Lo-if India Abuse
Working hard on the Muslimgauze full length. Here's a little info: it's going to be LP (probably limited to 1000) and CD (not limited). About 45 min, 10 tracks. The artwork is a mosaic I did for Bryn of a big pair of black headphones, kind of Byzantine style - creamy modulated white background with a border - I'm very happy with it. Title will be what he scrawled on his first fax to me regarding the material, "Lo-if India Abuse". ETA: second week of August.
Note: The latest information is it will be LP only for a while. (ed. This note turned out to be incorrect and in fact for quite a while only the CD version was available. This was due to problems with the production of the LP version.)
comments from BSI Records
Lo-if India Abuse is the result of collaboration between BSI Records' Systemwide and the late Bryn Jones, a.k.a. Muslimgauze. It is a collection of beautiful and brutal originals and "re-mixes", a seriously varied assortment of tracks that focus dub, Mid-East percussion, and radioactive ambience and noise through the singular Muslimgauze filter. Some of the tracks are recognizable reconstructs of songs from Systemwide's "Sirius" CD, most are pure Muslimgauze; the two flow and collide effortlessly.
This collection represents some of Bryn Jones' last work. It may give us a sense of some of the territory that might have been explored had Bryn been able to continue. It is also one of only a handful of Muslimgauze releases issued by a label other than Staalplaat or Soleilmoon. Like the earlier "Systemwide meets Muslimgauze at the City of the Dead," it represents the beginning of what promised to be a great relationship between Muslimgauze and BSI.
Lo-if India Abuse is a crucial work and a necessary listen for all who have followed the journey of the formidable and singular artist known as
Press release from BSI Records
If Muslimgauze needs an introduction, you haven't had your ear to the dirt for too long. Like the sublime archaeology that adorns the record sleeve, give thanks that this set has been unearthed.
Lo-if India Abuse (the title scrawled by Bryn Jones on the DAT master he sent to BSI) shows Muslimgauze in fresh and varied form, focused on a minimalist palette of hand drums, sine-wave bass, sick distortion, and drop-out dub delays. All the tracks feel live and hands-on; not labored over, but with real staying power nonetheless. The recording and mastering are immaculate, with devastating low end, and tablas so crisp you swear the drummer's four feet in front of you wearing a cloaking device. Some of the tracks are reconfigurations of Systemwide songs, elements of which were torn straight off their Sirius CD. Bryn and BSI have left it to the attentive to determine which tracks are versions, and which are straight up 'Gauze.
Side A. Antalya drops you smack in the center of the Souk, a tide of humanity surging to the whistle. Romanie Abuse and Valencia in Flames tear fucking holes in your speakers' mids, as obtusely looped live bass patterns keep you stumbling forward, blacking out and coming to from the deadly delays. Al Souk Dub brings you back to the market, with a bass line so subby you won't even know it's there unless you have 12" or bigger woofers. Catacomb dub flanges the hats and dubs the rhythm until the dub becomes the rhythm, until the void itself is being dubbed - as dope a testament to Bryn's compulsive genius as you'll hear on any release that came before.
Side B. Possibly the baddest track on the disc, Dust of Saqqara drags a glowing meteorite out from under Zoser's step pyramid, cracks it open, and slowly gets the glowing green ooze all over the place. Android Cleaver resurrects Eldridge as a loping automaton blazing like Westworld. Dogon tabla calls the Great Fish God out of the deep with sweet, aquafied keyboard trills, and Nommos' Afterburn sends him back to the Sirius system with rocket fuel burning hot, white, and deafeningly loud.
Brush away the sand, put your ears to the cut-glass headphones of the ancients, and leave this place behind. Now.
reviewed by Ibrahim Ahmeti
The following is from Wreck This Mess.
The latest in Muslimgauze selection. It is a crash between Systemwide & Bryn Jones. The result is a destabilizing mix of noise and harmony. Beats exist where no beats have existed before - at the moment music begins to tear apart, open up and become white noise. Glitches, fades, over-modulation, echo turning back upon itself, the static in the air prior to a storm, crowded medina ambience, sharp middle eastern percussive beats- these are the "instruments" employed to get the propellant and impatient effect of turmoil in spirit and sound as if there are forces acting upon the production beyond the control of humans. These are the crucial sounds of crisis where the agit prop message of support for oppressed peoples is at once enhanced and enshrouded by the impressionistic abstraction of dub on the edge of falling apart. This is the kind of sound 95% of all listeners will hear and wonder if there isn't something wrong with your sound system, your CD, your mind - the same reaction you get from the early Mark Stewart discs or Stravinsky or..
reviewed by: Bart Plantagena
Originally appeared in the Wreck This Mess newsletter.
