Mullah Said (Dbl-LP)
"Those not familiar with Jones’ style, will listen slack-jawed at the shear anticipatory nature of his sound collage. The five lengthy tracks are based on hypnotic and somewhat menacing grooves: a repetitive dub bass beat, waves of Middle Eastern strings and voices, layers of building hand percussion. Each track is respective but the washes of sound/percussion come and go often creating a sense of motion and change. All of the tracks are similar and even share elements. Mid-East tension is so accurately captured through the use of the regions instrumentation (especially percussion), sinister electronics, samples of men chanting, women crying, sounds culled from the horrors of war, and occasional angry distortion that the listener’s listener will be transported to the belly of the beast.
‘Mullah Said’ displays two aspects of the work of Muslimgauze. Firstly, musically, it is in the delightful drifting ambient vein. The percussion is mainly acoustic hand drums - providing a rhythm of aural features - the trademark shimmering string sound heard on a number of releases is much in evidence, rhythms are generally slower, there are lots of samples of people speaking in conversation, markets wherever. ‘Mullah said’ opens the disc with the lovely mix of these sounds. ‘Every grain of Palestine sand’ continues the mood, with a slightly faster tempo, and more emphasis on the beat. But it soon locks into a mesmeric lassitude as various effects echo or smear the sounds, drums come in for short moments, different string sounds enjoin the play. ‘Muslims die India’ follows the mood though the voices seem darker, sadder, and then comes ‘Every grain of Palestinian sand’ followed by ‘Muslims die India’. Yes - not a typo, these tracks are repeated. Muslimgauze trend - to remix himself. Prime Muslimgauze middle eastern ambience - if you like that side you will love this album. The final track is short and different, a crackling ground over which a singer chants a song interrupted by machine-gun percussive bursts - ‘An end’."
Press release from Staalplaat.
The following appeared on Discogs.
One of Muslimgauze's best releases - a pulsating, overwhelmingly dark record that flows phenomenally well, even compared to Bryn Jones' other releases.
Bought direct from Staalplaat and can confirm this is a phenomenal repress featuring incredibly clear and powerful sound - no distortion or compromise compared to the CD version as sometimes happens with represses. The packaging is also excellent with a thick card gatefold and nice inners.
reviewed by JBrailsford93
(Discogs February 20, 2018)
Gatekeepers of the Muslimgauze archive Staalplaat answer many a Muslimgauze fanatics' prayers and commit to wax one of the project's most hypnotic entities, Mullah Said. Following on from vinyl editions of the noise/techno Ali Zarin crossover and the junglist rewiring Uzbekistani Bizzare and Souk, which was heralded as one of our reissues of the year back in 2015.
While the recent year's slew of Staalplaat Muslimgauze CDs have seen them shedding light on Bryn Jones ability to foresee and produce a seemingly endless well of material that provides a blueprint for the work of everyone from Arca and Rabit at their most grime to Vatican Shadow and Shackleton's slower, more detached movements.
Originally released 20 years ago on CD, Mullah Said has long been a quiet favourite amongst the troves of Muslimgauze fanatics. More mysterious than some of his more well-known material, the five tracks here offer a truly intoxicating arrangement of percussion, and found sounds make this one of the most engrossing transmissions of Muslimgauze middle eastern ambience to surface yet.
reviewed by music_emporium
(Discogs February 23, 2018)
September 30, 2020