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Uzi Mahmood

Muslimgauze

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Album Review

At just over ten years since Bryn Jones (who recorded under the name Muslimgauze) died at the tragically young age of 37, the full extent of his musical fertility still remains to be discovered; previously unheard material keeps emerging, and much of it is brilliant. This two-disc set is a combination of out of print and previously unreleased material, all of it recorded in 1999 following a request by Soleilmoon for a 12" single that could be played by DJs in dance clubs. (While Muslimgauze releases have often been rhythmically compelling, very rarely have they ever consisted of anything that could reasonably be characterized as "dancefloor fodder.") In response, Jones supplied a total of 13 tracks totaling roughly 90 minutes of music, all of them titled "Uzi Mahmood" and assigned a number between 1 and 13. Several were released on an EP, which quickly went out of print; the others languished in the label's vault. This reissue brings together the originally released tracks along with all the others, and while it's perhaps fairly easy to see why they never really succeeded as club music, they are nevertheless a joy to hear — albeit the kind of dry, seethingly political, slightly despairing joy for which Jones was famous. As usual, the politics can be a bit disturbing; the album art (by plazm.com) consists of several photos of small boys brandishing guns that may or not be toys, and the intended message isn't entirely clear.But also as usual, the music itself is pretty well free of explicit political content, and in this case it's also less abrasive than is sometimes the case: you'll hear various combinations of deep 808 funk, Arabic spoken word found sound, multiple layers of turntable scratching, artfully wielded vinyl surface noise, dubby submarine bleeps, and low, keening flute. You'll also hear something that sounds suspiciously like an appropriation of Tone-Loc's "Funky Cold Medina" beat, which — if that's really what it is — should get an award for Best Musical Pun of 1999. But sadly, it's probably not — Bryn Jones was many things, but a musical comedian doesn't seem to have been one of them.

Customer Reviews

Wonderful

Muslimgauze's most accessible release to date, but still undeniably characteristic of him.

Biography

Born: June 17, 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....
Full Bio
Uzi Mahmood, Muslimgauze
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