The following appeared in the &etc newsletter.
Muslimgauze was prolific in terms of his releases, and while most were on Staalplaat and Soleilmoon, throughout the discography there are items on various other labels, reflecting both the reality of the limits of his majors ability to release everything and also his own willingness to support new, small labels. Towards what was to become the end of his life, Muslimgauze began a collaboration with BSI -his side of remixes of Systemwide were reviewed in &etc v1.3. This album is a full length release made of some more remixes and new material.
One of the first questions asked of a new Muslimgauze is whether it is beaty, dubby, crunchy, ambient: a drawback with the number of releases is that there is a tendency to look for a one word categorisation of each album. And while it is true that some themes are prominent in many releases, Lo-if India Abuse demonstrates the full truth - that in many albums there is a smorgasbord of styles and methods at work. Nonetheless, in general terms this one falls into two sets - the first 5 tracks more dubby and the last four experimental techno, perhaps reflecting the split on the vinyl version (track 5 has a foot in both camps). Common features, though, are some signature drop-outs where the music (or most of it) disappears and reappears, and some low level distortion.
The dub side is Muslimgauze's take on the technique: echoes, the drop outs and rubbery bass. 'Antalya' opens out Lo-if with driving Muslimgauze: a fast percussive beat of drums and subtle distortions with an old man singing deep underneath it: he, a crowd and a wind instrument become more audible in some of the gaps between the drums. 'Romania Abuse' and 'Valencia In Flames' could be two of the Systemwide remixes. The first is a bubbling dubby piece, where tablas meander through one channel and an electro-bleep in the other, and synth echoes and a squelch wandering in and out between the speakers. Valencia is straighter dub-reggae beat with a group instrumentation and vocals remixed around it, with the echo and rapid fades expected of the style applied liberally.
'Al Souk Dub' is a lovely, slow meandering track. A simple tabla sequence is overlaid with a sound which resembles something played backwards - a haunting honk. It forms a solo instrument over the percussion: conversational voices flow underneath and the CD-vinyl crackles, an orchestral sample makes a very brief appearance at the tail. The more electro feel seeps into 'Catacomb Dub', a blippy piece reminiscent of Hammer and Sickle or Emak Bakia, with a couple of layers of loops skated over by squelches, descending synth lines, helicopter whirls and sundry effects, ending with a delightful long slow fade as one rhythm loop continues and effects are echoed.
On the second half, Muslimgauze explores some newer electro-experimental territory. 'Dust Of Seggara' is a relentless attack. Here we are closer to Species of Fishes: a humming crush of feedback provides the grounding for the rhythm loop, tied to a more standard percussion, creating modulated radio static. Again, trapped underneath is a string sequence which is occasionally released, and a more active drum about half way through. The following 'Android Cleaver' has a drum and bass loop, over which two different voice samples (one over most of the track, sounds like 'Eskimo') are rapidly cycled. These seem to gate some crackling squelches, or are distorted, so that they are accompanied by angular noises.
And then another pair of new sounds: 'Dogon Tabla' and 'Nommos Afterburn' both feature drums (the second more rapid) acting over almost ambient synthesizer sequences: we had heard theremin and synth bleeps before, but these are the first melodies I have heard. In 'Dogon...' its a rapidly descending sequence that has a short twist at the end, while the second is a descending/ascending movement that gets messed around with. It is hard to tell if they are being used ironically, the drums removing the ambient aspects, the sequences breaking down and some distortion (both particularly in Nommos), but they create an interesting juxtaposition. A familiar Mullah appears from a minaret in Nommos.
This is an important album as representing work Bryn was doing close to the time of his death, suggesting some of the directions he may have subsequently moved in (although there were likely to be so many unguessable). However, more than that it is an excellent Muslimgauze album, and a great release in its own right. The variety and sweep make it one to keep coming back to. Fans will know to buy it anyway, but for the new entrant to the world of Muslimgauze it is a highly recommended addition.
The cover is smart, based on a mosaic created by Ezra of BSI for Muslimgauze; it is very modern (the image is a pair of headphones) using a technique redolent of the east.
reviewed by Jeremy Keens
Originally appeared in &etc 1.6.
Reproduced by permission.
The following appeared on the Islamaphonia mailing list.
