Return Of Black September

available: July 8, 1996

Muslimgauze returns to the dubby and laid-back styles after his recent aggressive onslaughts. Packed in a digipak, edition of 600 copies. On the cover you will find a cover for DAT only release. Send this along with your blank DAT and get extra, unreleased material, which will not be available anywhere else.

Press release from Staalplaat.

The following appeared in The Wire.

The excellent Black September, a 500-only limited edition, is a continuous, five-part, 68 minute epic is as formidably competent as ever, although more for the brooding, surreal nature of its sound-world than for its grooves, which here sound almost subsidiary. The soul samples and restlessly evolving minor-chord kaleidoscopes that unfold throughout the work is prima facia evidence of a musician on a roll.

review by Paul Stump
This text originally appeared in The Wire magazine (issue # 145).\

The following appears in All Music Guide.

Boldly named after one of the most notorious Palestinian terrorist organizations, the group which carried out the Israeli Olympic athlete massacre in 1972, September matches its dark black artwork and design with equally doom-laden music (mastered as one track, despite the five separate song titles listed on the back). The title track relies on a slightly more gentle ominousness, with soft string plucking reverberating around the beat, but things start to pick up accordingly with the more aggressive, sharp-edged electronics shading into a tense blend of percussion and energy on "Libya"; after shading away into a more minimal midsection, the track returns at a nervous, quick pace, with drums and drum pads firing off echoes into the mix as drones snake in and out of the song. One particularly gripping section has shards of noise firing off in all directions before settling back into the frazzled energy of the central beat, feeling like a soundtrack to a particularly good chase scene in a movie. "Thugghee" and its accompanying remix keep the unsettled edge up, with sudden drum and electronic pulse intrusions erupting over the main flow of the songs. It's interesting to hear how Bryn Jones' love of dub applies itself in even more creative and different ways than from his productions of some years before, exchanging the slow pace for a fast one and applying Krautrock drone principles. A nicely stretched out, creepy remix of Gun Aramaic's "Opiate and Mullah" wraps up this fine effort.

review by Ned Raggett
All Music Guide

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

Second in the series re-editions of older Muslimgauze music released by Staalplaat, "Return of Black September" (which is also the name of one of the most notorious Palestinian terrorist organizations) presents yet another face of the artist's eclectic production. Originally released in a limited edition of 500 copies, the year 2004 will offer 800 lucky people (make that 799, I got my copy already!) the possibility to taste Muslimgauze's interpretation of what sounds like a deep, droning and disturbing ritual made of soft finger-tipping Darbuka percussion skin patterns, single hits of both delayed and unprocessed drums, loops of stringed wide-range instrument, field-recorded noises and voices, or just breaths and whispers. Quite alienating and scary at times, "Return of Black September" goes about its business in a continuous fashion, divided into five parts, totalling more than an hour of music. Experimental dark electronics meets tribal and ethnical mantras of ancient and distant culture creating a new breed of electrified world music. Although the middle of the record portrays the most inspirational and every day life sounding part of this record, the darker and nastier side takes the lead at the top and the tail of the record, with increasingly predominant and saturated rhythmical grooves. Bryn Jones was so far ahead of its time, you can't even begin to comprehend if you don't know at least one tenth of his discography, totalling almost 200 titles so far.

review by Marc Urselli-Schaerer
Chainlink D.L.K. (May 18, 2004)

Return Of Black September (vinyl version)

available March 6, 2020

"The excellent Black September, a continuous, five-part, 68-minute epic, is as formidably competent as ever, although more for the brooding, surreal nature of its soundworld than for its grooves, which here sound almost subsidiary. The soul samples and restlessly evolving minor-chord kaleidoscopes that unfold throughout the work is prima facie evidence of a musician on a roll.

Boldly named after one of the most notorious Palestinian terrorist organizations, the group which carried out the Israeli Olympic athlete massacre in 1972, September matches its dark black artwork and design with equally doom-laden music (mastered as one track, despite the five separate song titles listed on the back). The title-track relies on a slightly more gentle ominousness, with soft string-plucking reverberating around the beat, but things start to pick up accordingly with the more aggressive, sharp-edged electronics shading into a tense blend of percussion and energy on "Libya"; after shading away into a more minimal midsection, the track returns at a nervous, quick pace, with drums and drum pads firing off echoes into the mix as drones snake in and out of the song. One particularly gripping section has shards of noise firing off in all directions before settling back into the frazzled energy of the central beat, feeling like a soundtrack to a particularly good chase scene in a movie. "Thuggee" and its accompanying remix keep the unsettled edge up, with sudden drum and electronic pulse intrusions erupting over the main flow of the songs. It's interesting to hear how Bryn Jones' love of dub applies itself in even more creative and different ways than from his productions of some years before, exchanging the slow pace for a fast one and applying Krautrock drone principles. A nicely stretched-out, creepy remix of Gun Aramaic's "Opiate and Mullah" wraps up this fine effort.

