No Human Rights For Arabs In Israel

Yes another No Human Rights...

In a situation not totally unusual for Bryn, Staalplaat had received at least two DATs with the "No Human Rights For Arabs In Israel" title but the tracks were not the same. There is an overlap of material to an extent, but more differences than similarities.

Hopefully all of the material will be made available at some point but for the interim here is one of them in its totality.

Two tracks on this release are versions of tracks from Staalplaat's subscription series 10" of the same name. "Refugee (1)" is a lengthier version of what appeared on the 10" as "Wadi Araba" and "No Human Rights For Arabs In Israel", though bearing the same title as the title track from the of the 10", is actually a lengthier version of "Herzliyya" from the 10".

There is very little information regarding when exactly these tracks were recorded or when the DAT was received. There is no question that the material was from the same period as the material on the 10".

It is a solid recording from beginning to end and we feel will stand in good stead amongst Bryn's oeuvre.

We are pleased to have been able to bring this release to fruition as a joint effort between The Label and Vivo Records. A great nod of gratitude to the boys in Amsterdam as well. Staalplaat was a critical factor in this realization and the artwork was also provided by their "master".

Press release from The Label / Vivo.

The following appeared in Igloo Magazine.

From the moment I glanced at the horrific cover art of a small Arab child ravaged, bleeding and bandaged I knew this prolific orator of the proletariat is firmly planting his message into the consciousness of the mostly converted. Our departed maestro of the peculiar, Muslimgauze (Bryn Jones) has a mile long discography dating back to 1982 and Poland's Vivo Records, along with participation from the house of Staalplaat, is a natural union of like spirit for the painfully meaningful depiction of war and its multiplying manifestations on the world people. I am not sure if his catalogue will ever be officially complete and that will suit his fans fine. Though, the contents are a mix of atmospheric electronics, somewhat techno, and repetitive, the real message is patented in his direct passion to embed his political passions in a thread of frenetic rhythm, tones and beats. Composed of six tracks, this Psychic TV'esque mélange of chunky beats and synth-sensation recalls early 80s lower east side day-glo attitudes pigmented with pop-art hooks. This has the feel of a Bootsy Collins or other like Funkadelic spin-off record, not quite "the same" but experimenting with foundations of something that was once quite miraculous.

review by T.J. Norris
Igloo Magazine

The following appeared in De:Bug Magazine.

Only just 550 copies of this classic, that was around about 10 years from now for the first time are being re-released. (ed. Not factual as this is not a re-release of the EP by the same title that came out on Staalplaat at the end of 1995.) Muslimgauze are hopefully known to everyone by now - therefore the presumably provocative title might not be as shocking, even though it once again addresses a topic about which is controversial. Musically, it's of course impossible to say where Muslimgauze take their motivation, what they want to tell us with titles like 'Teargas' or 'Refugee', and why they are so strongly interested in the Middle East when they are originally from Manchester and British domestic and foreign policy stink as much as one attack or the other in the Holy Land. Whatever, these questions and several others will stay unanswered forever, which certainly does not hurt the music in any way. Almost unbroken drum and tabla loops push leisurely, sounding more like Techno than Dub (which somehow isn't correct at all put like that) and seem to keep trying to spit out the aggressive seed of wisdom.

De:Bug
many thanks to Karsten & Gunther for the help in translation from German
any errors in the text belong here as I tried to combine the translations as best possible

This item appeared on the Islamaphonia 2 mailing list.

The cover art is quite startling but one has to take into account that Muslimgauze did not choose this artwork and as such you can't let it taint the music contained on the shiny disc. However, the title does speak volumes…

The music itself sounds a little dated but taken in context it would have been fairly innovative for when it was created (around 1995). The beat structures have a definite hip-hop edge and at times are a bit too straight forward. But there is also this odd sense about the album. Mostly in the noises, atmospherics and patterns that are used. The quiet parts are particularly unsettling. It is this odd sense that makes the album compelling. All in all, I think the release still has merit --- mostly because of the experimental atmospherics/approach that is used. Essential? Not for the casual listener but for everyone else I would say that it is another piece in the puzzle..

review by jhope2323

This item appeared on the Islamaphonia 2 mailing list.

