Izlamaphobia

The following appeared in The Wire.

The pre-publicity claims Bryn Jones has in some way changed tack while stayingtrue to the Palestinian cause which he has espoused over no end of Muslimgauzediscs. Fundamentally, this double CD operation isn't so different. He worksup a rhythmic intensity the equal of his best work, though the musical stuffhe weaves it from is less overtly Oriental.

Just as the intensity rarely falters, so the problem stays the same: sustaininghe non-believer's interest over the duration. The titles, incidentally, tacklecommon assumptions about Islamic culture.

review by Biba Kopf
This text originally appeared in The Wire magazine (issue # 145).

The following appeared in Option.

Percussive and mysterious, Muslimgauze's newest work explores a variant of the trance aesthetic that drives nearly all of his music. The droning tones and percussion patterns that underlie his past recordings are certainly in evidence, but on Izlamaphobia, Muslimgauze takes repetition to new extremes: at several points over the course of this two-CD set, I thought the disc was skipping in its player. The effect is disconcerting -even disorienting. There's a feeling of life out of balance, as if time has stopped and no distinction exists between up and down. Another thing about these tracks is that Muslimgauze has incorporated more forceful rhythm programs, giving the music an exaggerated industrial edge; he's also been exploring electronic textures well away from the presets, lending unique, Aphex Twin-like sounds to his sonic palette. These are helpful, positive touches - without sacrificing the organic warmth of his previous work, Muslimgauze is nurturing a cleaner, more futuristic and experimental sound.

review by Lisa Carr
This text originally appeared in Option magazine (issue # 67).
1522-B Cloverfield Blvd.
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90404

The following appeared on Concept.

The nature of these 33 resonant experiences would not be difficult to communicate to those that have not heard them: it is about the apparition of reflection that presents themselves under the shape of an absolute, frozen and sharp engagement like a crystal. Absolutely detached from everything that is life. It is about determinations, not conditioned of a will, that only affirms itself to affirm itself. Separating all mental pictures, all incentive and all feeling. It is finally about an emotional state that appears from the state of rhythmic exaltation or exhaustion, without reason, that seize the soul. Reflecting itself on the spiritual content of infinite grandeur.

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

The following appears in All Music Guide.

First in what continues to be a series of limited-edition subscription-only releases from Staalplaat/Soleilmoon, Izlamaphobia starts with an aggressive blast, "Hudood Ordinance." With a rhythm track consisting of extremely tweaked and processed electronic beats and bleeps, with only the gentlest of Arabic string instruments deep in the mix to relate things to a more familiar Muslimgauze sound, the song sets the general mood for the rest of Izlamaphobia. This said, Bryn Jones' specific talent is such that even without that, this would still sound like him, his trademark care and obsessiveness in terms of percussion again evident. Two discs long and with a variety of romanticized (some might say stereotypical) song titles like "The Eternal Illusionist of Oid Bachdad" and "Lahore Morphine Market," Izlamaphobia has two chief artistic themes, if anything. On the one hand, Jones' incorporation of hip-hop and funk beats has never been stronger, providing songs like "Gilded Madrasa" and "The Public Flogger of Lahore" with a wickedly fierce kick and drive. On the other, the strained, alien treatments on many of the songs would be well at home on innumerable Warp Records releases of the '90s, with squelching rhythms, undanceable dance tracks and, quite unsurprisingly, a desire to avoid expected techno clichés. With these two strains combined on many songs by Jones, the results are wonderfully slamming, strange tracks such as "Khadija and Fereshta." Not everything is quite so dramatically different from past Muslimgauze releases, with the incorporation of multi-layered acoustic percussion cropping up more than once, such as on "Hijab Muzzle." Everything is just that little bit dirtier in sound, though, and all the more intriguing for it. Some tracks are mere snippets and others don't quite deliver on their promise, but all in all Izlamaphobia is yet another Muslimgauze success.

review by Ned Raggett
All Music Guide

Release date: March 1, 2002 (Level Plane re-issue)

I was first introduced to Muslimgauze by my good friend Adam Helms almost 3 years ago. I had been into electronic music for sometime, and had always heard the name mentioned. For some reason or other I had never picked anything up; largely in part b/c most of the releases are out of print and impossible to find. I must say I was spoiled by my first introduction. It started with the Your Mines In Kabul 3-CD set.....of course limited to only 700 copies.

I believe that release is matched, and possibly surpassed, in aggression, distortion, anguish and frustration only by Izlamaphobia. This record was originally released in 1995 as a limited (of course) 2xCD in a full color gatefold jacket. As are all of his records, this record was crafted in response to the conflict between Palestine and Israel and the general climate in the middle east. Despite being entirely instrumental, and featuring only minimal writing on the packaging....this is by far the most politically charged record we have had the fortune to be a part of.

People familiar with Autechre, Funkstorung and Boards of Canada will recognize textured, layered soundscapes and repetitive drum patterns. However, samples of distinct middle eastern instruments looped to great rhythmic effect set Muslimgauze apart; establishing an easily recognizable and unique style.

This record has been a long time in the making due to a number of setbacks. Those of you who may have followed our release schedule have surely noticed that this record was supposed to have come out months ago. What caused things to be delayed? By far the largest obstacle was the sheer cost of manufacture for this record. The second was timing. The artwork for this record, particularly the center gatefold, contains imagery that a certain printer did not care to reproduce. Luckily we found someone less reactionary to print it for us on incredibly short notice. At last it is finished and we are incredibly pleased with the result.

Thanks are in order to Geert-Jan from Staalplaat who has shown more patience than we thought was humanly possible.

Release information from Level Plane.

The following appeared on Staalplaat's Muslimgauze Bandcamp page.

Percussive and mysterious, Muslimgauze's work explores a variant of the trance aesthetic that drives nearly all of his music. The droning tones and percussion patterns that underlie his past recordings are certainly in evidence, but on Izlamaphobia, Muslimgauze takes repetition to new extremes: at several points over the course of this two-CD set, I thought the disc was skipping in its player. The effect is disconcerting -even disorienting. There's a feeling of life out of balance, as if time has stopped and no distinction exists between up and down. Another thing about these tracks is that Muslimgauze has incorporated more forceful rhythm programs, giving the music an exaggerated industrial edge; he's also been exploring electronic textures well away from the presets, lending unique, Aphex Twin-like sounds to his sonic palette. These are helpful, positive touches - without sacrificing the organic warmth of his previous work, Muslimgauze is nurturing a cleaner, more futuristic and experimental sound.

Izlamaphobia on Bandcamp

see also Izlamaphobia & Deceiver

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Izlamaphobia Izlamaphobia (vinyl re-issue) Izlamaphobia (CD re-issue) Izlamaphobia (digital re-issue)

May 25, 2020