release date: June 11, 1999
The master tape for "Fakir Sind" arrived at Soleilmoon on May 15, 1998, in the midst of an especially busy recording period for Bryn Jones, the late mastermind behind Muslimgauze. The previous month had brought no fewer than three different full length projects to our mailbox, including a revised version of "Syrinjia", the original version of which had just been released the month before as a limited edition vinyl LP. It was impossible for this label to keep up with his output. Indeed, to have released each album as it arrived would have overwhelmed even the most dedicated Muslimgauze fan. Now that Bryn is gone we're looking backwards to our box of master tapes and beginning to reissue them, one by one, until everything is made available. Although it's doubtful we'll ever know exactly how it happened, a listener to "Fakir Sind" could conclude that it probably began as little more than a sketch, a momentary shadow cast across the sand, outlined by the rising sun. If you took a flock of peacocks and turned their strange voices into a theme, and then stretched it to fill forty-four and a half minutes you'd have "Fakir Sind". But of course that description only scratches the surface, and like every Muslimgauze album before it this one goes places untouched by anything else. While it's by no means his most varied album, "Fakir Sind" is complete project that will stand the test of time, sounding fresher and more relevant ten years from now than everything else released by the imitators and wannabes.
"Fakir Sind" is limited to 1000 copies. It was designed by Plazm, and features a cover with printing supplemented with silk-screen printing.
Press release from Soleilmoon.
The following appeared on the Islamaphonia mailing list.
Fakir Sind appears to walk backwards in the footsteps of where Observe with Sadiq Bey tread but then somehow still manages to explore new ground. Overall, there is a sense of dreamy dejá vu here, the tracks wander somnambulantly into some very familiar, yet distant aspects of Muslimgauze's previous works. Throughout the disc, there are a few recurring themes; each track has a steady rhythm right from page one of the Muslimgauze book, upon that is lain various layers of lost fragments, casual horns and strings, the occasional conversation and passive, soothing female vocal lullabies drifting through the percussion. Just when your eyes are closing and your skin is soaking up the desert heat - the beat is beheaded and you're left disrupted and broken. In true form, Bryn brings you back with the soothing and creamy sine wave bass lines and fenestrated and flanged-out breaks just to keep you awake and alert. These elements are paramount in the first four tracks, along with curious recurring animal calls and bird cries.
Track four, "Fakir of Gwalior" is an opium den of drippingly slow strings and half fragmented and Egyptian beatnik drumming. This one truly stands out in its own drug smoked haze and mesmerizes while intoxicates the listener with pure uncut 'Gauze. The narcotic harem music is absolutely incredible and will certainly make you wish this track were an extended single and not the mere 4.45 seconds that the track spans.
Continuously amazing is Bryn's ability to mix styles and this disc is a fine example. There is some very simple analog bleeping that reminds one of the old Pong video game somehow mixed in with soft prayer calls and dub bass loops and a driving desert percussion which makes up track five. More slow and static-ridden/reverb-stricken narcorhythms are to be found on the disc before moving onto the harder and frenzied drumming and slow dubby backing bass. This album sits astride many familiar styles, Islamic dub, narcotic ethno-ambience, and Bedouin frenetic beats. This one also has to rank among the albums that feature the most background dismembered female vocals which seem to appear on almost every track. One track even incorporates reversed vocals and evokes gentle humor when one tries to mentally invert it to figure out what is being said without stopping to think that it is in Arabic anyway so forwards and backwards to most it will still be just another beautiful texture. My only real complaint is the frequent use of the animal calls and bird cries. It never seems to really sink into the background and is used far too liberally for my taste.
As for the packaging, although it is very different from other releases, it wasn't really my taste and I think it will stand out among the other Muslimgauze CDs in your collection since there really isn't any Islamic theme to be found anywhere in the packaging. The cover is rather nice, black with the white scribbled pen stroked word "Muslimgauze" with a red splattered chaotic, almost bloody "Muslimgauze" written over it with some nice rich textured ink. Other than that, the exterior is black and the interior sports some strange bird motif illustrations with the same splattered and scribbled ink technique by an artist credited as Simona Bortis - this time black and red ink on white background in a red-backed jewel case. Undoubtedly some will enjoy this change of scenery but I find it sub-par thematically speaking. The poster for Fakir Sind showcases the same art from Ms. Bortis and although the design isn't to my taste, it is still an excellently produced and high quality item.
review by Ares Solis
Islamaphonia Mailing List
The following appeared on Mark Weddle's CD & Live Show Reviews page.
