Classics Selection (compilation)
"Classics Selection" is the long-awaited CD reissue of the vinyl singles and EPs that launched BSI into the underground spotlight. "Systemwide Meets Muslimgauze at the City of the Dead" and Sound Secretion Dub were companion 12" EPs released in hand-screened editions of 500 each, shortly after Bryn (Muslimgauze) Jones died in the winter of 1999. "Systemwide Meets Muslimgauze: Nommos' Return" was released a full year later, as a hand-stamped 10" EP in an edition of 2000. All of Muslimgauze's tracks on these two records are remixes of Systemwide material sent to Bryn by the band in early 1999. All three of these plates have become serious collector's items - the City of the Dead 12" in particular is known to fetch astronomical prices.
In addition to finally making these tracks available on CD, this collection contains three exclusive bonus tracks, one from each of the three artists. Muslimgauze's "Skip The Sun" is a radical three-part deconstruction of Systemwide's "Sound of The Sun" from their long-lost Sirius CD, Systemwide's "Aswan Dub" is a brand new track held back from their new Pure and Applied album specifically for this collection, and Sound Secretion's "Echoic Memory Dub" is a fantastic heavyweight dub meltdown that closes out the album in truly epic style.
This reissue is respectfully dedicated to Bryn Jones, whose musical influence continues to be felt from the uninterrupted stream of new Muslimgauze music being released, and who continues to move us personally as well, through his example of uncompromising allegiance to one's vision and beliefs, regardless of critics and nay-sayers
* Muslimgauze is a cult favorite across genres, loved by fans of middle eastern, dub, industrial, electronic and experimental music.
* Systemwide's new "Pure and Applied" album (BSI 027) continues to garner great press and the band tours the west coast regularly to promote its releases. East coast tour planned for Spring 2003.
* Sound Secretion (AKA Alter Echo) has an underground buzz from his split 12" picture disc with DJ Spooky, which has sold 3000 copies to date.
Sound Secretion: "...blasts the atmosphere with toxic fog while crackling break-beats march forth.. Darkly irresistible!" XLR8R
Systemwide: "...the States' finest dub group.." SF Weekly
Muslimgauze: "...Arabic cyber-dub, with industrial hand drums, magnified finger cymbals, backwards tapes an d... Chanting at the mosque down the road. Like reading Paul Bowles on a bass bin." SPIN Magazine
release information from BSI Records
The following appeared in the &etc newsletter (ed. note: it also includes a review of a none Muslimgauze recording but so as not to infringe on the original review it has been left in tact.).
Way back in v1_03 we reviewed a pair of BSI 12" singles one from Sound Secretion Dub, the second a split Systemwide/Muslimgauze. Later, Muslimgauze put out a 10" single on the label, which passed us by, and the CD Lo-Fi India Abuse. Now BSI have compiled those three releases and added a previously unreleased track from each artist, making it all more widely available.
Muslimgauze opens with 'Smooth prophet' where twoodles segue into a bass drum from Systemwide (all the pieces are Systemwide-based) with keyboards shimmers, dubby voice loops and phasing. 'Nommos Descending' is more Middle Eastern with drums bells and occasional keyboards, squelching and some Systemwide filtering through. Drums beats and dirty squelched synths in the 'Excerpt From By The West Bank'. Very fast percussions, voices and little melodic bits, with blippy dubby echoes in the furious 'Nommos' Ark', with trademark dropouts, while 'Nommos' Ghosts' is more relaxed, crackling vinyl. Melody loop, slow drums and twitters, lightly dubbed with soft loops, more ambient though some fast loops intrude at the end. His set ends with the bonus track 'Skip The Sun' which combines a number of segments a slow-complex of backwards echoed tones, with rubbery bass and sample loop, sorta weird but catchy; then fast, very MG drums; which loops and bubs, develops some bass and into a remixed rhythmy piece a nice combo, which may reflect 'edits and additional production' by Sound Secretion.
Systemwide offer their take on dub-reggae, of which more below: 'Contrapositive' where bass and drums set up a slow sinuous rhythm, scratching and echoed keyboards, then thin/processed vocals, A long instrumental break brings in weird electronica and aural Catherine wheels. Deep bass under which brings it back at the end. Piano and organ join the beat for 'Provisional Dub', strong drums, a vocal sample grows, and the whole is more electronic and driving. Then the extra track, 'Aswan Dub' which expands the electronic squiggles and squirls, adds bass, drums, claps and long tones and a computer-ish melody, the sample and dervish calls adding to the jolly lightness of the track without being throwaway before tones and trumpets take the fade.
'Sound Secretion In The City' takes harder high hats, street samples, stepper bass, theremin and other synth for a forceful drive more composed and compiled. So that in 'Frequency Seduction' we have tapping, a vocal fragment (vocoder?) that winds up with sitar(?) to a strong melody over pulsing rhythm, winding down and up again. Experimental in 'Beat Trilogy' with irregular beats, squiggles, spoken samples while '4am Dub' has UB40ish horns plus the rhythm section with lots of reverb. A violin and burbling loop lasciviously over a slow rhythm 'In The Eye Of Dub', and in 'Shifting Dub' there are bells, reverse organ and dense layers of sound to create another driving piece. And finally, 'Echoic Memory Dub' adds another shade with its light shimmery mood, sinuous horns, allowing another aspect of Sound Secretion to show.
Highly recommended for anyone interested in any of the artists featured these were recordings well worth bringing to a wider mass: and the extra tracks are a definite boon, each adding to the artist's selection.
review by Jeremy Keens
This text originally appeared in &etc v2003_a.
Reproduced by permission.
The following appeared in Rate Your Music.
I discovered Muslimgauze with this compilation of three late EPs, released after the death of the sole member of Muslimgauze. Each of the EPs is a collaboration with other collectives - Systemwide & Sound Secretion, with each record adding an identity to this compilation - mystical and Eastern influenced on The City Of The Dead, and huge dub influences on Sound Secretion Dub.
The outstanding track here is "Nommos Descending", a fascinating Middle East journey into deep beats, which begs for your attention. The rest of the album will appeal to dub lovers, as the genre takes the main stage with Sound Secretion.
This compilation will surely push others, like myself, to delve deeper into the world of experimental electronica which Muslimgauze has been evolving for the past two decades.
reviewed by spiritual
Rate Your Music (April 21, 2004)
The following appears on Amazon.com.
My friend is getting me into some "noise" and she is in love with Muslimgauze so I got this CD yesterday at my fav. local record store... (and yes, they do actually sell records also). I wasn't sure which CD to grab but an awesome employee helped me.
It's all very dub-y and less noise-y... so if you like that sort of thing already but want to get into noise this is a great CD for you. It will help fuzz up the transition. So... yeah.
review by Cassie (March 7, 2005)
November 4, 2020