Lazhareem Ul Leper

Information release from Staalplaat Distribution Updates: July 22, 2010

Ibrahim Khider (author of Muslimgauze: Chasing the Shadow of Bryn Jones) will write the full press release but this he had to say right now. Most of what is on the disc is previously unreleased. There are some touch stones, like material from Silknoose and Izlamaphobia, but they are just that - touch stones. I think Muslimgauze fans will be pleased with this release when they hear how different it is. Some pretty cool stuff and only some of it is familiar.

Release date: September, 2010

An attribute of a good work of art, besides craftsmanship and beauty, are revelations of a new details with each experience. "Lazhareem Ul Leper" by Muslimgauze certainly qualifies for its range of percussion instruments, atypical electronics, skillful de-construction of ethno-traditional music. In turn, said music is re-assembled with urban stylings with a technical deftness akin to the way a Shaolin monk wields weapons. The Staalplaat crew think this among the more unusual of Muslimgauze works, fans undoubtedly will think it both refreshing and as striking now as when first committed to DAT. Muslimgauze enthusiasts may recognize sounds from "Izlamaphobia" on the odd track as they were made roughly the same time, only Lazhareem is arranged differently and with more unique elements to form a stand-alone album. Stylistically Lazhareem straddles the line between ethno-electro releases like "Silknoose" for its pervasive use of Indo-Pak music melded with Persian and Mid-East; along with more Industrial releases like "Izlamaphobia" and "Blue Mosque" for its occasionally tight, near-mechanical loops. Fans will be pleased to notice never-before-heard (to this listener, at least) percussive textures layered into lush rhythmic harmonies punctuated by chimes on track five. Track ten is also singular for the way it opens with a clamor not unlike a knocked-over box of tin cans one moment, the next, this seemingly dissonant noise is harnessed and re-edited into a well-crafted rhythm track. Track six flaunts music production standards by rolling three or four tracks into one continuous 20 minute piece, vintage Bryn Jones. Yet another stand-out work is track seven, a piece that is more than its assemblage of rhythms and counter-rhythms and fused together, an underlying pulse takes possession of the track and ultimately the listener. Since 1995, masters for "Lazhareem Ul Leper" languished in Staalplaat vaults when it should have been put out for immediate appreciation by fans. This work of art is now available on CD, and not a moment too soon.

written by Ibrahim Khider

Press release from Staalplaat.

The following appeared on Soundofmusic.

Bryn Jones was only 38 when he died, but behind him he had piles of music under the pseudonym Muslimgauze. He was secretive and the record company Staalplaat did its bit to mythicize this electronic musician who sympathized with the cause of Palestine and made rhythmically boiling pieces of music from the Middle East. Though he never visited the countries whose culture and music he worshipped. Perhaps his electronic processing is basically a dream of the East? It thumps, roars, it's commitment and heavy riffs without the formal resolution of later electronics. The music was made at home in the apartment in Manchester, in a way super professional in another way a naïve who dedicatedly sinks into his cause and his expression. When the records were first released at Staalplaat, they were exquisite jewelry, rarely beautiful in their blend of pop aesthetics and oriental romance.

And by the way, I notice a difference between then and now. At that time, the albums were published in limited numbered editions – on 2000! Now that Staalplaat is dedicated to re-publishing Muslimgauze, it is a limited edition – 100!! The scene and time is different.

Does Muslimgauze's activist aggressive aesthetic stand out with almost manic danceable riffs? I think so, though I listen to it completely differently today. Then it made me feel like I was in a demonstration or on an overheated dance floor. Today, it's the anxiety in the music that grips me. The manic remains manic and never ritualistic. But the expression is strong as in some naïve believers art.

Translation from the original Swedish was done using  Bing Translate & Google Translate.

review by Thomas Millroth
Soundofmusic (September 22, 2010)

The following appeared on Touching Extremes.

Every once in a while a robust dose of Muslimgauze is needed to recollect a time when a friendship could be maintained via handwritten letters and postcards announcing additional quantities of revitalizing beats. Among the most prolific artists of our times and a unique innovator in his incessant quest for new sonorities, Bryn Jones died in 1999 at just 38 leaving behind a scary body of work, its modernity dazzling receptive ears to this day. Imitators and cheap replicants are doomed to eternal failure, for Muslimgauze remains one and only one, as demonstrated by this posthumous release dated 2010 but comprising music created around 1995, which – as many other tapes recently being unearthed – had been inexplicably lying in the archives whereas people whose artistic worth is infinitesimally fractional kept getting cover stories and accolades. Lazhareem Ul Leper is entrancing, energizing and vibrantly deafening, in the “right” way; the all-analog tape splicing through which Jones generated massive amounts of circular rhythms, troublemaking pulse and exotically android snippets was at such a level of “imperfect perfection” that we imagine the man as he would have stood today, humiliating laptoppers and techno geeks with obsessively seamed fragments of reel-to-reel ingeniousness. As ever, this is cutting-edge stuff destined to listeners who – regardless of the passion for a genre or another – can still separate actual art from trendsetting bric-a-brac.

review by Massimo Ricci
Touching Extremes (September 26, 2011)

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