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Vote Hezbollah

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Album Review

Starting with the technological throb of "Bazoft Rope" (the title of the first two tracks, a common Muslimgauze touch) — a techno pulse and synth cymbal loop pushing along some unidentifiable instrumental texturing — Vote is at once both business as usual for Bryn Jones and a slight refining of the basic impulse at the heart of the music. The application of rhythms throughout is much more basic than the approach used on many previous releases; while the layering of the various percussion and drum patterns — in this case overwhelmingly electronic or sampled from other sources in origin — is still detailed, the tracks don't feel as complex or as striking as on earlier albums like Zul'm, with the semi-exception of the second "Ishmael Tongue" at the album's end. On the brighter side, Jones' dub-derived technique of using echo as a compositional approach, not to mention the sudden eruption of musical notes or other sounds in a track, comes to the fore very well here. The first "Ishmael Tongue" captures these elements excellently in a rushed, evermore intense performance, while "Tuareg" rolls along with a sampled percussion loop surrounded by a variety of constantly shifting and returning instruments and motifs. Other tracks of note include "Zion Poison," with its predominantly ambient start as a low-level percussion track slowly rises, fades, and then reappears; and "Satyajit Eye," a collage of various mysterious sounds with only the slightest of whirring rhythms and very occasional booming drumbeats. The result sounds like a backstreet from Blade Runner come to unexpected life. The second "Muezzin Farsi" deserves a mention as well for its strong, upfront energy and careful beauty.

Biography

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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Vote Hezbollah, Muslimgauze
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