Hussein Mahmood Jeeb Tehar Gass

release date: January 19, 1999

Manchester, England's Muslimgauze has recorded a new album of propulsive Middle Eastern grooves layered with Arabic radio samples and non-stop percussion loops. "Hussein Mahmood Jeeb Tehar Gass" sees Muslimgauze taking a turn away from his recent electronic distortion experiments into a smoother flowing rhythmic current. The harsh war field atmospheres of the past have been replaced by tricky beats and science fiction noisescapes. Imagine distilling the essence of the seething Gaza strip into a fizzing ambient/techno cocktail and you've got the latest Muslimgauze sound. In the increasingly predictable world of electronic music we're confident you'll never find anything remotely like Muslimgauze. Indeed, we humbly submit that his imitators (you know who you are) can only fall further and further behind.

Seven pieces, including the recommended "Bilechik Mule" and the title track "Hussein Mahmood Jeeb Tehar Gass", comprise the main body of this work. A pair of outer space dub plates round out the album as bonus cuts: "Uzi Mahmood 7" and "Uzi Mahmood 12", four other versions of which were issued by Soleilmoon on a limited edition 12 inch in the summer of 1998.

The cover artwork features the painted photography of acclaimed New York artist Shirin Neshat, with design and layout by Plazm, the group who brought you the controversial graphics on last summer's Muslimgauze's "Mazar-i-Sharif". "Hussein Mahmood Jeeb Tehar Gass" is the next chapter in the ever-evolving Muslimgauze sound.

Press release from Soleilmoon.

The following appears in  Chain D.L.K..

The eye of N.Y. artist Shirin Neshat (her work also appeared on the Vampire of Tehran CD) is looking at you on the front cover of this album and its white zone is hand-painted/-written the way Muslimgauze's graphics accustomed us. Radio-frequencies, Arabic percussion, somewhat Eno-like tricky beat patterns, analog electronic waves, eastern sounds and other sources are the most common sounds on Hussein Mahmood Jeeb Tehar Gass. The final evolution of this artist brought him to take a turn away from the electronic distortion experiments and to explore smoother rhythmical flows... This album is more minimalist and it basically focuses on the use of a few percussion loops treated all along the running time and enriched with a minimal addition of other material and non-percussive sounds. It's a pity his evolution can't go on...

This is one of the latest of nearly 100 CDs (plus lots of 12"s, 7"s etc...) that Bryn Jones released over 15 years of prolific activity... This discographic activity did now tragically stop and all those who did love and respect this great artist will miss his continuous releases... I hope that he won't become a kind of Kurt Cobain underground business... Let him rest in peace! He was a great guy!

With love and respect...

review by Marc Urselli-Schaerer
Chain D.L.K. Magazine (Issue #6 - February, 1999)

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

Overall impression: good. Another month, another Muslimgauze CD. "Hussein.." is, well ... Muslimgauze: repetitive loops of Middle Eastern found sounds/dialogue/wind instruments/percussion, radio waves, static, big bass, effects and electronics. Jones abandons the distorted sound found on "Mazar-I-Sharif" ... this unlimited album concentrates on more of a smooth flowing, somewhat minimal, dub-oriented, percussion driven sound (which is similar to another recent release, the "Re-mixs Vol. 3" limited CD). Most of the tracks are in the mid-tempo range with the exception of the faster paced title track and the frenzied "Nazareth Arab". Beats are the mainstay on this album except for the last four minutes or so of "Istanbul" (a quiet vocal/harmonica/static ambient section). "Sarin Odour" is the harshest song on the album, featuring slightly overdriven bass and percussion. It's a shame that "Minarets.." isn't one of the longer tracks because the one minute is very impressive. The 2 versions of "Uzi Mahmood" (which I believe were previously released on the Uzi Mahmood 12" in 1998) are particularly cool pieces, both have a bit of a hip-hop feel. As with every Muslimgauze CD I own or have seen, the artwork is at important to me as the actual music. The photography and artwork by Shirin Neshat and layout by Plazm is stunning ... always a reminder of Jones' support of the Palestinian quest for sovereignty. There's nothing in particular that sets "Hussein.." apart from the other ~100 releases Bryn Jones put out before (and after) his untimely death this past January, but it's another great one to add to the stack and listen to every now and then. It will probably either annoy you or entrance you ... does the latter for me ...

review by Mark Weddle
CD & Live Show Review page

The following appears on Godsend Online.

A highly listenable collection of dubby, rhythmic tracks from the ever-prolific Muslimgauze (R.I.P.), including two dub plates previously released as a very limited edition 12". "Hussein Mahmood" features 9 tracks of slinky, hypnotic grooves with various dub effects rolled around them, producing an interesting hybrid of classic Jamaican and virulent Mid-Eastern music that really sounds like nothing else. Tracks like "Uzi Mahmood 12" could even be successful in a club situation, with it's heavy rhythmic foundation and exotic ethnic accent. This album has seen some serious time in my CD player, so take that as a recommendation.

review by Godsend Online

The following appeared on Splendid.

