Shekel Of Israeli Occupation

The following appeared in Vital Weekly.

There are a few things that I can't deny, such as working at one point for Staalplaat, until some sixteen years ago, and as such being responsible for a steady stream of Muslimgauze releases. I am not going to say sorry for that. The whole subscription thing that Staalplaat did at one point to assure fans getting their daily dose of Gauze was my idea. It is also no secret that I wasn't his biggest fan. I already spilt the beans on that in the form of a book about those years. I also recount in that tome the well-known story of Muslimgauze requesting a master tape back, because the PLO signed a peace treaty with Israel. The master in question was a DAT tape, then an expensive format and Bryn Jones, a.k.a. Muslimgauze re-used the tape and Staalplaat released the appropriately titled 'Betrayal'. We at Staalplaat, always thought it was a pity since 'Shekel Of Israeli Occupation' was felt to be a great Muslimgauze release. Now only a few tracks in remixed were released on 'Hamas Arc', the EP preceding the album, and as it turned one of the best selling Muslimgauze releases. So much to my surprise, I learned that 'Shekel Of Israeli Occupation' was found and released, all thanks to a cassette copy I made for a guy in the UK. Your honor, I definitely don't remember this happening. I checked this story in the background; still knowing which strings to pull even when I am no longer the puppet master and I can confirm it is indeed the genuine article. After some twenty-five years do I recognize this music; yes, sir, I do. This is some classic mid-90s Muslimgauze, with tribalistic rhythms, nicely shimmering electronics and oddly a fine sense of experimentalism. 'Iraqkuwait' never seems to start, trying to get to start but it doesn't. It is the Muslimgauze sound that I like, actually. I kept very few of his releases over the years and sometimes go back to a clip on You Tube, in a kind of nostalgic mood. With my name glorious shining on a Muslimgauze CD, I'd say this is then the one for future trips in the past. It has a great gold and black cloth cover and looks like a wonderful memento of bygone days. I sometimes don't miss these at all, and sometimes I do.

review by Frans de Waard
(#1184 March 21, 2019)

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October 1, 2020