Release date: July 12, 2004
Syrinjia was first issued in 1998 as a limited edition of 850 vinyl LPs. It has been sold out since winter 2002. Bryn Jones (Muslimgauze) always intended for us to release it on compact disc after the vinyl edition was gone, and today we're happy to announce the fulfillment of his dream with the release of Syrinjia as a double CD. Ever the prolific composer, he recorded 20 songs for the album, of which only the first nine were included on the LP, leaving the rest to be released at a later date.
Although Muslimgauze was never known for making particularly dance-oriented music, Syrinjia was a rare exception to the start-stop noisy feedback-driven assault that defined his style. This change in direction, more a detour, really, was the result of a simple request put to him to make an album that DJs could play for people who might not normally appreciate what he was doing. Rather than look at the request as a demand to compromise or sell out to commercial requirements, Bryn took it as an opportunity to explore a completely different foundation from which to work. While it could be said that the majority of his songs find their inspiration in Arabic or Islamic traditions, Syrinjia breaks the mould by looking west towards Jamaica and its vital reggae scene. The beats are rock steady and a sinuous bass line bubbles underneath at a rolling boil, and it's standing room only once again on Air Palestine flight 132 to Kingston. This first CD edition of Syrinjia is presented in a luxurious hand made silk folder.
This first edition of "Syrinjia" is presented in a luxurious hand made silk folder. The name "Muslimgauze" is embroidered on the front in silk thread. Inside each folder is a pair of pockets holding two CDs packed in full-color printed cardboard slipcovers and two inserts printed on paper made from recycled silk fibre. The inserts, one red, one green, are printed in gold and silver ink, respectively, and list the song titles for each CD. There are seven colors of folders, some of which are more rare than the others. In order to keep things interesting (and to give everyone a fair chance to get a rare color) we've sealed all the folders inside thick cardboard mailers, making it impossible to know which color you're getting until you unseal the mailer. A total of 518 copies have been made in the following colours and quantities: red (48), light blue (106), dark blue (83), purple (27), cream (93), brown (127) and grey (27). Besides being the rarest color, all of the purple folders have the added distinction of having the name "Muslimgauze" embroidered on upside down! We swear this was an unintentional mistake by the embroiderers.
Press release from Soleilmoon
The following appeared in Vital.
On the re-issue front is 'Syrinjia' by Muslimgauze. Originally an LP with nine tracks in 1998 and in 2004 a limited edition double CD, but now getting a proper release. It may come as a surprise (or perhaps a shock) but I was never a really big Muslimgauze fan, more a mildly interested listener. I think Bryn Jones, who died this week six years ago, was a gifted musician, but not very critical as to what should be released, handing in new full length works every week with his record labels Staalplaat and Soleilmoon, who dully put out a whole lot. Muslimgauze didn't seem to keep an archive, just everything he did was good enough for release, he reasoned. I didn't agree. With a double pack like this we stumble on the usual Muslimgauze problem: a couple of tracks are awesome, some a good, some mediocre and some should just be erased. A reggae-dub track like 'Detrimental' is great, and could have been better when worked on a little bit more. The dance-side of the Muslimgauze music prevails here, which is always a good thing, but the best tracks could have easily fitted on one CD.
review by Frans de Waard
Vital (#457 January 1, 2005)
The following appeared in Chainlink D.L.K..
While everybody who owns a master of one of Bryn Jones' recordings is riding the Muslimgauze wave and releasing or re-releasing his uncharted percussive-based music, it's getting really hard to focus on the evolution and style of the artist, as all these "new" releases often overlap each other in terms of creation date. If he was still alive I'd say that he's now flirting with the dub/reggae/dance hall formula and adding that element to his peculiar sonority. Of course that doesn't mean he is mimicking Sherwood, but he's definitely trying to make a more dance floor (or hall-) oriented record, people can actually move and shake to and DJs can actually play. On the other hand this double CD is a re-issue. The original was first released in 1998, limited to 850 copies of a 12" vinyl in cardboard sleeve, and only included the first nine tracks (allegedly Jones' plan was to release the other 11 tracks at a later date on a double CD). In July 2004 a collector's 518 copies double CD edition in embroidered silk bag saw the light and then in October this regular jewel box version, I guess for those who missed the first two. Beautiful artwork.
review by Marc Urselli-Schaerer
Chainlink D.L.K. (February 4, 2005)
see also Syrinjia (LP) & Lahore & Marseille, Mort Aux Vaches & Syrinjia (LP)
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Syrinjia (CD re-issue plus) Syrinjia (2nd CD re-issue plus) Syrinjia (LP)
November 4, 2020