"Fakir Sind" is one of 2 new ltd edition (1000) Muslimgauze CDs released in June of this year, the other being "Hand of Fatima". "Fakir Sind" is the type of Muslimgauze album that takes one general theme and explores it for a duration of a disc, this one being 10 tracks and 46+ minutes. Every track has a rumbling, clean dub style bass line. Add to that a varying combination of the following: bizarre bird (?) calls, acoustic hand percussion and tablas, the drone of a Middle Eastern wind or stringed instrument, wailing vocal loops and dialogue snippets. The bird calls and vocals/dialogue can be found on at least half of the album's tracks. Another oft used trick is hacked up audio via delays, the latter half of "Zenana.." being especially fragmented. Nothing here is really distorted/overdriven or annoying, unless of course the bird calls start to get on your nerves. The tempos vary from the slow crawl of "Memsahib.." and "Fakir.." to the rapid-fire hand percussion of "Let's have.." And "Hindu Kush.." And to the upbeat bass and percussion dance of "Left Skin..". Not a great deal of variation in sounds, but plenty of change in speed and feel. Yep, I dig this. The artwork/design for this release is fairly minimal: a 3 panel double sided insert with illustrations by Simona Bortis of a hand/bird with eyeball (which was also released as a ltd edition poster by Soleilmoon), a bleeding hand and a bird. Time to file this one with the other 3 or 4 dozen Muslimgauze discs in my collection ...
review by Mark Weddle
CD & Live Show Reviews
The following appeared on Feedback Monitor.
In the months since the passing of Bryn Jones - the man who was Muslimgauze - the famous (and frustrating for fans) deluge of releases by the project has showed no signs of slowing down as Soleilmoon and other labels Jones was working with before his death continue to weed through the hours of material that he left behind. So forgive me for being cynical, but I find it hard to consider Fakir Sind as being much more than yet another instalment in the Muslimgauze disc-of-the-month club. It's not that it's a horrible release - in fact, it's a fairly enjoyable (albeit repetitive) set of ten ethno-ambient works. But it simply doesn't explore anything that we haven't heard on a dozen previous Muslimgauze records, which ultimately makes it useful only to newcomers and completist collectors. One can only presume that the label realized this when deciding to limit it's pressing to 1000 copies.review by Greg Clow
The following appeared on AmbiEntrance.
Another post-mortem release which continues the pounding desert saga of Bryn Jones remains consistent with his "usual" output, with a notable exception. If Muslimgauze's 100 recordings are too numerous and similar to individually denote... ("Which one?" "Oh, you know... sounds kinda Middle Eastern... it's got a lot of drumming in it."), at least Fakir Sind will forever stand out on one account... It's "the one with all the peacocks".
The piercing squall of a peacock is the first thing you hear upon entering the Mumbai Vibe Garden, where a deep bass current strums beneath the pattering beats and an ethnic wail loops again and again. Reedy blares top the steady drum-pummeling of Zenana of Ugly Thoughts (8:29) while bass waves underscore the proceedings which a receive further peacock embellishment, then a series of digital breakdowns. A thin, looped chant is sliced, diced and spit out in slivers with more bird cries as the drums of Memsahib of Gup and Ghee beat on.
With a low, lolling bass, elastically jangling strings, and a ceramic rhythm section so quiet you can hear the crickets chirp, Fakir of Gwalior dwells in a humidly languid atmosphere. Chittering (non-peacock) birds, distorted vocalizing and speedy beat cycles are enough to make you say, Let's Have Some More Dagga, Begum. A duo of human voices are preternaturally elongated into a series of drones in The Shikari Who Wore No Dhoti; the vocals receive smatterings of fragmented drumbeats.
Must've been a good year for the Hindu Kush Opium Crop; the bamboo is frantically beaten amidst spoken samples and dubby bass wanderings, all of which receive electronic alterations, finally warbling away into oblivion. Accompanied by the mosquito-buzz of a droning flute, the Left Skin of Jaalghazi ripples as muscular rhythms flex underneath, sometimes echoing in a disjointed counterpoint. A snakily twisting human wail is looped into a sinuous pattern and stirred further by mid-tempo beats in Why No Dogs in Nizamabad. More prominent bass meets with oddly musical rhythmic effects with Pink Seerband, which is wrapped around more moaning-swami-style incantations and distant cock cries.
Slightly more than 45 minutes of Middle Eastern style drumming, dub bass, ethnic vocals, electronic distortions (and peacock cries) make for another unmistakably Muslimgauze production. Limited to 1000 copies, Fakir Sind, to me, is just more to love so, admittedly the enthusiast, I'm dropping a 8.7 for the always transportive rhythms.
review by David J. Opdyke
This review originally appeared on AmbiEntrance August 28, 1999
The following appeared on DigiMusic.
After Bryn Jones' death, Staalplaat and its "brother" overseas, Soleilmoon, have decided to release the entire vast production still unavailable of Jones' project, Muslimgauze. Limited to 1000 copies, Fakir Sind is the most meditative one of the two works this label sent us. Songs are built on extremely groovy Eastern percussion patterns, & sometimes treated chants or traditional instrumental mantras wave in. Muslimgauze creates soundscapes to dive into, but suddenly breaks the spell with his trademark random intermittencies. This could be expected to be annoying, but here lays the fascination of Bryn's creations (on my opinion): the instauration of his peculiar constant soft-alert climate... Strongly recommended!
The following appears on Buy Buddy consumer information agent.
