A wonderful percussive experiment from Bryn's 'band'. Especially noteworthy are "Milena Jesenska" and the 2nd side's epic "Taoist" track. Well worth looking into if you like music that offers more than the Sisters Of Mercy's of this world.

Phonetic Systems fanzine No. 1 (1983)

The following appeared on Rate Your Music.

Quite an uncharacteristic Muslimgauze record in contrast with the more well-known middle eastern ambient dub/techno of the 90s albums, but it's quite good. As with Kabul, this is Muslimgauze in its infancy - no real arabic percussion yet, pretty much none Middle Eastern snippets, and generally not so much emphasis on Arab politics. Instead, Opaques is a nice exploration in that minimal lo-fi EBM/post-industrial sound - echoed and reverberated drum machines, sparse analog synths, and various samples to keep things interesting (as evident in Milena Jesenska, where samples of female opera-like singing are used to a great extent). I like this kind of sound, obviously it sounds dated by now (as many things from the 80s tend to do, hah), but that's more of a plus for me. The last track is very sparse and kinda too long but it doesn't spoil the impression from the album. This record is definitely an improvement on the debut's sound, while sharing the same aesthetic.

So, yeah, great music for watching black and white archive footage of post-war cities, walking around on a cloudy day at an abandoned factory, or something like that.

muslimgauze_reviews (June6, 2018)
Rate Your Music

The following appeared on Boomkat.

Opaques is one of the earliest Muslimgauze releases by Bryn Jones following his foundational releases as E.g. Oblique Graph. It was the 2nd issue on his Product Kinematograph label and previously only available on original cassette or as part of Vinyl-On-Demand’s Chasing The Shadow of Bryn Jones 1983-1988 10LP + book boxset.

It’s a pioneering, syncretic example of sampledelia, dub-tech prototypes and instrumental post-punk electronics pursuing a very personal muse deep into the echo chamber of his own psyche. Bryn’s infatuation with Middle Eastern politics is yet to fully come into play here but, we can hear strong aesthetic links between the cracking Linn drums and cranky space of his E.g. Oblique Graph gear and the seven tracks of Opaques.

The mesh of Czech choral samples, duppied Linn and synth-pop motifs in Milena Jesenska, or the proto-Photek Taiko drumming of Taoist and Enfilade’s drily funked dub flux is just incredible...


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Opaques Opaques (vinyl re-issue)

May 25, 2024