"Lo-if India Abuse" is an uncompromising and brash brutalization of percussive inertia. There is so much intensity in each track, Muslimgauze has somehow again successfully merged old techniques into a potent new direction where the music overpowers just about anything that stands in the way. Bedouin-styled drumming, relentless dub bass-lines, "west bank" crunchy beatz, delayed and flanged out breaks and grooves all coexist spilling over into one another on this release.
The first track starts off with very intoxicating but otherwise standard hand drumming straight from Muslimgauze 101. This is a bit of a false start for the rest of the CD, which is far more powerful. 'Romanie abuse' kicks out the hardcore analog west bank "deep crunchy" dub vibes. This track appears to be partially composed of some stepped on and victimized loops from the track Romanie Stepper from the Systemwide release "Sirius" also on BSI.
Track three 'Valencia In Flames' is kick-start, loop-o-holic, fat 'n fuzzy, tricknological vaporized and fractalized dub plate that'll mess your head up but good for a long time to come - guaranteed. The heavily delayed, pixilated, blip 'n bass mantra appears to also be a harsh remix of snippets from Systemwide's 'Sirius' release from 1997 taken from the track 'Valencia' which is a mean beast all by itself.
The fourth track 'Al Souk Dub' is a desert dweller relative of Farouk Enjineer - only with more gritty, dirty, battered bass lines and psychedelic misplaced "cut and paste" breaks. This is the Mullah's fuzzy drunken handed drum and delayed-bass, a dub that's been drugged up, bleeped out, and stoned with a holy smoke from a mad hookah. Opiates and blip-bleep beatz wind their way through the next track, drowning toward the end in a confused and mis-focused garble of analog delay and distortion.
'Dust Of Saqqara' is almost 8 minutes of pure consciousness altering rhythm. It's amazingly composed of a very oversimplified Casio-style cheap hip-hop preset which is forced to bear the burden of a smothering, hot crackling, fuzzed out, fat looped analog bass wave form that'll seriously cook your speakers - blast the volume and make your woofers earn their keep. The breaks on this one are few and far between and when they come, the void is filled by a very soft phrase from some elegant strings, sublime. Think Azzazin part three.
The seventh track is heavy on the west bank ethos with few changes and lots of distortion. Following that is a very nice piece called 'Dogon Tabla' which is much more playful than the rest of the disc, a bit of a pause from the rest of the disc to catch your breath, lots of ear candy and sweet analog sparkles.
The whole thing wraps up with another re-mixed piece from Systemwide 'Nommos', which is renamed here as 'Nommos' afterburn'. This track is circa 1980's video game meets metal-plated armour and tactical weapon geared percussion that mechanically marches through the city mosques and only breaks and pauses momentarily to hear the slow male prayer vocals. The Arab-anime titanium beats will make you wish clubs would throw this papa down on a Saturday night.
43.33 minutes mastered by the bad-asses of Sound Secretion with a truly mesmerizing mosaic of a set of headphones designed by Systemwide/BSI man Ezra Ereckson.
review by Ares Solis
Islamaphonia Mailing List
The following appeared on Earpollution.
Muslimgauze has always been a frenetic source of rhythm. Spanning 90+ releases in the last 17 years, Bryn Jones (the man behind Muslimgauze) has consistently found new ways to wrap the sounds of the Middle East around your skull. Lo-if India Abuse, one of the last projects he embarked upon before his death in January 1999, finds Bryn in a head-on collision with Systemwide, a Portland, Oregon dub-influenced band. The liner notes relate that some of the tracks are remixes of tracks from Systemwide's Sirius release [on BSI Records]; but, like all Muslimgauze remixes, such content is a mere influence once the Muslimgauze haze has descended upon the music. There are otherworldly elements which creep into the tracks--echoes of instrumentation that one wouldn't normally hear on a Muslimgauze release--but the end is still that hot desert wind which Muslimgauze stirs up.
Shorter tracks make for more intense listening as you don't have the luxury of falling into the repetitive trance which comes from some of the longer pieces on other releases. There is a sharper focus here that results in tracks like "Valencia in Flames" which leaps and burns out of your speakers in quick, flaming fury and is quickly gone, leaving a smoldering track across your ears, the dub drop-outs still rattling around your head. Bryn has always made distortion of the master material, dub echoes, and clicking dropouts part of the Muslimgauze oeuvre, consistently pushing the rhythm of the track through these veils of sonic disturbance. "Al Souk Dub" finds us in the marketplace listening to the spray of voices and the rattle of machinery in the distance, all the while captivated by the hand drums in the foreground as their sound is splintered and fractured in such a non-organic manner that the dichotomy of human hands creating and mad machinery fragmenting the replay of the source is permanently welded together. "Catacomb Dub" resounds with the dust of forgotten hallways, sand stirred up by a passing tremor that takes a long time to return to its quiescent state. "Dust of Saqqara" has a hint of stringed instrumentation in the distance, but you can't reach it because there is a plague of black buzzing scarabs crawling all over you, their thick distorted buzz filling your mouth and ears.