Bryn Jones, aka Muslimgauze, passed away on January 14th. Jones was a truly prolific creator, producing new music at a rate matched only by the likes of Bill Laswell, Will Oldham or Richard James, and there are several more completed Muslimgauze albums awaiting release. Despite Jones' legacy of music, it's tempting to think of Hussein... as an apotheosis; the creator is gone, but his "child" lives on. While the combination of Middle-Eastern grooves, galvanizing beats and Arabic music samples is essentially unchanged, this disc seems more urban -- think Gaza Strip Cyberpunk. The title track is a good example; percolating with traditional rhythms and a groundswell of dubby bass backup, it retains an edge of mechanical precision. "Sarin Odour" has the switchback-rhythm and metallic percussion of classic Meat Beat Manifesto, tinged with AM-radio static-cum-theremin; though frenetic and powerful, the track hints subtly at its ability to collapse into an unhurried dub groove at a moment's notice. The brooding, scratchy-record-driven, chanting menace of "Istanbul" is as volatile as Middle Eastern politics. Like prior albums, this isn't for the beat-fearing, the bass-hating or the sing-along-loving -- but for anyone who has ever admired the way Middle Eastern instrumentation meshes with Big Beats, Muslimgauze is more important than ever before.

review by George Zahora
Splendid (week of February 22, 1999)

The following appeared on Sound Effects.

Manchester's Muslimgauze pumps out a similar fusion of electronica and world music (to the artists on the Outcaste label), in this case sleek Middle Eastern grooves. Songs like "Bilechik Mule" that combine hypnotic, pulsing beats with Middle Eastern melodic lines and the propulsive, rhythmic textures of "Nazareth Arab" are the aural equivalent of a tranced-out ride through exotic landscapes. RATING: Muslimgauze - 8

review by Sarah Zupko
Sound Effects (January 14, 1999)

The following appeared on Grinding into Emptiness.

Hailing from Manchester, England, Bryn Jones of Muslimgauze is easily one of the most prolific musicians within the electronic scene. This project is a full time occupation for Jones, who has released over 90 albums to date, with a total of about nineteen releases in '98 alone. His innovation is never entirely spent on one release, and fifteen years since the inception of Muslimgauze, "Hussein Mahmood Jeeb Tehar Gass" is proof of his constantly evolving originality. Unlike some of his more recent releases this album is very rhythmic, with percussive loops constantly running through each track. This heavy dose of addictive repetition is one of the albums most appealing features. Jones' use of traditional middle eastern instrumentation is still prevalent, which is something you can count on never changing. His inspiration culled from this ancient culture is a driving force behind this project, which is aurally absorbed into the electronics in a distinct technique that only Muslimgauze can lay claim to. The cover art is perfection- it's exactly what the music should look like interpreted into imagery. It's quite the accomplishment for a musician of Bryn Jones' stature to release so many albums you can't accurately keep track of them, and still be making music that is just as essential as it was a decade-and-a-half ago.

review by Ben Didier
Grinding into Emptiness (January 6, 1999)

The following appears on Amazon.com.

The death of Bryn Jones in January 1999 has done nothing to stop his output, with close to 100 releases under his belt since '82. There will still be a cavalcade of Muslimgauze CDs to come - the man was prolific. While there's the usual Arabic undertow (singing, chants, prayers), his fervent pro-radical-Islam stance is pretty toned down on Hussein Mahmood Jeeb Tehar Gass. The broken, choppy beat, throbbing bass, bouncy melodica, and fade-ins and fade outs are more like Augustus Pablo dub than a Hamas communique or a Rai groove. At first it seems pretty repetitive, until you listen hard - Jones keeps the mix dense with all kinds of layered noise and radio beeps and buzzes. Definitely not as mainstream as his press would tell you, but the slamming hip-hop beats that creep in (and the scratchy record samples) are welcome additions to his crazed vision, which is not quite Mad Professor but something that On-U Sound would be proud of.

review by Jason Gross
Amazon.com

The following appeared in Spin Magazine.

Unlike Badawi's The Heretic of Ether (a shout-out to the Kronos Quartet, sort of), Muslimgauze, a.k.a. The late Bryn Jones, sticks to the Arabic cyber-dub, with industrial hand drums, magnified finger cymbals, backwards tapes, and some guy chanting at the mosque down the road. Like reading Paul Bowles on a bass bin.

review by Will Hermes
Spin Magazine

The following appeared in Ink 19.

This is my first listen to Muslimgauze, although I've been aware of and curious about their sound for a while. Muslimgauze seem to have a release in every experimental music catalog I have ever perused, and the descriptions have always intrigued me. This record makes me feel like a fool for not having picked something up by them sooner. Circular rhythms serve as a bed for a variety of Middle Eastern-based sounds, woven with care. The music is very hypnotic and trance-inducing, repetitive but adding and removing just the right elements at just the right times in order to keep it interesting. Very cool. And tragic -- the man behind Muslimgauze recently succumbed to a rare blood illness. He has left a substantial back catalog to seek out, though. I hope they are all as good as this one.

reviews by Andrew Chadwick
Ink 19 (May, 1999)

The following comes from the Muze database & Epinions.com.

