Baghdad

release date: March 11, 2000

Much overdue release of this CD. Originally we wanted a digipak made of Indian cloth. However our factory couldn't handle this. Exit the cloth. Still housed in a digipak, but rather standard? Not Really! This comes with a transparent tray and elaborate extra printing of block foil (transparent ink!).

Baghdad finds Muslimgauze in harsher terrain, with the occasional peacock (known from Fakir Sind), more electronic but at the same time also more dubby with a focus on reggae samples. This one includes found sound, radio short-waves and number stations.

Press release from Staalplaat.

The following appeared on The Raging Consciousness.

Any serious collector of Muslimgauze will tell you that there are more than a few similarities between releases. That said there is always 'just enough' difference to engender that dropping feeling called 'collectors desire' - an emotion of missing something as monumental because many of Muslimgauze recordings proved to be. Collectors and music lovers alike wait patiently for each new recording, so what can one say of the newest release. Perhaps that it sounds - in spots - as "Fakir Sind" or perhaps "Syrinjia". Other bits may remind one of any number of this last year's group of releases; lots of scratchy sampled vinyl dub breaks; many atmospheres and conversely no one set style of play, analogous to BOSAD. No matter as all of Muslimgauze's music has a way of proving itself a worthy addition to collectors. Jones' music proved to be deep, as one listen might demonstrate to be completely different from the next. It is this chameleon-like quality that makes Muslimgauze so interesting. In retrospect upon hearing "Black September" for the first time thought it sounded close to much of "Gun Aramaic Pt. I". I now hear it as an entity unto itself and cannot imagine NOT owning it despite initial feelings. At the end of the day, each recording seemed far ahead of what other artists in the field were/are doing as to appear unfair. Bryn was that talented.

The packaging (originally intended to be wrapped in cloth) is so drop-dead gorgeous that I suppose collectors seeing "Baghdad" sitting on a store shelf would stop frozen in their tracks and purchase it on design alone. Using a block foil calligraphic elephant of rainbow iridescent script laid on a blood-red back drop of Mid-Eastern landscape, in effect, are basis for the digipak to be worth the price of admission alone! My guess is that the package (w/o the CD) would cost more than the asking price at a specialty Art Shoppe. The additional benefit to this 'art-piece' however, is of course, the far-fetched music Jones was noted for - and sure (as it is of limited run) to be on collectors want lists in a short time span.

Great music in an unforgettable package make this release a must have for Electronica and Muslimgauze fans alike.

review by Glenn Hammett
The Raging Consciousness
© 2000

The following appeared in Incursion Publishing.

The latest from Staalplaat's limited edition series is a generous helping of 60 minutes of Bryn Jones' dubby excursions, and it's a nicely varied release. Dubstyle is front & centre (more so the further into the disc you get), but guest appearances in the guise of peacocks wailing, Arabic radio hosts introducing "a very popular song", and the sweet, sweet harp strings being plucked in "Gop: Juggle", all lend to a nicely paced disc. If you're not a fan of his "variations on a single theme" discs (Azzazin, Betrayal, and Untitled come immediately to mind), you should look to adding this one to your collection (notwithstanding the gorgeous Digipak this comes packaged in!). 

review by Vils "MD" Santo
Incursion Publishing (issue 2 May 7, 2000)

The following appeared on Heimdallr.

Bryn Jones renews here with the electronic sounds of his beginnings, without giving up the dub orientations, started some time ago. Music makes itself harder, rawer, infiltrated with various sounds multitude taken at random from different FM radio stations, or elsewhere. The central theme remains, surely, the Orient and there is a special mereviewed by Dobermensch
  Rate Your Music (April 10, 2009)
ntion to bring to the sleeve. Normally the digipak should have been covered with Indian cloth, but a technical problem in the confection prevented the project. The final result is yet more that convincing, raising the Hindu imagery of an elephant under the shape of transparent filigree on the decor of an oasis. The album is dedicated to the inhabitants of Baghdad, in compassion with the sad life that gives them the military dictatorship. Bryn offers us a new vision of his indefectible interest to the Islamic world, without ever falling in the boring trap of the world music, while preserving his industrial roots. A superb album, being an excellent visiting-card for whoever wants to get initiated with the Moslem universe of Muslimgauze, and a confirmation of the talent of Bryn for the fans.

Excellent!

review by Stéphane Fivaz
Heimdallr (July, 2000)

The following appeared on Boomkat.

First download issue of Muslimgauze's 2000AD album, 'Baghdad'. Written in Manchester, 1998, it's a typically challenging and ruffneck session by the prolific artist, dealing in salty, distorted dub for the most, with prime highlights found in outstanding darkside flex of "Ceylon Dagger" with its deep Berlin dub chords and mad vocal breakdown, or in the strange disconnect between ornithological chirps, trim tablas, subs and fragrant vocal in "Morphina Gobi".

Boomkat

The following appeared in Rate Your Music.

Ahhh! I love the peacocks on this album! One of the most lush sounding Muslimgauze. There's a lot of deliberate crackly static present as though listening to an old scratchy LP. The second half turns reggae dub! I much prefer the first half and on track one there's an Arab who shouts 'Adolf Hitler!' which could only appear on a Muslimgauze record for one reason...

Brilliantly embossed digipak artwork too. A good album a bit let down by the 'funk' of the 2nd half.

reviewed by Dobermensch
Rate Your Music (April 10, 2009)

The following appeared in Rate Your Music.

One of the more dub-influenced Muslimgauze releases, yet kinda inconsistent.

I am absolutely a sucker for dub from Bryn, Ayatollah Dollar being one of my favourite underrated projects from him as it consists entirely of Rhythm & Sound-esque yet uniquely noise-tinged dub tracks. This one also has a few tracks that make me feel the same love, especially Baghdad, Negative of Ethiopia and An Abyssinyan Who Could Kiss Fine, however there are a few that don't leave as much of an impression of me and the last track, Ceylon Dagger, straight up feels like a joke. Definitely one of the worst songs he's come out with. I love the use of the shopping checkout blip thing whatever that is, he sure loves using it on the dub stuff and it's a really unique and nice addition to his tracks when he sprinkles it in.

While not perfect by any means, I certainly got a kick out of Baghdad and I'm sure fans of dub would too.

reviewed by StoneInFocus
Rate Your Music

see also Baghdad & Sufiq & Baghdad, Ayatollah Dollar, Jebel Tariq & Sufiq

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