The life of Bryn Jones, young Manchester-born genius/provocateur behind the Muslimgauze alias, was suddenly cut short by a virulent blood disease near the end of 1998. Jones had a reputation for working at a phenomenal rate, and he apparently left behind a sizeable amount of finished-but-unreleased material. Since his passing, sister labels - and Muslimgauze devotees - Soleilmoon (USA) and Staalplaat (The Netherlands) have been "working backwards" through Jones' amassed DATs and tapes. Thankfully, these labels have dedicated themselves to keeping Jones' unique vision alive. They continue to make his immortal music available via beautifully designed, often limited, and always treasonable Muslimgauze artifacts.
Fakir Sind is one of the first posthumous Muslimgauze titles to see release, emblazoned with strikingly screen-printed glyphs and overflowing with the electrifying percussive experiments that are a Muslimgauze hallmark. In addition to the expected webs of dub-distorted Middle Eastern hand percussion, acoustic instrumentation, and drifting vocal obstinate, such tracks as "Fakir of Gwalior" also find Jones dabbling with the ear-twisting digital delay war page that marks his latter work. More unexpected is Jones' prominent use of peacock voices. Their squawks and squabbles can be heard among the patter of hand drums and vocal loops, adding to this remarkable disc's authentically exotic flavor.
The following appears on the All Music Guide & iTunes.
Fakir Slid belongs to the group of Muslimgauze albums that are quite diverse as wholes. Not diverse musically, perhaps, but Fakir Slid provides a lot of something that Muslimgauze's songs usually lack vocals. All tracks on this album are based on a rhythm track with the usual Muslimgauze instruments (percussion and an electronic bass), occasional background noises, and a sampled vocal loop. Fakir Sind , like many other Muslimgauze works, pretty repetitive and recycles samples, but it stands out very well from Muslimgauze's discography, as it is one of the best implementations Bryn Jones node. Also Fakir Slid is very good as a whole and carries a unifying theme; there are many tracks that qualify as hits, such as "Lets Have More Dagga, Begum" and "Hindu Kush Opium Crop". Fakir Slid s evidence that Muslimgauze's large discography isn't just the repetition of one innovative sound Bryn Jones invented Muslimgauze again and again.
review by Ante J. Ravelling
All Music Guide
The following appears on Epinions.com.
Muslimgauze: Bryn Jones. The life of Bryn Jones, young Manchester-born genius/provocateur behind the Muslimgauze alias, was suddenly cut short by a virulent blood disease near the end of 1998. Jones had a reputation for working at a phenomenal rate, and he apparently left behind a sizable amount of finished-but-unreleased material. Since his passing, sister labels--and Muslimgauze devotees--Soleilmoon (USA) and Staalplaat (The Netherlands) have been "working backwards" through Jones' amassed DATs and tapes. Thankfully, these labels have dedicated themselves to keeping Jones' unique vision alive. They continue to make his immortal music available via beautifully designed, often limited, and always treasurable Muslimgauze artifacts. Fakir Sind is one of the first posthumous Muslimgauze titles to see release, emblazoned with strikingly screen-printed glyphs and overflowing with the electrifying percussive experiments that are a Muslimgauze hallmark. In addition to the expected webs of dub-distorted Middle Eastern...
review by durto (October 19, 2000)
The following appears on Epinions.com.
I am a Muslimgauze junkie, and it's a habit i never want to kick. Prior to his unfortunate death in January, 1999, one Bryn Jones, hailing from Manchester, Great Britain, had released over a hundred recordings bearing the name Muslimgauze.
I say, "collect them all". Muslimgauze means different things, depending on which disks you choose to listen to, but almost always means hypnotic/repetitive. Whether fashioning peacock sounds into chorales or looping middle-eastern drums through dat-and-back, repetition is the order. "Fakir Sind" is a limited release, and may be hard to come by, but stands as one of my favourites. The ultra-low bass, accented by peacocks, and the Muslimgauze percussion, weave a shimmering illusion in the desert sand, wherein time stands still and uncertainties abound, in the blinding sun.
The ten tracks show minute variations. Sometimes there are looped, Arabic vocals (female for the most part), in addition to the vocal stars of this disc [the peacocks]. Occasionally strings are used, or woodwinds, and crickets replace the peacocks...it's very difficult to convey the ambience that these elements envelope the listener in-some find the peacocks annoying, and prefer the tracks without those birds.
This disk is a favourite, i listen to it start-to-finish.
This is not new-age pablum, this is tactile, sensual space. A more peaceful outing than many of the later works, granted. Dubby, but not predictably. A new listener might be better off starting with something like Hussein Mahmood Jeeb Tehar Gass, but to own one Muslimgauze disk is to be ridiculously understocked...no single disk does the legacy of Bryn Jones justice, it takes many listens to many different disks to begin to only comprehend the legacy of Muslimgauze.
As always, the packaging is exclusive and exquisite. Great attention to detail adds to the enjoyment of Muslimgauze.
review by durto (October 19, 2000)
see also Box Of Silk And Dogs, Fakir Sind, Hand Of Fatima & Iranian Female Olympic Table Tennis Team Theme, Azad, Box Of Silk And Dogs, Fakir Sind & Hand Of Fatima & Fakir Sind & Hand Of Fatima
January 10, 2017