Overall, this album gets more interesting as it moves along.. from its minimal beginning to its faded/distorted analogue synth ending..

I enjoyed hearing the sonic elements slowly develop into the songs as the album moved forward. Of the "new" releases from Muslimgauze so far (2003+) I place this one next to the "Alms for Iraq" and certainly above "Red Madrassa" as an essential purchase. I still say "Dome of the Rock" is about as essential as one can get (as far as the new crop of albums goes).

Anyway, here's my interpretation of the songs on the album. Note that this album features no hand-drums or vocal samples.

Song 1: Mid-tempo percussion. Only sounds are the percussions and a washed-noise-sound that eventually moves to the foreground by the mid-point of the song. Not much else goes on.

Song 2: Two-second ambient-noise ample looped for entire song. But occasional analogue synth noise breaks in and peppers the track until the end. A smartly built song that builds in intensity as it progresses but never breaks from the mid-tempo.

Song 3: Same drum loop as song one, but with more modification of the drum sounds (mixing-wise). Some new noises are tossed around too. This song would easily fit with something from Arab Quarter (disc one) or Uzbekistani Bizzare.

Song 4: Wow! Too bad it's barely longer than one minute, but it's a great little song with a looped percussion and heavy, dirty, rumbling bass line.

Song 5: Same drum pattern as song one, but radically different mix of song one. This song builds on the first song with more analogue synth noises and effects fading in-and-out of the drum pattern.

Song 6: This is the jewel of the album. Keeps the mid-tempo beat as per the rest of the album, but the beats drop out completely at 10 minutes. There's a slight return of the beat at 16:45 but only fades and distorts away by 18:30. This song reminds me (strangely enough) of Terminal Cheesecake's song, "Blatant Dug Reference." A fantastic piece of work from Bryn.

review by govenorchavez

The following appeared in the & notes newsletter.

When is a re-release not? While Let It Be Naked raises some questions, Muslimgauze's No Human Rights For Arabs In Israel provides a different answer. Yes, there was a release with the same name (Muslimlim002), yet this one (a collaboration between The Label and Vivo ­ Vivo 2004009cd) is different. It represents part of the heritage Bryn Jones left behind of DATs sent to labels at amazing volumes, some with the same names. This overlaps minimally with the other release ­ two tracks are versions of those on the previous one (the title track here is not the same as the previous title track, but a longer version of Herzliyya) and the totality is a different direction.

The three 'Refugee' tracks on the album have different beats but share an edgy harshness to the rhythms, distortions and a metallic harshness which is supported by dark densities underneath ­ a scraping cycling that sounds like a jet taking off in the first, backwards sounds and a faux-lawnmower in the second, crunchy crackling drone cycle in the third. These are combined with Muslimgauze treats like false endings and some voice-like drones, creating a wall/wave of sound/sand. The 'Teargas' tracks are a little easier, featuring more obvious voice loops, horns and the insistent beats. Then the extended final track, just about 20 minutes, starts as a slow solid beat, rubbery, with electro-squiggles as a buzzing instrumental accompaniment (a sort of horn) working hypnotically, swinging around, lightly modulating, but then sliding into a second half of manipulated buzzing and hums of ambience, occasionally breaking into a beat, but drifting the album away.

This is one of the stronger albums offering an aural metaphor for the Palestinian conflict, emphasised by the cover chosen. A forceful and intriguing (but then most are) addition to the oeuvre, with no hint of barrel-bottom-scraping.

review by Jeremy Keens
This text originally appeared in & notes 3_2004
Reproduced by permission.

The following appeared in Stylus.