This vinyl includes the two unused Return of Black September tracks that were on the archive series volume thirty two cd. The two extra tracks, however, follow in taking a much more cleanly digital feel, with many of the elements Jones usually uses present but in more stripped down or even mechanized forms. The relatively clean pulse of these two longer compositions serve as a refreshing contrast.

All tracks written, performed, mixed by – Muslimgauze. Recorded, engineer, mixed by – John Delf. Previously released as Muslimlim 004. Limited edition of 700. Muslimgauze Archive Series Volume Fiftyone."

Press release from Staalplaat.

The following appeared on TTZL Muziekblog.

Muslimgauze is the name under which Englishman Bryn Jones (1961-1999) made experimental, instrumental music. His work is very diverse in nature and ranges from ambient, techno and dub to noise. Ethnic influences (especially traditional percussion) are a constant factor in this. He also often incorporated vocal samples of oriental origin into his music.

Bryn Jones was fascinated by conflicts in the Muslim world and especially by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Without ever having been in the region himself, he had a very strong (pro-Palestinian) opinion that is only expressed in the titles of the songs and the album and in the design. It is quite possible to appreciate the music regardless of the political context.

Bryn Jones was very productive. Under the name Muslimgauze he released during his life almost a hundred productions on LP, CD, single, EP etc.; often in limited editions of a few hundred pieces. Because it was more than one record company could handle (for example, 16 albums in 1998...), he divided his productions over several companies. But even in this way, a lot of material remained unreleased and that is why about a hundred productions have been released posthumously so far.

Return of Black September is an album from July 1996 and is - after a number of more aggressive, hard albums - a return to a quieter style with dub influences. The title refers to the Palestinian organization responsible for the attack on the Olympic Israeli athletes in Munich, 1972. The CD has only one song of 68 minutes, although the whole consists of five parts that blend into each other.

Return of Black September starts the album with quiet echoing percussion and keys, but after about nine minutes this turns into Libya (22 min.) in which the tempo increases and the opening piece is dominated by extreme stereo effects of the percussion. After a quiet middle section, Libya ends uptempo again. The third song Thugghee (22 min.) starts quietly and is dominated by an oriental stringed instrument in combination with samples of spoken Arabic texts. About halfway through, the pace is picked up again and it takes on a more dub-like character. A remix of the title track (mistakenly posted on the cover as a remix of Thugghee) and a remix of an older song finally close this album in a laid back dub style. Remixes often occur on Muslimgauze albums, but because these are often radically different versions of the original, that is not a problem.

If you've never heard of Muslimgauze, Return of Black September is a great introduction. And then I think there are two possible reactions: either it doesn't appeal to you and you go looking for something else OR you go for the axe and try to get hold of as many albums as possible. Because many of those albums have only been released in limited assignments, that can still run into the papers. The amounts for Muslimgauze albums on sites such as Discogs.com or Ebay.com are often several times the original price. Outliers are Tandoori Dog and Box of Silk and Dogs.

Posted by TTZL (September 18, 2012)
TTZL Muziekblog.

The following appeared on Boomkat.

First vinyl pressing of prime electro-dub soundscaping by the master of his craft Muslimgauze - a standout dark pearl in an extraordinary catalogue.

Originally issued in 1996 during the none-more-prolific artist’s latter phase, ‘Return of Black September’ slots into the most precious seam of his work where the distortion is finely tempered in favour of hallucinatory dub design and sprawling percussive patterning that still remains among its era’s most singular, if then-overlooked bodies of work.

That aesthetic is pretty much epitomised in the 23’ cinematic saga of ‘Libya’, where snaking drums coil in and out of focus across a dusty, dusky backdrop into the darkest spots and pinched corridors, or in the 23’ of bittersweet Tar meditation and Djinn-dance electro-dubbing of ’Thugghee’.

The shorter ‘Remix of Thughee’ with its haunting lead tone and sand-trample drums and the ghostly electro steppers possession of ‘Remix of Opiate and Mullah’ perfectly serve to illustrate where Vatican Shadow takes his inspiration from, and both properly render Bryn Jones’ work at its most untouchable and threateningly atmospheric.

Boomkat

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

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March 6, 2020