Politics and music make strange bedfellows. Manchester born and bred Bryn Jones was not a Muslim. Nor had he ever visited the Middle East. Yet, until his sudden death in 1998, Jones' staggeringly prolific output as Muslimgauze assumed an ardent pro-Palestinian stance. Muslimgauze titles frequently extol known terrorists and glorify such bloody massacres as Black September. Were it not for the ignorant anti-Israel rhetoric that he has spewed in interviews, it would be easy to dismiss Jones' fanaticism as sympathy for the underdog - and it might have been possible to separate the man from his unique music.

Title references to nerve gas and automatic weapons notwithstanding, Jones' music generally belies his geopolitical bias. 1998's Hussein is a fine example of the many facets of Muslimgauze. "Uzi Mahmood 7" and the winding, dirt-encrusted journey of "Istanbul" show off Jones' digital dub sensibilities. If dub is an integral element of latter-day Muslimgauze recordings, so are raw electronic frequencies. The flailing oscillations of "Nazareth Arab" provide a taste of the latter, though Hussein downplays this angle in favor of such catchy, concise "songs" as "Bilechik Mule," "Sarin Odour," and "Turkish Purdah"--dust storms of hip hop beats, found-sound, vocal samples, and techno-laced ambient electronics.

Muze Epinions.com

The following appears on Amazon.com.

Strange music, but not for Strange people.

I know Bryn's music as Muslimgauze may be too much for some people. He uses Arabic and similar native music and chants and puts 'em in some kind of modern electronic music. The closest would be dub, trip-hop, and similar "darker" electronic stuff. Although I find the man a genius, I know some will find him way too much - almost no melodies or choruses, he's way down into underground and experimentalism. It's obvious the man was disturbed, but he successfully exorcized his demons thru the media of music. He is so brutal and repetitive almost always. That's why I find his music rock-like, in the same vein as Neurosis, Kyuss, Electric Wizard... You know - having heavy sound mixed with droning bass and melodies, repetitive. He is way heavy on the bass. Only without the big riffs, of course. No guitars what so ever. His music is very ambiental. I can't believe his massive output, must be more than 130 albums. He is dead for almost 4 years now, and the albums are still coming, crazy. "Hussein..." is one of the best albums I have heard ever. I'm a big fan of that darker music, and I recommend him to every one into Neurosis, Tribes Of Neurot, Vladislav Delay, Dalek, Techno Animal, Bongzilla, Today Is The Day... basically to every fan of experiment between genres of music - you will dig Muslimgauze, for sure. If you find him unbearable, try Boards Of Canada or Vladislav Delay first. You can always go back to Muslimgauze and think "Whoa! How come I didn't' like that from the first". Believe me.

ashas (Velika Gorica, ZG, Croatia, December 9, 2002)
Amazon.com

The following appears on Amazon.com.

Amazing.

This is one of Bryn Jones' best albums. My favorite songs are Nazareth Arab and Uzi Mahmood 7. I'm not sure why the other reviewer thinks Jones is just playing around with variations of the first song, each song sounds unique, I didn't notice any similarities between the first song and any other songs. There is repetition, but in no way is it monotonous. This might not be the best CD to buy for someone who's never heard Muslimgauze before, but its definitely one of the best, up there with Jaal Ab Dullah.

A Music Fan (September 6, 2001)
Amazon.com

The following appears on iTunes

The way the first track "Bilechik Mule" begins Hussein, a listener would be forgiven for thinking that sounds like anything but Muslimgauze while rhythm, as always, is still central, the clattering mechanical beat is quite unlike the vast majority of his recordings, and the high-pitched sound loop added to it is equally unexpected. As a way to confound expectations — and in and of itself — the song is a good start to one of Muslimgauze's most direct records, which was also Bryn Jones last major release before his untimely death in early 1999. While none of has passion has subsided, Hussein does come across as being lighter in tone, even jaunty at points compared to many past releases, as the galloping title track ably demonstrates Add to that the quirky keyboards on "Nazareth Arab" and you have a downright amusing start to Hussein. in turn, tougher tracks, such as the semi-jungle "Sarin Odour", aren't as fierce in comparison to other raging numbers of the past, but they still have a solid energy to them, while moodier songs like "Turkish Purdah" and the very dub (right down to the melodica) "Istanbul" also keep the groove going. Intentional static as introduced on various tracks as well, which is not something that Jones has been well known for in the past The static provides an even rougher edge to songs e the electrodub "Uzi Mahmood 7". Given the breadth of his work up until his passing it would be hard to say that Hussein would be the signpost to even more changes and developments In style, but it does definitely demonstrate that Jones went out on top, as challenging and listenable as ever.

iTunes

see also Azure Deux, Azure Deux & Hussein Mahmood Jeeb Tehar Gass & Hussein Mahmood Jeeb Tehar Gass & Remixs Vol. 3

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January 31, 2017