless, utopian peace... Sculpted from keyboards and electronics, a variety of international drums, and voices and sound effects snagged from Allah knows where, Muslimgauze aural presence is as abstract as its visual imagery is concrete. Diffuse, repetitive, pulsing incessantly..."
Richard Gehr, Rubrics and Tendrils 1994

Muslimgauze was the stage name of Bryn Jones (1961 - 1999), a prolific electronic music artist, strongly influenced by Middle East affairs. He was a staunch supporter of Hamas and the PLO. Born in Manchester, UK, he never visited the Middle East because he believed it was wrong to visit an occupied land. He first began making music in 1982 to protest the Israeli invasion of Lebanon.
...Jones always [used] old analog equipment. He would record himself playing various Middle Eastern instruments and record voices of Middle Eastern people from old tapes. Jones's music was heavily percussive; a review of a rare live performance notes that Jones used a "backing DAT tape with pretty harsh, rhythmic textures, his sort of patented spiralling hypnotic beat, to which he played on two or three different drums with great skill." He actually never looped his music; it was all recorded live, and edited/mixed afterwards. The end result was often loud and staticky, with sudden changes in volume. Jones was never concerned with how many copies of his record were sold, or even how much listeners enjoyed his music, but rather how original his music was.
The Muslimgauze discography is vast. He released over 90 original albums on 32 different record labels, creating nearly 2,000 original songs, each inspired by a political fact or event... he has 180 releases at the time of this writing, but the number is rapidly increasing.
Jones disliked live shows and... has always stated that he never had time to listen to other people's music, although in a 1992 interview with Impulse Magazine, he said he enjoyed traditional music of Japan, the Middle East, and India, as well as Can, Throbbing Gristle, Wire, and Faust. However, despite a few collaborations, Jones didn't trust anyone when it came to remixing his music.
On Wednesday, December 30, 1998, Bryn was rushed to the hospital in Manchester with a rare fungal infection. His body eventually shut down, and he died at 22:50 GMT on Thursday, January 14, 1999. last thought definitely goes to the Middle-East, where blood-baths in the name of a dead Christian god, western civilization, financial power and world domination are taking place every day for the past decades and nobody cares... please let's not forget that was the very thing his music was inspired by and was all about... Let's not think for a moment that Muslimgauze is just music - in fact it's so much more than that... Let's hope the madness stops and ALL people learn what respect is, how to use it and act with a little more intelligence to put an end to this useless and bloody conflict.
Review by: Marc Urselli-Schaerer, Chainlink D.L.K. (May 9, 2002)

Read a 1998 interview with Muslimgauze here

01 Shadow of the West
02 The Muslim City
03 A Nation
04 Ways of Faith
05 The Power of the Word
Get it here [192kps 1988]


Blogger Adrian said...

Interesting. It's a bit like Byrne & Eno's My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts but without the rock and funk influence. I agree with the sentiment, too. I can't stand to see wealthy first world countries attacking innocent civilians in poor countries.

Sun Aug 06, 08:52:00 PM GMT+10  
Blogger Ben said...

thankyou decoder, your selections are inspired!

Mon Aug 07, 12:16:00 AM GMT+10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great interview and info links. Great find, Thanks & Cheers!

Mon Aug 07, 02:14:00 AM GMT+10  
Blogger Chardman said...

What an appropriate album for the fiasco that's going on in the Lebanon, Palestine, etc...
I've always been intimidated by Muslimgauze's formidible discography, but this one seems like a good jumping in point.
Thanks for sharing this!

Mon Aug 07, 03:50:00 AM GMT+10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

big hello

decoder, you're taste is astounding, and collection real treasure. megathanks to let me hear der plan and la 1919.

perhaps you could upload h.n.a.s. at some other occasion,-)?

thanks again. noisenik.

Fri Aug 18, 01:39:00 AM GMT+10  
Blogger BreakEclectic said...

Check my blog you may enjoy some of my post and music taste as Muslimgauze !!! Thanks for the Devo, i ain't got some and discover here !!!

Sat Aug 19, 05:04:00 AM GMT+10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the religious clergy of many of the Muslim countries heard his music they'd have his balls on toast.... as they simply can't have Allah or the Koran defiled in any way subject to their own narrow interpretation of the place of music in culture.... not too mention a whole lot of other things... sure the elite countries have no right to do what they are doing, but you can't tell me the alternative offered by Hamas , etc is much better... same shit different coat imo...

Thu Aug 24, 08:54:00 AM GMT+10  
Blogger benito x said...

anon, perhaps, but at least he had balls!
I doubt that Bryn Jones was claiming to represent any other point of view than his own, and he seems to have had a nice way of doing that.
It is the most anyone can do without imposing ones will upon others...
Actually I wasn't telling you anything by posting this music, just puting it out there so you can do what you like with it

Wed Aug 30, 12:29:00 AM GMT+10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those interested in Bryn Jones' music might have a look at this new act from Prague. I'd say there's at least a strong Muslimgauze influence here:

Sun Jan 14, 01:24:00 AM GMT+11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

192kbps? No Thanks

Tue Apr 10, 06:44:00 PM GMT+10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

link doesn't work anymore

Tue Oct 30, 06:15:00 AM GMT+11  

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