New Soul

release date: out now (March 27, 2000)

Take one legend of cutting edge music add the vibrancy and enthusiasm of a young, French, blissed-out psychedelic band and leave to simmer for 26 minutes. The result; 5 tracks of devastating bass lines, tripped out melodies and exhilarating uniqueness which will leave a scar on your soul as well as your speakers.

The idea was simple, let Muslimgauze remix some Reverberation tracks; the outcome was simply breathtaking. From the instant "Blue E" explodes from the speakers, it is clear that genius is at work. Ripping the heart out of the original, Muslimgauze implant their own mix of militant politics and spiritual awareness all over the tracks.

From the brutal Dub infectiousness of "Nite Time-Praying Time" to the semi-Jungle orientated "Autogyre Rocket Mix" there is no let up in either the power or the emotion of this release. Even closing track "Free Your Soul" has a sense of distant finality that is as intoxicating as it is confusing.

One of the most daunting yet inspiring figures in contemporary music has come up with the goods yet again and "New Soul" is as fine a testament to his skills as a re-mixer as his past releases are to his creative talents. It also shows how far Reverberation have come in such a short space of time and serves to whet the appetite for any forthcoming releases from them.

Bryn Jones (aka Muslimgauze) sadly died last year, but through his incredible back catalogue, his spirit, his enthusiasm, his passions and his politics still burn strongly. "New Soul" is a more than worthy addition to that legendary oeuvre and it is a record that seems truly destined to find it's rightful place in many hearts.

Press release from 3rd Stone.

The following comes from the Muze database.

Even after the death of project mastermind Bryn Jones, Muslimgauze continues to pop up in unexpected places. Consider New Soul, an EP that pits the music of France's Spacemen 3-worshiping Reverberation against Muslimgauze's remix machinery. Believe it or not, this odd experiment pays off. Reverberation's droning rock songs (taken from 1996's Blue Stereo Music) lack low-end heft, so Muslimgauze has anchored them to rugged bass-lines. While it initially seems that he has also piled on enough samples, break-beats, and dub hydraulics to obliterate the underlying songs, there's a subtle symbiosis at work here.

NEW SOUL doesn't sound like straight-up Muslimgauze. Jones' remixes are actually quite resourceful. "Blue E." whips up eight minutes of Middle Eastern dub from no more than a hypnotic drumbeat and recurring wisp of sitar extracted from Reverberation's "Blue Ensemble." "Autogyre (Rocket Mix)" turns a minute-long intermission into a sample-propelled drum'n'bass number. And Jones apparently heard the potential for Arabicized hip-hop in the string-draped vagueness of "Night Time (Slight Return)," saw space for clipped breaks and bits of Islamic prayer between the sparse chords of "Space Goes On," and envisioned "Free Your Soul" as a backdrop for sparking electronics. Such a mind ought to be admired.

Muze

The following appeared in Freq.

Bryn Jones would seemingly remix any tape or CD as soon as it arrived in his studio, and the five versions of French Spacemen 3 enthusiasts Reverberation's music found on this disc find him in playful mood, chopping the source sounds into a very different terrain of Funky break-beats and Islamic radio voices. Bass is the first impression of the treatment meted out to the original material, then the chopping, relooping and filtering is applied along with the Francophone and Middle Eastern vocal snatches peppering each mix in typical Muslimgauze style. As the patter of chunky beats weave between bellows of synthetic bass and the hum of electronics on a quest to become harmoniums, there is the feel of the remixer's touch lying strangely on the bedrock of the subject material - and this is possibly to the benefit of broadening the range of Muslimgauze's sound palette somewhat, bringing digital beats into his generally austere analogue world of tape loops - and vice versa, naturally.

When things take on a rolling Hip Hop groove and then progress into Drum & Bass Fairport on "Nite Time - Prayer Time" and "Autogyre (Rocket Mix), the rapid-fire rewinds take on a rhythmic life of their own. Jones skims the basic Reverberation structure into a metallic tape equivalent of scratching while the prayers are intoned to Allah with a mysterious leavening of spiritual throb to the stop-start motion and the break-beats are undercut with wail of air raid sirens or droning violins and a souk café babble. Tearing synth burbles have the air of the contemporary bass line zeitgeist, uprooted and placed in a different context by the rising tide of unnervingly present conversational Arabic and the swell of a radio station. The sudden skip to "Space Goes On" is more of a pause for breath, and the rhythm and chat continues apace and intensified as the drones begin to dominate the slowly filtering and fragmenting melody stutters into oblivion as children play along to the relentless mechanical beat gyrations. For the conclusion, "Free Your Soul" brings the Muslimgauze drop-out noise and percussion loops to the fore on a ultra-low Dub bass grounding as signals form the electronic aether make prickly coruscations from Reverberation's leavings and scrapings.

These Reverberation Remixes make a refreshing conjunction of the band's straightforward stoner Rock and sampler grooves and the distended radio-wave cultural surfing of Muslimgauze; both parties come out refreshed, and perhaps only suffering from a little bit too much of a good rhythmic thing along the way in the length of some of the tracks. Otherwise, recommended wholeheartedly.

review by Antron S. Meister
Freq

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January 11, 2017