I learned some interesting things in graduate school. Felching, for example. That was an interesting class discussion. But more interesting were the mystery plays. These were plays performed in fifteenth century England by roving troupes of actors. The plays reenacted stories from the Bible or from the lives of saints (hence the mystery), and usually certain plays were performed at certain times of the year. What fascinated me about these plays was their ability to tell the exact same story over and over and over again, using the exact same characters (often performed by the exact same actors) — yet, somehow, managing to make each play different enough that people were never bored. How many ways were there to tell the story of Lazarus? Well, there were a lot of ways, and as similar as one might at first have appeared to be to all the others, they were all, in fact, slightly different.

I wonder if Muslimgauze (the late Bryn Jones) was familiar with mystery plays? He should have been, as his music is founded upon the same basic idea: take a core idea and repeat it (with slight variation) forever. Actually, in Jones' case, there were two core ideas: one political, the other musical. The political idea was simple: freedom and justice for Palestinian and other Muslim peoples of the world. He did not express this idea in lyrics, for there ARE no lyrics. Rather, he used his pseudonym, "Muslimgauze," to suggest the empathy he holds to Islamic people everywhere. He also used the titles of his now countless works to offer political statements. The title of this work, No Human Rights for Arabs in Israel, is about as straightforward a political statement as they come; add to this the titles of the six tracks (in order): "Refugee," "Teargas," "Refugee," "Teargas," "Refugee," "No Human Rights for Arabs in Israel." Yes, his is not a subtle art. He has a point, and he makes it—again and again and again.

The same is true of Jones' music, which consists of relentless, pounding, driving beats, mixed with a pounding, rhythmic sampled noise (gunfire sound or a warped sine wave). That's it: beats, beats, noise, more beats, and more noise. If you don't like it, then don't listen. And, actually, there are a lot of people who don't listen—or who have stopped listening. Buy one Muslimgauze disc and you've bought them all. That's something I've read on more than one occasion.

But is that fair? I don't think so, for Muslimgauze music isn't music in the strict sense: it's ritual. Just as the mystery plays channelled Bible stories and the stories about saint's lives into a compelling drama that transformed everyday life into a magical rite, so too does Jones take the very elements of modern music and channels them towards a political and spiritual end.

They're also subtler and more interesting than critics tend to give them credit for. I can't say I'm an expert on Jones' music, but the few discs of his that I've heard are actually quite fascinating. As with the mystery plays, Muslimgauze music is at once entirely familiar yet entirely surprising. I know what I will get from Muslimgauze, but I'm still surprised when it comes. Take the last track here, for example. It's a pounding beat, coupled with a twisted sine wave that echoes the main beat. This goes on for about ten minutes. Then the beat drops out, leaving only that noise, which shuffles from noise to a mimicked version of the original beat until the end of the track. The ending to this album was, I can comfortably say, a bit of a surprise. I didn't expect Pan Sonic-like sine wave beat weirdness out of this artist. I liked it a lot.

review by Michael Heumann
Stylus March 10, 2004

This item appeared in the Manifold catalogue.

Hand-numbered, limited edition of 550, in six-panel gatefold cover. This is a collectible, not to be passed on if you are a completist for sure, but also an excellent Muslimgauze record just for listening. Perfect representation of the more trip-hop style Bryn Jones would rarely use.

Striking cover art and crunchy, extended mixes of Refugee, Teargas and No Human Rights For Arabs In Israel, six strikingly different versions of the first two and a huge eighteen minute soundscape of the last make this a very focused trip, wandering through very urban, cloudy beats - almost funky. Then the spacious, emotional final track lands the listener square in a space of ancient, sinister middle-east nostalgia. Funny how it's hard for a Muslimgauze record to not be at least attention grabbing. The last track is a long re-work of a piece that appeared on the rare 10" in rough-paper covers. Excellent work for listening and a nice collectible. I wouldn't wait on this one.

review by Vince Harrigan
Manifold

The following appears on Mark Teppo's Web site.

