Uzi (The Rape Of Palestine)

The following appeared on Concept.

Another classic of this group, therefore of good quality. Also interesting for the information displayed by texts, on the back of the cutaway, where Bryn Jones exposes a part of his sources of inspiration.

review by Cyrille Sottile
translation by T @ The Edge with the use of Power Translator

The following appears here!.

I have been lucky enough to hear a copy of this double album from the late eighties. And it is a double - they were released as separate LPs before being combined on this disk. And they are quite different in sound.

Uzi is divided into 12 separate tracks - all of which are paired (parts one and two). The first 10 are fairly typical of the early Muslimgauze: restrained percussion, not obviously looped or layered, searching out rhythms, quite brooding with some minimal synth drones and undercurrents. 'Souq el Gharb part 1' (track 6 - the second part is track 1: all other pairs are presented together in sequence) opens with a horn sample (or is it a voice), but overall the drums and cymbals are foregrounded. However, in the final two tracks, something happens: 'Obeid pt 1 and 2' is much more processed - choppy flute noises, jumping cuts to the percussion, snippets of sound. This is a much more experimental touch, which isn't really found in such a fragmented way elsewhere, but refers back to the earlier Oblique Graph material and forward to some of the drop outs perhaps - and forms an interesting coda to this album.

The Rape of Palestine was the last album on Muslimgauze's own Limited Editions label. It is a more complex piece than Uzi - despite being released earlier. The first two tracks - 'Shadow of the west' and 'The Muslim city' are fast percussive pieces accompanied by horn sounds, tones and some synth figures. 'Shadow Of The West' leads off with a crackling in which you can hear a radio and flute. In a departure from anything else I have heard of Muslimgauze, 'A nation' is created from voice samples, possibly a choral work, looped and layered to form an amazing drone. Some light touches of synth and a birdlike shimmering at the end add to the drone to make this one of the most beautiful Muslimgauze tracks. 

Percussion returns in 'Way of faith' rapid and including some woodblocks, it also has a voice drone behind, but the main motif comes from a vibraphone melody carrying the track, and these components carry into 'The power of the world' which is a stripped down variation.

This is a very strong CD - the two works on it are significantly different in their approach and composition to provide a distinct contrast. Uzi is the more pared down, simple style which reflects more the early works, while the layering and instrumentation of Rape points forward. I would recommend getting these works either separately or on this CD - though in reality it may be difficult at a reasonable price: the starting price $500+ for a Muslimgauze tape at an auction is a worrying indication of where collectables are going.

review by Jeremy Keens

see also Uzi

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The Rape Of Palestine  Uzi Uzi (The Rape Of Palestine) p(compilation)

January 11, 2017