Mullah Said

Latest instalment in the limited edition series. Trance Arab vibes of laid back dubby styled music.

To add to the relaxed feel of this CD it comes it comes in a raw board digipak with nice images from the Arab world - no harshness or aggressiveness this time around.

Press release from Staalplaat.

The following appeared in Ambience.

'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. This is the second Muslimgauze trend - to remix himself. On a number of releases there are tracks with the same title, sometimes called part 1 and 2, and usually they are about the same length and listening indicates they are versions of the same song. With the two here, the samples occur at about the same time, the instrumentation is similar, and what we get is subtle variations - different effects, placement of instruments in the mix etc. This leaves us with a 50 minute suite of 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'. For those who have difficulty getting the limited editions, Staalplaat will be releasing 'Observe with Sadiq Bey' which is said to be in the same style.

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

The following appeared on The Raging Consciousness Desk's Bakers Golden Dozen For 1998.

Music: 8 Sound: 10

Sadly, Bryn (Muslimgauze) Jones passed away in the first few weeks of 1999. However, in addition to at least 100 other titles, he left us this over-the-top production, a high-impact recording that while musical, has enough abstract excitement to put a smile on any adventurous listeners face. Those not familiar with Jones' style, will listen slack-jawed at the shear anticipatory nature of his sound collage. 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. This is not the amusical, noisy side of 'Gauze, but a rare, beautiful recording that is at times quite sad. This is also one of the most brutally dynamic and open (read; no boundaries). If your system resolves this one, pat yourself on the back for a job well done. Hand numbered edition of 1000 with a sleeve that made our toes curl.

review by Glenn Hammett & Steve Taylor
The Raging Consciousness
© 1999

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

Overall impression: excellent. 

Bryn Jones unfortunately passed away this past January but the music he is so well known for is thankfully still being released at the same feverish pace as prior to his death. "Mullah Said" is a Staalplaat subscription series limited edition release (1000), the idea being to get as much of Muslimgauze's extensive work out to those who desire it and insuring that nothing is missed. I've managed to collect a few dozen Muslimgauze albums/singles/EPs over the past several months and this one has become one of my favorites. The style of this disc is what I'd call mellow, beat driven ambient dub. 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, etc. 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. There are 2 versions of "Every Grain.." and "Muslims Die.." that are basically just remixed versions of the same track ... not drastically different from one another but enough to make them worthy of repeated listenings. The first "Every Grain.." is more beat driven and aggressive whereas the rest of the tracks have a slower and more ambient flowing feel ... plenty of beats/bass in each track though. "An End" has a smattering of percussion with a woman singing and an occasional male voice that slowly fades out bringing the journey to an end. I've been very pleased with almost all of the Muslimgauze I've managed to collect so far, but there's something special for me about the longer shifting tracks that appear here as well as on other releases such as "Hebron Massacre", "Gulf Between Us", "Sandtrafikar" and "Arab Quarter". As with the majority of Muslimgauze releases the artwork on the "Mullah Said" digipak is first class: another photographic glimpse into the lives and history of the peoples of the Middle East. Hopefully all 1000 haven't already been claimed ...

review by Mark Weddle
CD & Live Show Review page

The following appears in All Music Guide.

Much like earlier entrants in the subscription series Sandtrafikar, Mullah concentrates on the softer yet still ominous side of Muslimgauze, coming across as meditative, late-night music which still has an understated edge to it all. The title track sets its mood well, with a synth/string arrangement similar to the dominant one from Veiled Sisters, but darker and more subdued, set against a very low-key drum machine beat and gentle interjections of wind instruments and random vocal bits. The first "Every Grain of Palestinian Sand" ups the tempos slightly, adding more drones and percussion, including a great acoustic performance about halfway in, along with an attractive central string melody. From there the album continues in the same general vein, adding tweaks and changes as it goes. Both versions of "Muslims Die India" are a bit more active, while still maintaining the same generally dreamy and drifting feeling (the second concentrates a bit more on percussion interplay throughout its quarter-hour length); and the second "Every Grain" sneaks in more echo and samples of machines into its quiet though intense groove. "An End" concludes things on an unexpected note, with a female vocalist singing over a combination of bird sounds and percussion breaks  an attractive way to end a fine record.

review by Ned Raggett
All Music Guide

The following appeared on Discogs.

The sound on this album is intoxicating, mysterious and menacing. I prefer it when Bryn avoids using harshly distorted and loudly clipped samples of voices and drums, luckily there are long segments here without those. I particularly enjoy the 2nd and 4th tracks which move at a fairly speedy clip, I believe the primary buzzing sound is an electric sitar but I am not certain, regardless the combination of pounding drums, bells, sitar and what may be a zither is astounding. I've listened to only a few other Muslimgauze albums and haven't found many worth relistening other than this one and the one titled "A Gulf Between Us". I'd welcome others to recommend music similar to this album by other artists or Muslimgauze.

reviewed by satur9nine
(Discogs February 20, 2012)

It is the perfect intoxication of urban middle eastern tribal trance mixed with powerful echoed and manipulated vocal samples. The drumming keeps building and building into an intense conflict of political oppression. This is Bryn Jones at his best and one of the best examples of who Muslimgauze really is. The digipak album is beautiful and well worth having the original release.

reviewed by jackthetab
(Discogs April 9, 2017)

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May 29, 2019