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Dome of the Rock

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Album Review

Although he died in 1999, Bryn Jones (aka Muslimgauze) has continued to be a presence on the electronic music scene, with posthumous albums emerging regularly under his stage name well into the following decade. As a notoriously prolific solo artist with his own recording equipment, Jones was in a position to create tremendous amounts of material that never saw commercial release during his lifetime, and labels such as Soleilmoon, Staalplaat, and Extreme have continued to issue that material as it has come to light. Dome of the Rock is the first Muslimgauze release on the Ant-Zen label, and it includes several tracks that have already appeared in different versions on the Salaam Alekum, Bastard album of 1995. Muslimgauze fans will find more of what they already love here: long, rhythmically complex, but sometimes lulling compositions prominently featuring Middle Eastern percussion and often building a dark, brooding, and vaguely threatening ambience. Those who have been underwhelmed by Jones' later, more abrasive work may be pleasantly surprised by both the sonic variety and the accessibility of much of this material. Notice the faint found-sound voices and almost whimsical typewriter bell on "Infidel Asphyxiation 1," or the gentle, almost human-sounding synthesizer washes that ebb and flow beneath the lurching percussion and dubwise flourishes on "Mount of Olives 1." Recommended.


Born: 17 June 1961 in Manchester, England

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '80s, '90s

Bryn Jones was not a practicing Muslim and never went to the Middle East. His recordings as Muslimgauze, however, qualified him as one of the Western artists most explicitly slanted in his favor of the Palestinian liberation movement. Since the Manchester-native's works were instrumental, most of the political statement was inherent in the packaging: Witness titles such as Fatah Guerrilla, Return of Black September, Hebron Massacre, Vote Hezbollah, United States of Islam and The Rape of Palestine....
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Dome of the Rock, Muslimgauze
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