Box Of Silk And Dogs

Release Date: June 7, 1999

One of the much rumoured about items will come available in only a matter of days. Although, while writing these words, you may never know. This project started life about two years ago when the number of Muslimgauze masters piled up and we decided to go for the big thing: nine CDs packed in an oversized carton box like thing, with an offset printed information sheet and a silk screened outside. Three CDs are long EPs, there is one with remixes from various bands who played at the Staalplaat Sonderangebote festival and five full length albums.

As you may be aware, the edition is 500 copies (actually 502), 251 will be sold through Soleilmoon and 251 through Staalplaat. No doubt you know that Staalplaat have subscribers who get this offered first. Roughly one half of our 251 is now on sale...

Press release from Staalplaat.

The following appeared in the Other Music newsletter.

This nine-CD set, issued in an edition of 500, has already sold out at distributors and is now only available in stores. We managed to get 10% of the entire supply, but they won't last long. Staggering and gorgeous (also heavy), this set of previously unreleased material from the (sadly missed) late Bryn Jones has been housed in a quad-fold package on glossy children's'-book-gauge cardboard stock (which folds out to reveal three rows of three CDs and an info-card). Recorded in the fall of 1998, it's an overwhelming testament to Jones' unique ability to command any sound at his disposal, adeptly manipulating a wheel of calm contemplation that turns on a hub of extreme violence. We are numb with admiration. Miss this now and cry a "Jaccouzzi Full of Tears" (disc 9) when it's inevitably auctioned off on eBay.

Disc 1: "Hindu Kush On" (15 tracks/61:36m) Combines unusual Underground Resistance Detroit-isms with the recent sounds of MiniDisc electro-scuzz. Mantric slap-funk guitar blends audaciously in the rhythmic fold. Near-dance floor grooves are fragmented, infected with non-traditional methods and ancient sounds. Voices interweave from beyond the ether; it veers from barely audible peaking into full-on waves of distortion and back again.

Disc 2: "Rhiza Coil Of Rezin" (5 tracks/25:44m) Explosive drum'n'bass(y) sans break beats. He sharpens an innocuous set of North African wind instruments with an acid-edge. Themes from "Narcotic" are revisited.

Disc 3: "Sect Of Hari Krishna" (4 tracks/30:23m) The first set of longer cuts, Jones lays down faux-Miami Bass tracks, hurtling them into the future. Like Carl Craig, Jones' talent allows all possible combinations of percussion to carry the melodic aspects of a piece.

Disc 4: "Keffeen Head" (12 tracks/65:49m) Heavy-echo dub-guitar excursions ebb and flow into insane (or unlikely) horizons. The musical equivalent to an intra-brain game of Pong, his radical minimalism is punctuated by furious bursts of surrealism. Conventional beats extrude into progressing realms of degeneration.

Disc 5: "Deceiver (Part Three)" (11 tracks/46:18m) A spiritual continuation of the earlier limited double CD "Deceiver" set. The most out disc of the set thus far, defying points of reference. A low-intensity warfare, it draws on Jones' vast hip-hop resources.

Disc 6: "Ingaza" (17 tracks/67:07 m) Perhaps the most conventional in terms of structure, this disc contains glorious riffage, Aphex and Oval nods, and (even) near-songs!

Disc 7: "Staalplaat Sonderangebote Re-mixs" (4 tracks/24:46m) Four bands on Staalplaat given the Muslimgauze treatment: Spoke (O Yuki Conjugate), Reptilicus, Fetisch Park, and Bad Sector. Not surprisingly, they all end up sounding like Muslimgauze.

Disc 8: "Zuriff Moussa (Part Three)" (13 tracks/63:25m) Another thematic continuation of 1998's "Zuriff Moussa" CD (okay, but where's Part Two?). Sounds for all the world like the programming wizardry of Keith LeBlanc handled with the nimble touch of Autechre.

Disc 9: "Hafaz Al Assad" (18 tracks/60:34m) Radio Muslimgauze. Short sound bites meld into passive-aggressive soundscapes held together by traditional instrumentation and more disembodied voices.

review by JG & JH
Other Music

The following appeared on Mark Weddle's CD & Live Show Reviews page.

9 CDs. Yes, you read that right ... 9 CDs. If the feverish pace of new Muslimgauze releases wasn't already frequent enough for you (often 1 to 2 CDs every few months), this may tide you over for awhile. "Box of Silk and Dogs" is the long awaited, limited edition (250 for Europe, 250 for the U.S.) treasure that Muslimgauze addicts have been yearning for. It actually has nothing in common with a "box". Closed it's 16 inches high by 6 inches wide and about an inch thick. The outside is heavy black pressboard with simply the title and "by Muslimgauze" in black/white print. Unfold the 4 flaps and you have a 24 inch wide display of 9 CDs and backing photo of 2 shrouded people with rifles (the artwork on the CDs help make up the picture). 3 of the 4 panels have foam knobs for 3 CDs apiece and the 2nd panel from the right is where a short biography, limited edition discography and subscription/future releases info resides. Underneath each CD is the CD title, track listing and various pictures of Middle Eastern females. As usual per Muslimgauze, the artwork/packaging is superb. Now, the music: nearly 7 and 1/2 hours of new music, all recorded in the fall of 1998. I've listened to all 9 CDs at least twice so far, it's a bit difficult to take in this much in such a short amount of time but I can definitely say that this is predominantly beat-driven Muslimgauze. Tempos are highly varied and every possible style and sound seems to be explored: acoustic and electronic percussion of all sorts, electro, old skool hip hop, drum 'n bass, etc, etc and a few in the dub vein. I'd say 98% of the tracks have a rhythm of some sort. There isn't too much in the way of dialogue/voice samples, but there are plenty of blips, bleeps, atmospheres, electronics, effects, volume cuts and swells, etc. I listened to all 9 discs in a row a few nights ago and didn't skip a single track. Maybe I was in a trance? Or maybe it's really that good?  I'm not really sure!  Regardless, I'm very impressed. There's no mistaking any of this as the work of the one and only Muslimgauze. "Box of Silk and Dogs" is quite the testament to Bryn Jones prolific nature, talent and legacy, he will be forever missed. Get this now, if you can, before you end up paying 10x the original ~$100 cost on eBay ...

review by Mark Weddle
CD & Live Show Reviews

see also Fakir Sind, Hand Of Fatima, Box Of Silk And Dogs & Iranian Female Olympic Table Tennis Team Theme

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