Fatah Guerrilla

available now (November 18, 1996)

"Have they gone out of their minds?" No, not really... Fatah Guerrilla our next Muslimgauze CD is a triple CD, packed in a digipak which opens on various sides and with a transparent tray. This is a limited edition of 700 copies. The cover is bound to cause problems due to its aggressive nature and marks a return to the highly political cover of Hamas Arc or Betrayal. The digipak manufacturer is the first one to have problems with it, at first wanting not to print it.  

Musically Muslimgauze continues on the lines of Izlamaphobia and Deceiver, with strong rhythms which in some cases are more danceable then ever. When ever will he produce his first dance hit? Probably never...

This is the ninth release in the Muslimgauze limited subscription series.

Press release from Staalplaat.

The following appeared in The Wire.

The minimal and brooding desolation of Muslimgauze's last limited edition releases (Return Of Black September) is here spread over three discs in a run of 700 copies. Getting down to fundamentals in more ways than one, this severely ascetic sonic polemic renders the guttural, dubby soundstage of its predecessors even more unforgiving, with shifting hazes of ghostly percussion and bass-booms that sound like distant artillery. Good enough, but 173 minutes of non-stop anything can get to be a bit wearying. Who's in the edit suite?

review by Paul Stump
This text originally appeared in The Wire magazine (issue # 156).
Reproduced by permission.
The Wire on-line index.

The following appears in All Music Guide.

Muslimgauze expands into ever-more lengthy projects with this three-disc release, each disc being at least an hour long and separately titled. On Fatah, Bryn Jones manages a neat encapsulation of the various styles and phases of Muslimgauze, intentionally or not, over the course of the entire work. The first disc, Muhammadunize, has what could be called a classic feel to it, with a very familiar blend of drones, string instruments, and synths, and varying percussion/break-beat patterns, in turn mixed with a number of hard-to-catch vocal samples. It's a formula used many times in the past by Jones, yet somehow he still manages to keep things just fresh enough, investing songs like the first and second "Khalifate" and especially both slamming versions of "Imad Akel" with enough unexpected touches. He incorporates the basic power of his work in the tracks as well, with both beauty and a nervy, hard-to-define tension as the songs progress. Tajik and Persian Blind, the second disc, generally fits in the vein of Izlamaphobia or Deceiver - the title track from the latter briefly resurfaces as "Deceive for Yourself" - with the combination of massive beats (e.g., "Shisla Nain Royal Bidjar") and aggro-arty, Aphex Twin-styled production ("Dizurt"); the one-ringer "Negev Gulag," recorded three years previously, is thrown in as well. As might be guessed from its title, the final disc, Chechnya Over Dub, plays up the dub aesthetics which are always lurking at the heart of Muslimgauze's work - though generally in more abstract and indirect senses than might be expected - while also mixing and matching all of the previously mentioned strands, from the bass-heavy rumble of "Resume and Shaduf" to the utterly minimal ambience of "Sari of Acidic Colours." The whole release is a bit much to take all in a row, but the set is, nonetheless, another good effort from Jones.

review by Ned Raggett
All Music Guide

The following appeared on Discover.

Muslimgauze is essentially the project of Bryn Jones from Manchester. His music is just as uncompromising as that with its corresponding political motivation. Inspired by the events in the Middle East Bryn Jones has continuously recorded for 15 years.

With "Fatah Guerrilla", Staalplaat, of Amsterdam, present us with a new release from the maniacs. "Fatah Guerrilla" is three parts, in each case a CD long, therefore more than 180 minutes music. And if one considers, that this represents the third publication, at least, this year, one wonders how Muslimgauze manage to hold or surpass such a high level of quality.

"Muhammadunize" is the first CD. It is a good dense collage atmosphere. From everywhere shoots drums, Palestinian word-scraps give the total radio play-character. One feels when hearing this CD as if the Gaza-strip is mastered from an outsize echo-appliance.

"Tajik and Persian Blind" offers vicious, reduced beats. The CD connects traditional Arabic strings and percussion with Western interferences and drum loops. Absolute minimalistic and radical, as Muslimgauze take and process the tracks consisting of sequences of real-time influence.

That could formally remind of Aphex Twin, only the music appears less programmed and more played live.

The third part "Chechnya Over Dub" is totally groovy, midtempo-beats connects with industrial noise and language-scraps to dance-pure sound-collages. "Camel Abuse Does Not Egzist In Mogadisu" sounds very strongly like house, it is however a 7/8 time.

"Fatah Guerrilla" is limited to 700 copies, whoever therefore likes the described sound and is not bothered by pro-Arab tendencies, should hasten. Whoever wants to secure future limited publications should get themselves a Muslimgauze subscription, no joke! More info is available from Staalplaat.

review by Ralf Haarmann
Translated from German with the assistance of Gist-In-Time

see also Gulf Between Us & Fatah Guerrilla & Fatah Guerrilla, Narcotic, Sandtrafikar, Vampire Of Tehran & Zuriff Moussa

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