Coup d'Etat / Abu Nidal (compilation)

release date: August 29, 1992

To speak of Muslimgauze is to evoke the musical spirit of Islam. For over ten years this solitary voice from Manchester has created a unique sound drawn from a mélange of Arabic and European instrumental music. From the very beginning the music has been based on drums and other percussion instruments. Recent advances have been attained through greater creative use of multi-track studios, but the core sound remains unchanged. Several tracks from the landmark "Abu Nidal" and "Coup d'Etat" albums constituted the first full length US release in 1988 (Soleilmoon : Sol 2).

Originally released in 1986/1987 in England, these two albums have been out of print for years and have never before been available on compact disc. "Abu Nidal/Coup d'Etat" is 72 minutes of rhythmic textures and hypnotic atmosphere, carrying the listener through the mountains and deserts of Islam, through shimmering heat waves and shifting sands. The intricate and mesmerizing textures created by Muslimgauze speak of cultures and peoples in conflict, of a time and place more imaginary than real.

Press release from Soleilmoon.

The following appeared on Concept.

This CD is the compilation of two albums "Coup d'Etat" and "Abu Nidal". It is a production of extreme politics and an international way to report on the situation of Islam in the world.

review by Cyrille Sottile
translation by T @ The Edge with the use of Power Translator

The following appeared on GRINDING into EMPTINESS.

I love pretty much everything I have heard from Muslimgauze, but this release just doesn't do it for me. It is decent, but very tribal. The part of Muslimgauze's music that I am normally most fond of -- the chaotic, noisy distortion -- is absent from this release. Generally, all the instruments used in "Coup D'Etat" are traditional Arabic instruments. Electronics are not present. I still enjoy parts of this release, but If I could do it over again, I would buy some more of Muslimgauze's newer material instead.

review by Scott Mallonee
This review originally appeared on G R I N D I N G i n t o E M P T I N E S S (2.08.98)

The following appears in All Music Guide.

The re-release of these two recordings, which had been long out of print at the time, brought some changes to what had been done before. The first side of Abu, the lengthy "Gulfwar," was left off entirely, while Coup's "Una Voca" was removed in favor of three other songs: "Tabula Rasa II" and "Tonton Macoutes II," sequels of sorts to the originals from Coup, and "Jarnail Singh," an otherwise unavailable song which, for the most part, gently lopes along to a nicely ambient background, right down to bird calls and other noises from nature. There's an odd little vocal/noise loop of a false ending to keep the listener a bit on edge, though! Meanwhile, the packaging was revamped to include a variety of new images from around the Muslim world.

review by Ned Raggett
All Music Guide

The following appears on iTunes.

The rougher, much more upfront drumming at the start of Tabula Rasa marks the album immediately as a slightly harsher Muslimgauze effort; while not as notably distorted as later releases, this steps away from the smoother sounds heard earlier the same year on Abu Nidal (though containing the initial percussion with a straightforward 4/4 disco pulse Is at once perversely amusing and marvellously catchy). what makes the album stand out all the more is the curious lack or Palestinian/Islamic-inspired titles or a statement of purpose; if anything, the album perhaps refers to the contemporaneous situation in Haiti, with song titles mostly in French and one specifically referring to the "Tonton Macoutes", the gangs of armed thugs used by the Duvalier government to keep the populace in check. For all this though, it's still Muslimgauze at base, and the music is recognisably his, if not quite as distinct here than elsewhere; in spots his knack for compelling music via repetition deserts him, resulting in grooves that go on far too long. When he's spot on, though, it all works wonderfully, as with the electronic/acoustic echoes in the background of "Emeute" or the wind instruments and clattering percussion which carries "Degage". Slightly unexpected touches like the layered flute sounds which begin "Sapere Aude", drenched in reverb and made all the more beautiful while, thanks to the relentless rhythm in the arrangement, not sounding at all like bad new-age hash, definitely make this album something worth looking into.

iTunes

see also Abu Nidal & Coup d'Etat

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February 1, 2017