Phonetic System Interview

MUSLIMGAUZE: A percussive based experimental sound.
BRYN JONES: The instigator.

How did Muslimgauze come about?

Muslimgauze came about, or came out of, the name I was using before. The last piece of music I made under that name was very different and from that a new style evolved. I stopped playing music and thought about what I'd like, or what direction I'd like to take. Once the name was chosen, I started to work on material which was to become the "Kabul" LP.

Where does the name Muslimgauze come from, does it have any specific meaning?

The name comes from the word muslin which in the dictionary means fine soft cotton fabric resembling gauze, so the first idea was Muslingauze which became Muslimgauze. I changed it to Muslim because the area of the world it originates from interests me immensely.

Would you like to try and make future releases available to a wider audience or are you content to stay with your present audience?

I'm not content to stay still. If it's at all possible for Muslimgauze to reach more people, that's what I would like. But I'm realistic, I'm never going to appeal to a massive audience. Also I'm not going to attract interest from any form of record company, of any size, because of the type of music I make, none vocal, none commercial. At the moment I release what I want when I want, and in whatever form. Total control. I wouldn't want to lose that, but a wider audience would be interesting, if only for their opinions, which I like to know about.

Do you feel your music is influenced by anyone in particular?

I don't think I've been influenced in my music, it's self motivated, but there were certain bands I listened to a lot. For instance the German bands Can, Faust, Tangs (?) etc and early Throbbing Gristle. I started my involvement in music when I saw them playing at the Factory Club in Manchester in 78, so I'd say Throbbing Gristle had a great effect on me, but I don't think you can find any trace of them in the music Muslimgauze produce.

Do you always work alone on your music?

At the moment I've got no plans to include anyone else, I have worked with other people when I played under the last name but it didn't work. I work in my own way and I can't change to fit with somebody's ways. The only problem with doing everything yourself is the money, an age old problem.

What plans do you have for Muslimgauze in the near future?

In the near future, which is as far as I look, there will be a new record. A 12" mini LP, four tracks, called at present, 'Holy Fascist Hyena'. Most of it is recorded. It's the first time I've recorded in a 'normal' studio set-up, the results are a lot better. I've also recorded a track for the Flux Records compilation LP which should be out soonish. I'm also putting together a fanzine which will move into areas not covered by standard fanzines. This could be shelved , as all my work could be, at any time. I'm always interested in doing compilation LPs or tapes. I like the idea of every track being different, a constant change of style, music and sound.

Are you pleased with how the project has gone so far?

I think you always feel you could have done better at a later date with anything, but given the equipment used etc., yes I think I'm quite pleased. The next record is undoubtedly better in a number of ways. As I've said it's the first recorded in a studio, using somebody else to produce it. An outside person can see the music from another point of view, with this record it was helpful.

You appear to keep a very low public profile (no sleeve photos etc), is there any particular reason for this?

The reason for a low public profile is, it may sound old hat but I just want people to listen to the music. I don't want an image or a pinned down set idea for people to look at. I feel image has no part to play where recorded music is concerned. That's why I'm totally against the video. It's dividing music into two leagues, those with money and those without. Music stays, images come and go.

Is a photograph on a sleeve important? I don't think it is. But if the people who buy the records want one, then maybe a re-think is called for.

MUSLIMGAUZE: A percussive based experimental sound.

So far, Bryn has released three pieces under the Muslimgauze banner, the 'Kabul' LP, 'Opaques' c45 cassette and 'Hammer And Sickle' EP.

This interview originally appeared in Phonetic System fanzine no. 1 (1983).

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