Fedayeen & Melt

The following appeared in Ambience.

'Fedayeen' and 'Melt' represent Muslimgauze's interest in varying formats. Both come as MPEGs downloadable from the Internet. Initially they were going to be available for only a short time from The Edge ('Melt') and EARLabs, a serious, experimental MPEG site. The interest in them, and the fact EARLabs couldn't supply enough bandwidth, has led to a plan to continue availability through The Edge - from whom it is also possible to get the cover artwork so that CDrs burnt from them (which is legitimate) can look as professional as they deserve. And I have just made a CD of 'Melt' - surprisingly easy. Download the MPEGs, convert to AIFF with a decoder (which increases file size 10 fold so be disc-space aware), then burnt onto a CD with toast which took 8 minutes (but you need a CD writer!) And out pops a music CD. Amazing. Of course, alternatively, you can listen on your computer if the sound is good and you have the computing power - I can listen on earphones, as the built-in speaker is crap.

'Melt' is a four track, 17 minute long EP. full of rhythmic energy and edgy beats. 'You have limbs and baksheesh' is a short beaty track with a string piece below, the percussion phasing and moving, 'Turn left for Jabilina' features a distorted rhythm with harsh metallic squiggles interrupting as the beat breaks up, including some trademark complete drop outs, and is phased. There is a slightly gentler mood to 'Rebiana sand sea' where percussive bursts alternate with a guitar-like line over a driving rhythm The title track is a short, harsh crackling piece which completely collapses at the end, as short pieces emerge from silence. I think this is Muslimgauze humour, as you wonder if the file has degraded in the download.

With 'Fedayeen' you get a full length album, with 8 varied tracks (7 really as one is a few seconds long). There are a couple of rapid fire drum'n'bass type rhythm loops, 'Mustafas cassette market Marrakesh' featuring voices deep in the mix and 'Aziz al Mufarr' has metallic phasing. 'Abu salim Tripolk' is a slower drifting piece, as is 'Murzuk'. 'Bharboo of Pakistan railways' and 'Fraca, over and near' are looping pieces with irregular burst and clicks. The final track is an intriguing cut and paste of various samples from radio and records 'Old Arab record, not on compact disc'.

For those who wonder what all this Muslimgauze stuff is about - and don't want to part with the readies - these MPEG releases are a perfect start. They are not throw-away second rate freebies, but share the high quality of other Muslimgauze releases, although not featuring the relaxed 'Mullah Said' side.

review by Jeremy Keens
This text originally appeared in Ambience magazine. (March, 1999)
Reproduced by permission.

see also Melt & Fedayeen (re-issue)

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January 10, 2017