Port Said

The following appeared on Vital Weekly mailing list.

Now you'd probably think I will go all bananas over this as you would expect that I am known for not liking to review compilations, have my doubts about remixes and am I known as not the biggest lover of the music of Muslimgauze. However I won't. Following a heavy listening sessions years and years ago I decided to keep exactly three Muslimgauze releases; 'Emak Bakia' (the one the late Bryn Jones didn't like), 'Azzazin' and it's blue print 'Port Said'; the latter perhaps also because I was involved in the production on a little enterprise I was running at that time called Audio.NL. So there you go with the first wrong assumption. I handed in the permission to re-issue this 12" on a short CD, and Russia's Aquarellist released that as a CD, stand alone, as well as a double CD with remixes by some of the usual suspects, I guess, in the field of remixes and in the area of Muslimgauze; this being Scanner, Esplendor Geometrico, Rapoon, but also Steven Wilson's Bass Communion, Dead Voices On Air and ex-Bourbonese Qualk Simon Crab are present, along with Pacific 231, of whom we don't see many remixes and more unknown players, at least to my ears, such as A.P., In Dead It Ends, Velehentor, QST and perhaps Troum is the biggest surprise, of whom I never knew they were in the business of remixes. Both 'Azzazin' and 'Port Said' have a very distinct synthesizer sound, which is rhythmical in itself yet this time it is Muslimgauze without his usual tabla's and other hand drums. That distinct sound returns in quite a few of these remixes, as a thread through these mixes; whatever else happens is up to the remixers. It ranges from some very deep drone music by Troum, via the noisy approach of Velehentor to the somewhat lighter brother of Dead Voices On Air, Rapoon and Pacific 231 on one hand, but in most pieces there is some form of rhythm. From basic structures with Bass Communion and A.P. towards more up-tempo pieces by Esplendor Geometrico, QST, Simon Crab, In Death It Ends all in varying degrees of techno music, which leaves Scanner's modular synth and radio approach as the odd-ball here. While the original shimmers through all of these remixes it surely works out in many different ways, which makes this a really fine compilation of remixes.

review by Frans de Waard
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Vital Newsletter (#1078 April 18, 2017)
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May 3, 2017