What can really be said about a legend? Through 90+ releases, Muslimgauze has managed to make a believer out of even the most skeptical music enthusiast. The onslaught started back in 1982 with the Piano Room cassette and continued through the eighties with such 'hits' as 1984's Buddhist On Fire, 85's Blinded Horses, 87's Coup D'Etat, and 88's The Rape of Palestine. 1988's 'untitled' cassette on Soleilmoon and 89's Iran CD on Staaltape were the first two on those respective labels, which continue to release Muslimgauze material today.
The group Muslimgauze, as the creator prefers to be known, is considered by many to be one of the most dedicated and inspired groups of the century, on the level of Mozart or even Monet. If you consider the sheer volume of material, the number of devout fans and casual listeners, and the fact that the pro-Palestine, pro-freedom message that is primarily infiltrating western society through this music, the group Muslimgauze should be considered extremely revolutionary on the level of South Africa's Mandela or Harlem's Malcolm X.
For those who aren't familiar with Muslimgauze, I would seek out anything you can get your hands on. Some of the music is extremely rare and all of it is worth your time and attention.
Tandoori Space (Tandoori.Space@btinternet.com) a Record store in the UK reflected;
"Over the past few years we have mentioned Muslimgauze on numerous occasions, admiring the uncompromising style of his music. This time we have the sad duty to announce that on 14 January Bryn Jones, the man who is Muslimgauze, died. This has come as a big shock to all at Tandoori Space, we have put him on live 5 times, which is more times than anyone else in the world, at one time we had more of his CDs in our record shop than probably any other record shop in the world and all this while Muslimgauze have a fan base that circles the globe. In recent years he has played live in Germany, Japan, France, Spain and Sweden all after we took him to the first proper gig that he played in Edinburgh in September 1995."
Bryn had been in hospital for about 2 weeks suffering from pneumonia and prior to his death had been on a life support machine for three days.
Whatever you think about his live performances or his recorded music you have to admire his prolific output, there is so much of it that most performers could not produce even a quarter as much as Bryn did in their lifetimes. According to the Staalplaat website (Muslimgauze's current record label) (ed. This is actually referring to The Messenger site and not the Staalplaat site.) he has released, since 1982 up until now, 90 LPs, EPs and CDs and his output was increasing: There were 9 releases in 1997, 16 in 1998 and already 4 in 1999 and that's only up to the middle of January 1999, with at least another three due for almost immediate release and plenty of material, including another CD with The Rootsman under construction at the time of his death, what a machine!
Enigmatic, disturbing, provocative, occult, uncompromising and unlistenable are all words that have been used to describe his music. We commented to him once that the intentional distortion on one of his tracks almost blew up the PA speakers, Bryn said "Good that's what I want to happen!" Music is not and should not be safe, Muslimgauze made it bloody dangerous in lots of ways. Bryn we will miss you.
with info provided by Soleilmoon Records
compiled by Fredrik von Hamilton
This article originally appeared in In_FactionIssue #3 (May, 1999).