Gun Aramaic

release date: 8/1/96

Soleilmoon Recordings are pleased to announce the first new US full-length Muslimgauze CD since the January 1995 release of Salaam Alekum, Bastard (Soleilmoon SOL 25 CD).

Eskhatos magazine had this to say about Muslimgauze:
"Muslimgauze began approximately 11 years ago as one man's obsession. Driven to present opposition to the Israeli annexation of the Golan Heights and occupation of Gaza, Muslimgauze began recording albums of rhythmic dissent. Muslimgauze is punctuated by layers of texture and ambience floating in and out in a hypnotic collision with Arabic voices and a persistent spiralling beat. After every significant political event in the Middle East, Muslimgauze responds with an unrelenting counterspin to the ceaseless anti-Arab propaganda."

Aaron Johnston wrote in Carpe Noctum:
"He is not a Muslim, an Arab or even a descendant of the Middle East. In fact he has never even been to Palestine, and has no ambition of ever going at all. He doesn't even maintain any contact with Arabs in and around his home town of Manchester, England. Through all of this, Bryn Jones, the brain behind the industrial-tinged ethno ambient music of Muslimgauze, has fuelled more than his share of Arabic fire in the last half of the decade. Musically, Muslimgauze is quite difficult to nail down for the most part. Sometimes it is very thick with rapid percussion and Middle Eastern themes. Other times, it is stripped down and almost ambient. Then come the dense industrial ended releases that throw you off even further."

Press release from Soleilmoon.

The following appeared in Flagpole Magazine Online.

Muslimgauze has managed to create ambient noise with middle-eastern influences and really make it work. Muslimgauze's new album is the work of Bryn Jones (who has been creating his unique style of music for over a decade). Chants and spells swim under sitar and stripped-down rhythms as suffocating winds collapse the landscape. The songs seem like the soundtrack to a horrible desert nightmare, not unlike recent works by Lab Report and Final. The eight songs range in length from two to 17 minutes, incorporating indecipherable samples and faintly industrial elements to create trance-like organic compositions. Apparently, this lad from Manchester, England, has absolutely no Arabic ties at all, but has managed to successfully layer hypnotic Arabic voices upon spiralling ambience. The tracks have a tendency to all sound alike, one flowing rather seamlessly into the next, but never to the point of redundancy. This is a truly amazing album; file under nightmare soundtracks.

review by Eric Palmerlee
Flagpole Magazine Online

The following appeared on The Voight Kampff Test.

When I got this album I thought it was kind of boring; decent but not worth my time. For some reason I started listening to it again about a year later, and man was I wrong. I love this stuff, and it's safe to say that I've never heard anything like it.

On this outing, Bryn Jones successfully holds together these incredibly prophetic and ominous collages of sound with rhythmic, trance inducing bass and percussion that somehow sounds incredibly Middle Eastern. Imagine, if you will, music that instantly conjures images of the windswept Saharan desert: dust devils whirl by, Arabs argue just out of clear earshot, sand blinds your eyes, all in preparation for something so terrible nothing can be spoken of it. Yes, I guess it's true that almost all the tracks are basically the same, but for some reason it never gets tiresome (that was my initial complaint). I suggest running out and picking this up today if you want to know about Muslimgauze. 7/10

The Voight Kampff Test
The Voight Kampff Test is also an electro/industrial/experimental show on WPRB in Princeton, NJ, 103.3 FM.

The following appeared in Alternative Music Press.

Arab activist/extremist Bryn Jones - neither an Arab nor living in the Middle East, by the way - continues to produce album after album after album of sonic dissent. Isn't he up to five or six a year now? He has explored Middle Eastern sounds in the context of everything from acoustic trance music to techno, and here he courts ethno-ambient influences. The eight tracks on this album pretty much recycle one murky, processed bass theme which invokes an ominous feeling of impending danger. While it sounds as if he is merely being redundant, Jones maintains a continual level of interest by using different tempos and via the different elements which swirl around this continually recurring motif, including both disembodied and cohesive techno pulses and hand percussion, voice fragments, effects (such as the sound of wind or horses running), and various drones. At times, the theme disappears to let the other elements mingle and create different aural combinations, thereby adding further diversity. Perhaps Muslimgauze fans and fanatics will not find this as fresh as those new to the artist's work, but Gun Aramaic offers many intriguing moments in spite of its cyclical approach.

review by Bryan Reesman
Alternative Music Press

The following appears in All Music Guide.

"Saladin Mercy" begins Gun on a familiar touch, perhaps almost too familiar; while a certain consistency to Muslimgauze's work is no surprise, Bryn Jones generally varies things from album to album just enough to create distinct, different listening experiences for each release. Still, "Saladin" feels like something which easily could have been on his previous Soleilmoon/Staalplaat release Maroon, with its blend of the drones from earlier pieces and the more recent tweaking and heavy variety in the rhythms throughout the song. The following track, the first "8 am, Tel Aviv, Islamic Jihad," sets things more to rights, with a combination of sharp pulses, echoing roars, and what sounds like a domestic squabble between a couple caught on tape - a characteristically strange combination which again works out quite nicely in the end. A little more than most Muslimgauze releases, Gun is very environmental in terms of its composition; the reliance on conversational snippets throughout almost turns the album into a soundtrack for a non-existent film. As is often the case for Muslimgauze, the most fascinating elements of Gun often are the simplest, such as the persistent, slow-rising beat in the first "Opiate and Mullah," or the shift from near silence to an elegant, slightly creepy keyboard arrangement about thirteen minutes into "Oil Prophets (pt. 1, 2, 3)." Gun wraps things up on a very moody note with the dark rumblings concluding "Oil Prophets (pt. 4, 5)" and the quite brief but deep, moody drones of the second "Opiate and Mullah," making for a slightly unexpected end to a fair album.

review by Ned Raggett
All Music Guide

The following appears on Amazon.com.

A more subtle side of Muslimgauze,

When I got this album I thought it was kind of boring; decent but not worth my time. For some reason I started listening to it again about a year later, and man was I wrong. I love this stuff, and it's safe to say that I've never heard anything quite like it.

Bryn Jones successfully holds together these incredibly prophetic and ominous collages of sound with rhythmic, trance inducing bass and percussion that somehow sounds incredibly Middle Eastern. Imagine, if you will, music that instantly conjures images of the windswept Saharan desert: dust devils whirl by, Arabs argue just out of clear earshot, sand blinds your eyes, all in preparation for something so terrible nothing can be spoken of it. It completely lacks the hard-hitting edge of more recent Muslimgauze, going for a more atmospheric (but not ambient) feel, and yes, I guess it's true that almost all the tracks are basically the same, but for some reason it never gets tiresome if you let yourself get sucked in.

"abraxxas" (Brooklyn, NY, United States, October 12, 2000)
Amazon.com

see also Arab Quarter, Return Of Black September, Re-mixs, Gun Aramaic & Occupied Territories, Gun Aramaic & Gun Aramaic Part 2 & Gun Aramaic, Gun Aramaic Part 2 & Azzazin

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Press Release/Reviews Index Release Information Back Muslimgauze

January 10, 2017