Muslimgauze - Return Of Black September (1996)

Return Of Black September cover

Muslimgauze is the name under which Englishman Bryn Jones (1961-1999) made experimental, instrumental music. His work is very diverse in nature and ranges from ambient, techno and dub to noise. Ethnic influences (especially traditional percussion) are a constant factor in this. He also often incorporated vocal samples of oriental origin into his music.

Bryn Jones was fascinated by conflicts in the Muslim world and especially by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Without ever having been in the region himself, he had a very strong (pro-Palestinian) opinion that is only expressed in the titles of the songs and the album and in the design. It is quite possible to appreciate the music regardless of the political context.

Bryn Jones was very productive. Under the name Muslimgauze he released during his life almost a hundred productions on LP, CD, single, EP etc.; often in limited editions of a few hundred pieces. Because it was more than one record company could handle (for example, 16 albums in 1998...), he divided his productions over several companies. But even in this way, a lot of material remained unreleased and that is why about a hundred productions have been released posthumously so far.

Return of Black September is an album from July 1996 and is - after a number of more aggressive, hard albums - a return to a quieter style with dub influences. The title refers to the Palestinian organization responsible for the attack on the Olympic Israeli athletes in Munich, 1972. The CD has only one song of 68 minutes, although the whole consists of five parts that blend into each other.

Return of Black September starts the album with quiet echoing percussion and keys, but after about nine minutes this turns into Libya (22 min.) in which the tempo increases and the opening piece is dominated by extreme stereo effects of the percussion. After a quiet middle section, Libya ends uptempo again. The third song Thugghee (22 min.) starts quietly and is dominated by an oriental stringed instrument in combination with samples of spoken Arabic texts. About halfway through, the pace is picked up again and it takes on a more dub-like character. A remix of the title track (mistakenly posted on the cover as a remix of Thugghee) and a remix of an older song finally close this album in a laid back dub style. Remixes often occur on Muslimgauze albums, but because these are often radically different versions of the original, that is not a problem.

If you've never heard of Muslimgauze, Return of Black September is a great introduction. And then I think there are two possible reactions: either it doesn't appeal to you and you go looking for something else OR you go for the axe and try to get hold of as many albums as possible. Because many of those albums have only been released in limited assignments, that can still run into the papers. The amounts for Muslimgauze albums on sites such as or are often several times the original price. Outliers are Tandoori Dog and Box of Silk and Dogs.

Posted by TTZL © 2012 TTZL
This article originally appeared on the TTZL Music Blog (Sunday 18 November 2012)
Translation with the assistance of Bing Translate.

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