Bryn Jones, the singular driving force behind Muslimgauze, had one passion: making music as an output for his outrage over the plight of the Palestinians in the Middle East. Before he died in 1999 from a rare blood disease, Jones had amassed near two hundred releases under the Muslimgauze name and, at the time of his death, there were still nearly sixty tapes, CD and DATs that had been delivered to the sister labels of Staalplaat (in the Netherlands) and Soleilmoon (in the US). Since his death, the two labels have been carefully dispersing these remaining historical recordings to other labels. Poland's Vivo in conjunction with The Label have elected to release No Human Rights For Arabs In Israel, a CD companion to the 10" record of the same name which came out in 1995 as part of the Muslimgauze limited series run by Staalplaat (the 10" had a very limited release of 200 copies).

Jones had a predilection for recycling. He would use the same samples in multiple records, refining their placement and use with each subsequent iterative use. A single track name would show up more than once on a record, and each same-named track would be a slight variation to the theme. His songs would be endless loops of desert sound. Bells would ring in endless cycles as dry winds would scour the sandstone walls. Glitches and dropouts would mar his tracks, abrupt stops which would stop your heart before the relentless beats would strike up again as if nothing had happened. Jones' work is hypnotic and unsettling, a Middle Eastern flavored techno industrial rhythm that captured the melodies of the region and smashed them with the hard political reality facing those who lived there.

The No Human Rights For Arabs In Israel sessions come from an era where Jones was experimenting with more aggressive rhythms, harsher cuts and splices to his tape loops (apparently he did a lot of his work with old school analog equipment). The dub echoes are beginning to overpower the delicate whisper of the desert sands as he moves away from the minimalist rhythms of Azzazin towards the heavy thunder and abrasive noise of the Mazar-i-Sharif and Farouk Engineer period. The one minute version of "Teargas" distills down the longer pulse and loop of the four minute version, changing the infinite interplay between the percussion and a snippet of radio traffic into a claustrophobic burst of manic energy. There are three versions of "Refugee" on this CD, and each builds from the previous version until the final behemoth of sound nearly collapses from the weight of the beats, the struggling snarl of heavy machinery and a spattered spray of static and percussion.

The nearly twenty minute version of "No Human Rights For Arabs In Israel" is an expanded version of "Herzliyya" from the previously released 10" EP. Over the course of the first ten minutes, a bowed instrument is warped, its sound moving back and forth in the mix as if the player were gliding like a ghost around the fixed position of the drums and microphone. And then, in a flash, they all disappear into a nearly empty field of drones as if everyone unplugged themselves and left the tape running. All that we hear is the shifting field of interference generated by the proximity of wires and current. Jones bends these few tones, still pulling rhythm and melody in a tight band of sound, and I'm betting the second half of this track is the "expanded" bit as it showcases a rather uncharacteristic sound. Still Muslimgauze in the way it cracks and splits, but it is an exercise in sine wave manipulation instead of loops and edits of Middle Eastern percussion and melodies. Even when you think you have heard everything that Bryn Jones has to offer with Muslimgauze, you discover there are still unrecognized facets of his work. Bravo to Vivo and The Label for shepherding this record to release.

Mark Teppo
markteppo.com (April 2, 2004)

The following appeared in Chainlink D.L.K..

Lots of records by Muslimgauze have been coming out lately, and many of them portray the most electronic side of his production, which to me is a pleasant re-discovery. With this frame of mind, Polish label Vivo released a 550 copies limited edition of "No Human Rights for Arabs in Israel", a six tracks CD mostly based around electronic beats with vague hints to percussions and other sounds. Included are the title track, two versions of "Teargas" and three versions of "Refugee", one of which, along with the title-track, were originally released on a 10" out on Staalplaat, who by the way licensed this material and did the art-work for this CD. Also two of these versions are actually different versions of the songs "Wabi Araba" and "Herzliyya". As always the sound is mostly if not completely focused on its rhythmical side. There are less interruptions in the flow of the beat than in other records. This CD was released in a multi-fold ecopack, according to Vivo records' (www.vivo.pl) and was co-released by the Muslimgauze's official webmaster's own label The Label & XZF (www.the-label.info).

review by Marc Urselli-Schaerer
Chainlink D.L.K. (June 26, 2004)

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Press Release/Reviews Index Release Information Back Muslimgauze

February 5, 2017