In a black box with full colour stickers, 4 different colours of vinyl. Short & aggressive tracks. Shameless edition of 300 copies. Subscribers served first. Check your account.Press release from Staalplaat.
The following appeared in Rate Your Music.
Libya Tour Guide is yet another fantastic edition in the massive Muslimgauze (aka Bryn Jones) oeuvre. This recording is certainly the best posthumous Muslimgauze release I have heard to date and might even end up being his best-ever release. It constantly amazes me how a guy who never stepped inside the Middle East could make music that so powerfully presents eastern sounds and evokes eastern vibes and imagery. And he does it all while creating a brand of electronic music that as far as I can tell has no true antecedents or successors (yet).
Immediately following the squawking, beckoning opener, “Lalique Gadaffi Jar”, comes “Rebiana Sand Sea”. The latter number epitomizes the finest Muslimgauze cuts. There may be no other slice of the ‘gauze that more perfectly encapsulates the essence of Bryn Jones’ monomaniacal vision of tribal electronic excess. And it’ll bust your sound system if you set the volume level high enough. But, with Libya Tour Guide’s 22 tracks and 72-plus minutes, there’s so much more on offer here. So let’s continue our journey.
“Moving Further in Land” is a beast of an alternate reality dance club hit, so heavy are its beats. If New Order or Depeche Mode had in their prime conceived of such a song, it would never have left the number one position on said alien world’s popular music charts. The side-by-side “Benzedrine, Effendi” and “No, Benzedrine, Effendi” are a one-two punch knockout. Taking the two tracks together, Jones seems to be saying, “No, I really meant it the first time, and if you don’t believe me, I’m going even more over the top the second time.” (Oh, you convinced me just fine the first go ‘round, Mr. Jones, but thank you anyway for the even more scorching reiteration!) “Tarabulus” could be a heretofore unknown nickname for the New Testament figure Lazarus, who must have sounded just like the vocalist on this track upon his rising from the dead adorn with mummy wrapping around his head and mouth. Then there’s “East of Tarabulus”, an absolute earthquake of a recording whose tremors would break any nearby seismometer to bits, and collapse anything and everything else in its midst. It is one of those rare and special music documents that everyone should hear at least once in their lifetimes. “Great Satan Shadow” is a super sized, ceaselessly lashing whip for all those naughty ones who find themselves in hell. Ouch for them. Oh, and do you love the super-sonic element of feedback in your music? Perhaps not nearly as much as you thought you did until you check out “Aqua Tingktyur”, which highlights searing, fearsome feedback bombardments over a most delicate eastern melody. The Jesus and Mary Chain? Please. Merzbow? He ought to be blushing with envy.
The combined effect of the unremitting twist knobbery, er, knob twistery (or whatever you want to call it), tempo and volume changes, fade-ins and fade-outs, eastern string, drum, and horn accompaniments, and fascinating vocal samples on Libya Tour Guide is never short of staggering. I don’t know how or from where Muslimgauze conjures this incredible amalgam of sounds, nor do I care to find out. Suffice it to say that this album is always uniquely effective and emotive. I used to consider Libya as a place to avoid, but no longer. Now that I have my own personal tour guide, I want to catch the very next plane.
reviewed by Spinningdials
Rate Your Music (January 2, 2017)
November 4, 2020