Jebel Tariq (re-issue)

release date: January, 2004

Jebel Tariq originally appeared in the middle of 2000, as Muslimlim 025 an MP3 only release distributed via Pretentious over the Internet.

It was an extremely well received release and has been much requested since. Here at last is the CD re-issue of this excellent album.

It has strong hand drum beats throughout but still maintains a very moody feel. It was undoubtedly these very elements that lead Jeremy Keens to state it was "balanced between the ambient and beat sides" of Bryn's work. It goes beyond just these elements though. There are whispered voices changing to strong ululations, frequent flute "samples" and then the bass. There are parts where the deep throb of the electric bass element gives a very dub feel and then there is the use of acoustic bass. The latter something very unusual for Bryn and it adds an almost jazz feel.

All of this put together make this another strong, almost unique release from the incomparable Muslimgauze.

Press release from Staalplaat.

The following appeared in Chainlink D.L.K..

It looks like somebody is gonna make sure that we don't miss a note of Muslimgauze's massively vast assortment of interesting recordings that never made it out during his lifetime. Originally distributed via the internet by Pretentious (in 2000), Muslimgauze's main outlet, Staalplaat, has released a 700-copies limited edition digipak of "Jebel Tariq", an eight track CD that really only has one kinky track on it, mainly percussive and mainly playing around the same theme for almost an hour. The rhythmical theme offers occasional voices and vaguely rai-ish instruments. If he was alive and this was an actual new album of his, I might say that the album lacks a little of inspiration and variety, but it's no place for me to say anything like that, since this is obviously not a refined and thought out release meant as a release, but rather just a collection of musical notes that probably would have been explored, worked and reworked into compositions, and obviously Staalplaat's/Pretentious' way to give the fans more of this amazing mind-challenging artist.

review by Marc Urselli-Schaerer
Chainlink D.L.K. (March 2, 2004)

The following appeared in The Wire.

The late Bryn Jones's Muslimgauze discography is a monumental tribute to the single minded pursuit of an artistic goal - he began his Muslimgauze career after Israel's invasion of Lebanon in 1982. But it's very size must repel as much as intrigues. Where's the entry point? What determines a good Muslimgauze release from a bad one? What constitutes a typical Muslimgauze album? Does anyone own the whole set?

This is the latest posthumous Muslimgauze release on the Dutch Staalplaat label, in a limited edition of 700 (completists take note). These eight tracks are dominated by looped tribal percussion with some vague vocal samples and understated bass. They're sequenced as a single track on the CD, which is really how they should be heard to best experience their hypnotic monotony. As ethno-electronica, these Middle Eastern grooves sound pretty fine but as a tiny fraction of Muslimgauze's massive body of work this also feels somehow inadequate.

review by Tom Ridge
This text originally appeared in The Wire magazine (issue # 242).
Reproduced by permission.

The following appeared in Industrial Nation.

Jebel Tariq is one of the latest Muslimgauze reissues to come our way posthumously (Bryn Jones died in 1999). Previously released through Pretentious as MP3 only, it now sees a proper CD format for the first time. Upon first play, the album will ring true to any fan familiar with the artist's Middle Eastern bent-cascades of tabla-laden percussion dancing with dub sensibility and indigenous sampling (exotic flutes, voices and musique concrete). What separates Jebel Tariq from past releases is the sharp, maximum threshold of the percussion, with hand drums spiking relentlessly high in the mix; the other elements serving as subtle garnish for a full-throttled, rhythmic onslaught. This direction is played fairly straight through out the album's continuous mix (none of the eight tracks are indexed), with neither the distorted, messy beats and break downs of a release like Zuriff Moussa, nor the harsh dynamics of Gun Aramaic, nor the quirky, genre-bridging of Fedayeen. Those used to more soundtrack-ish outings by Jones should still be pleased by the dense, trance-inducing cacophonies present here; a tension building exercise built on a minimal number of elements, but still packed with ear-tickling assault. As such, Jebel Tariq provides a consistent and enjoyable flow that - with its dark and moody undercurrents and Arabic imagery (check out the Palestinian freedom fighter album art, consistent with Jones' controversial politics) - proves a poignant, contemplative listen in these troubled times.

review by Walt
Industrial Nation (Issue #21)

The following appeared in Freq.

Jebel Tariq is a Staalplaat/Muslimim re-release of an album previously available only as a download from the Muslimgauze website for a limited time in 2000, complete with images of the sleeve. Now in an edition of 700 in a new Digipak sleeve, the album once again features a grim Mujihad seated on the cover, now with equally steely-eyed daughter at his side surrounded by mint tea and Kalashnikov.

The album flows in one long ripple of complex percussion and Dub bass, interlocking groves dropping in and out of the reedy drone of ney pipes and the bustling sounds of the souk and radio muezzin. Once again, the historical and political references aboud: Jebel Tariq is the Arab name for Gibraltar, and “Fall Of Granada” refers back to the expulsion from Spain of the Moors. Musically, this is one of Jones’ more relaxed efforts, shimmering with echo effects and the jangle of horse tackle and the click of their hooves merging into tapeloop drones on this last track to evocative effect.

Jebel Tariq - original sleeve Flutes, broadcast fragments and conversation pepper the brighly-struck percussion and weighty bass of the related tracks “Maghribi Hamza” and “Maghribimaz”, conjuring the bustle of street life in North Africa with an effortlessly beguiling sense of place. “Orange Camel Sherbet” in particular glides through a dreamlike psychogeographic landscape, the percussive strike building and dropping into a satisfyingly descriptive whole, while “Agadir” swings on plucked string loops and a rubbery bass while the drums pound in a furious staccato breakdown. The vibrant energy of the Muslimgauze sound is nowhere more evident than on the title track, with hyperkinetic loops skipping relentlessly as an Arabic song is plucked from the airwaves and rendered into the tirelessly groovy mix. Artificial and imagined as the soundscapes may be, the feel for a much-maligned culture is evident throughout Jebel Tariq and this album stands as a particular highlight of the Muslimgauze catalogue when in its expansive, hallucinogenic mode.

review by Richard Fontenoy
First appeared in Freq magazine (August 11, 2006).

see also Baghdad, Ayatollah Dollar, Jebel Tariq & Sufiq & amp; Arabbox, In Search Of Ahmad Shah Masood, Iran Air Inflight Magazine, Jebel Tariq & Red Madrassa

horizontal rule

back to index Muslimgauze

Click back to go to Press Releases/Reviews Index or one of the links below for an individual release page.
Jebel Tariq Jebel Tariq (promo) Jebel Tariq (re-issue) Jebel Tariq (digital re-issue)

May 25, 2024