Deceiver & Re-mixs

The following appeared in The Wire.

Underground music is rarely profitable. While labels like Staalplaat were still digging a tunnel out from post-industrial subterannea in the 1980s, groups like The Hafler Trio, Merzbow and Muslimgauze could counteract this by releasing albums as frequently as possible. Even now, when they are increasingly visible in the mainstream, some people find the habit hard to shake off.

These two discs bring Muslimgauze's total for this year to 11, and by the time you read this, he will have another two releases out. Deceiver is Muslimgauze's incredible 40th album overall. It's obviously difficult to uncover the gems, Deceiver, easily the better of the pair, is a limited edition of 800 copies, probably all gone by the time you hit the shops. As always with Muslimgauze, the first disc sounds like the music of a furtive, enigmatic Arab tribe, jamming in a humid, insect-filled cavern. For disc two, they've clearly tuned their illegal satellite dish to a couple of Western pop channels, extending Muslimgauze's recent flirtation with HipHop and Techno. The album remains dominated by percussion, but I can't help thinking of it as psychedelic grunge music. There's a willingness to disrupt the beat that at times almost imitates drum 'n' bass ("Azari Jab" is a particularly in-your-face example), and there's a liberal love of echo and reverb, continually dropping you into a numb, listless space where the stink of incense is overpowering. At other times, distortion takes over, giving the rhythms a virulent and pleasantly aggravating graininess.

Re-mixs will be much easier to find, but is unfortunately much less successful. Having seen others do it on the Occupied Territories remix album, Muslimgauze has decided to remix himself. He should have left it well alone.

review by Brian Duguid
This text originally appeared in The Wire magazine (issue # 155).

see also Deceiver, Arab Quarter, Return Of Black September, Re-mixs, Gun Aramaic and Occupied Territories, Azzazin, Return Of Black September, Re-mixs, Arab Quarter & Gulf Between Us, Re-mixs & Re-mixs & Arab Quarter

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Deceiver Re-mixs Re-mixs 1+2

January 9, 2017