split Optimo Trax

The following appeared in The Quietus.

Glasgow mainstays Optimo have announced the release of a new 12” via their own Optimo Trax imprint from Muslimgauze which claims to predate UK Hardcore by around five years.

Announcing the release, a text says: “In 1996, JD Twitch released a 12" by Manchester's Bryn Jones aka Muslimgauze on his then label Pi Recordings. He also, along with a friend, arranged Muslimgauze's first and only Scottish live performance (attended by 6 people). Around that time, Jones, sadly no longer with us and one of the most prolific musicians ever to exist sent Twitch multiple CDrs of unreleased material, including the track featured here. He said he had made this track in 1985, and there is no reason to doubt his word although also no way to prove this is true, but we are going to accept his word for it which means that it could be said Jones pre-empted UK Hardcore around 5 years before anyone else. This is made all the more remarkable by the fact that he never used samplers but rather worked extensively with tape loops.”

JD Twitch, one half of Optimo, has very slightly edited the track, entitled ‘Untitled 1985’ to make it more club-playable, while Gerd Janson and Victor Shan have been enlisted to turn in an updated ‘rave mix’. The split 12”, which also features the sounds of field recordings from Kenya's Mukunguni tribe edited by male/female duo Underspreche, is out on vinyl and digitally on January 15, 2016.

by Christian Eede ,
The Quietus (October 20th, 2015)

The following appeared on Juno Plus.

Unreleased Muslimgauze due on Optimo Trax

A slab of proto-hardcore from the Bryn Jones archives will land on JD Twitch’s label in January.

The dual focus on forgotten dancefloor gems and current producers that has fuelled Optimo Trax since its inception has seen the label on particularly potent form this year, with the excellent Severed Heads reissue complemented by the recent transatlantic 12? offering featuring L/F/D/M and Alex Burkat. With the year drawing to a close, label boss Keith McIvor has outlined quite a special release to open the Optimo Trax 2016 account with the headline draw a hardcore-sounding production from the late British artist Muslimgauze that essentially pre-dates the genre by some five years.

As the press notes state, McIvor’s relationship with Bryn ‘Muslimgauze’ Jones dates back to the ’90s when the Scotsman was planning to release the Bandit Queen EP on the Pi Recordings label he ran at the time. Jones sent McIvor multiple CDrs filled with unreleased material, including the track Untitled 1985?. Made with tape-loops as opposed to samplers, the track was apparently made in 1985, with the label stating “there is no reason to doubt his word although also no way to prove this is true, but we are going to accept his word for it which means that it could be said Jones pre-empted UK Hardcore around five years before anyone else.”

This track now features as the lead cut on Optimo Trax 18, with some slight edits from JD Twitch himself to make it more DJ-friendly, and is accompanied by a ‘rave’ remix from Running Back man Gerd Janson and Victor Shan. The flip sees the label provide a platform for Italian pairing Underspreche with two techno tracks, the first of which, “Flowers From The Lake”, takes samples from an Honest Jon’s record featuring field recordings from the Mukunguni tribe in Kenya. The pair are clearly fans of the West London label with a rather fine bootleg blending a highlight of the Sotofett LP with a Anthony Parasole track on their SoundCloud.

Optimo Trax will release Muslimgauze / Underspreche – Split EP 12" in January 2016.

Juno Plus (October 21st, 2015)

The following appeared on Phonica Records.

Another split EP on Optimo Trax. This is getting to be a habit!

There's a bit of a story to Side A. In 1996, JD Twitch released a 12" by Manchester's Bryn Jones aka Muslimgauze on his then label Pi Recordings. He also, along with a friend, arranged Muslimgauze's first and only Scottish live performance (attended by 6 people). Around that time, Jones, sadly no longer with us and one of the most prolific musicians ever to exist sent Twitch multiple CD-Rs of unreleased material, including the track featured here. He said he had made this track in 1985, and there is no reason to doubt his word although also no way to prove this is true, but we are going to accept his word for it which means that it could be said Jones pre-empted UK Hardcore around 5 years before anyone else. This is made all the more remarkable by the fact that he never used samplers but rather worked extensively with tape loops. The track has been very slightly edited by Twitch to make it a little more club playable. Twitch called in German breakbeat expert and all round tip top producer Victor Shan to remix it and Gerd Janson then asked to join the party too. They turn in a modern twist on UK Hardcore / Rave (via Deutschland) with hoovers set to stun. They also did a more late night hoover free mix which is only available digitally.

On the AA side, we are delighted to welcome the debut release from yet more mysterious Italians; the male/female duo that is Underspreche. "Flowers From The Lake" is based around a sample taken (with permission) from field recordings of the Mukunguni tribe in Kenya and released by Honest Jon's Records. It weaves it into a deeply psychedelic techno track with an extended mind warping outro. Underspreche also give us "Naked" an exquisite hypno techno track that while clinical and precise manages to exude a feeling of warmth so often missing in modern techno.

Phonica Records

The following appeared on FACT.

Unreleased proto-hardcore track by Muslimgauze coming via Optimo Trax.

If the story is true, Bryn Jones predated UK hardcore by about five years.

JD Twitch’s Optimo Trax will release a split EP featuring Muslimgauze and mysterious Italian duo Underspreche.

According to press materials, Muslimgauze (aka Bryn Jones) sent JD Twitch several CDrs of unreleased material before his death, including the track featured on the EP. Allegedly, the track was made in 1985, which would put it about five years before the UK hardcore sound that it features, “made all the more remarkable by the fact that he never used samplers but rather worked extensively with tape loops.”

Twitch has very slightly edited ‘Untitled 1985’ to make it more club-playable, and he enlisted Victor Shan and Gerd Janson to give it a hoover-filled “rave mix.” The AA side of the EP features an Underspreche track that turns field recordings of Kenya’s Mukunguni tribe into psychedelic techno and more.

By FACT (October 20, 2015)
FACT

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Release Information Press Release/Reviews Index Back Muslimgauze

January 11, 2017