Dark Thoughts is the first album to be released under the name Apollon/Muslimgauze, a collaboration between Martin Lee-Stephenson and Muslimgauze, following Apollon's release on D.O.R.'s Earth compilation.
The album is a 23 track 79 minute sonic journey to the darkest corners of your mind (Scorpion Factory, Black Rain, Hell Room, Bug Pit), Middle Eastern rhythms (Mujibur, Chemical Ali, Chinese Pilgrim, Short Wave Iranian) isolationist textures and aural work outs (Quench Of Morphic Fields, Outer Bell). Dark Thoughts is an experimental album without the synthetic feel of other contemporary electronica albums, keeping itself alive by constant change, multi-layered soundscapes of tactile and at times brutal break-beats, bass lines, electronic voice phenomenon and sonic wizardry.
The album is co-produced by Martin Lee-Stephenson, whose credits as writer/producer and/or artist/re-mixer include Moondogg, Spooncurve, Doppler 20:20, Oyster, Vulse, Pigface, Sons of the Subway, Sangeeta, Kuljit Bhamra, Sundew, Blue Water School, Cranium HF, Law & Auder, DJ Hustler, Force Of Angels. . . while Muslimgauze has been working for many years under that name and released over 40 CDs and many re-mixes to date.
Press release from D.O.R..
The following appeared on the Islamaphonia mailing list.
For a long while I avoided this CD. Mostly because no one ever seemed to mention it. One day on a whim I decided to get it and was very surprised. It is a strange release. Overall it is dark ambient with odd beats, textures, voices and synth work. For the most part it appears to be a true collaboration. The Muslimgauze sound does not completely take over. Instead it compliments and adds to the feel of the disc. The tracks have movement and seem to have a purpose. The Arabic influence is not that dominant instead the CD has a dark tone. The name fits perfectly. Definitely a release to seek out if you like the darker side of electronics. BTW, it is about 79 min long.
reviewed by Daniel
Mad Monkey Records
The following appeared in Exclaim.
Muslimgauze is the very over-achieving Bryn Jones from Manchester. Not content with having all these new/recent CDs out there, he also has remix clashes with Sonar and the Rootsman in the import stores and is giving away special MP3 albums, Fedayeen and Melt, via two web sites (who had to cease the downloads when they found out just how expensive being that generous was). Jones' inspiration for all this production is the Palestinian cause which he has been promoting since Israel invaded Lebanon in the early '80s. His instrumental music features titles named after Arab political figures and samples media broadcasts, but it can be enjoyed on another level for its Middle Eastern sounds, which have come a long way since his early influence from Cabaret Voltaire.......
.......And for something completely different there is the Muslimgauze collaboration with Apollon, (aka fellow Brit Martin Lee-Stephenson), who is found on Law & Auder label compilations as Doppler 20:20 and other names. There and on Doppler 20:20's Klangfarbenmelodie CD, Stephenson is mostly into the breaks, but with Muslimgauze he's produced a 79-minute journey through industrial electronics. This takes Muslimgauze back to his early '80s roots (when he was known as E.g Oblique Graph) or his one-off non-rhythmic electronic release Azzazin (excerpted on Law & Auder's Minimalism comp.) The trademark Muslimgauze beats and voice bytes do appear amidst some of Apollon's isolationist tones and machine noise but overall the 23 tracks combine for a new context for his unique Middle Eastern sounds.
reviewed by Chris Twomey
November 4, 2020