There is something wrong with the wind that comes out of the Muslimgauze desert--there always has been. What you hear is never clean, the sounds carried over the high walls and down the dusty streets to you is never free of scarring and mutilation. And Bryn sought this state; he sought to make music which would have an impact on you, much as his feelings towards the situations in the Middle East have always driven his music. It isn't a recreation of ethnic material, but rather one man's continual fight to alarm us and shake us from our complacency through the wild disturbances and explosive energies which bubble and fume from his material. Muslimgauze isn't easy listening, just essential.
review by Mark Teppo
Originally appeared on Earpollution Oct. 1999.
The following is from Wreck This Mess Radio.
A strange and ghostly destiny is revealed by some of these posthumous releases. The more time passes, the more we discover about Bryn Jones' many connections. A little like a puzzle - because there's always a delay between the moment of creation and when the work is actually released. Briefly, this release demonstrates the attachment that this master manipulator had for dub. After sorting, crushing and mixing sound to the extreme, Muslimgauze ended by returning to bass-music in all of its glory ("Al souk dub", "Catacomb dub"). Fractured textures, fragmented rhythms, huge effects - behind these devices we can easily uncover some classic themes that wouldn't have offended the dub-masters.
This work of memory follows a collaboration on the same label: Systemwide meets Muslimgauze "At the City of the Dead." This is a "secretion dub" in the form of a roots-style "clash." This meeting echoes the very experimental remixes that Muslimgauze did for the Rootsman. Knowing that the latter has also worked with Systemwide, this collective from the West Coast of the U.S., it's clear that this is all a family affair.
review by Laurent Diouf
Wreck This Mess
Translated by Ezra Ereckson
The following appeared on Mark Weddle's CD & Live Show Reviews page.
It takes several different record labels just to release the incredible amount of material Bryn Jones recorded in his lifetime. Here we are about 8 months after his untimely passing and we've been blessed with 20 new discs worth of new material via Soleilmoon, Staalplaat, BSI and a few others. And there is seemingly no end in sight for the near future. This disc was recorded in 1998, some tracks are "pure" Muslimgauze and some are re-mixs of tracks from Systemwide's "Sirius" CD. Nearly all of the tracks have hand percussion in varying tempos and intensities and at least 1/2 make use of electronic noise surges. The sound is very crisp and clean, extremely well produced, recorded and nicely varied throughout the length of the disc. Some track by track comments: "Antalya" is obviously from the same sessions as "Fakir Sind" seeing as it shares the same hand percussion sound, whistles, vocal wailing, cut-ups and delays. "Valencia.." sounds like a Systemwide remix to me. A dub bass line, hi-hat and background vocal of some sort are all obliterated by numerous delays, starts, stops and re-starts. I love the unpredictable nature of these cut-up tracks. "Al Souk Dub" injects background voices, market sounds and drones into the cut-up mix of slow hand percussion playing. "Catacomb.." and the final two tracks make use of twinkling synth waves, presumably a Systemwide sound source. "Dust of.." has a heavy pulsating electronic sound wave over an old beat box rhythm. "Android.." is brutal (as is "Nommos..") ... hand percussion, jabs of noise and an oft repeated, unintelligible vocal sample. Yes, "Lo-if.." is yet another great Muslimgauze release, this one being unlimited so you shouldn't have to go bidding for it on eBay anytime soon. The inserts feature a mosaic headphone design which BSI is also using for a poster and t-shirt they are now selling, so get 'em while you can ...
review by Mark Weddle
CD & Live Show Reviews
The following appeared in Q Magazine.
Latest from Manchester agit-ambient sound merchant.
Centered around agent provocateur Bryn Jones, electronic outfit Muslimgauze has been a supporter of Islamic Fundamentalism since the early-80s. Backed by a burning fusion of ambient beat over 20 albums. With this offering it's very much a case of "do not adjust your set." It ranges from jumping, juddering speedy dub "Valencia in Flames" to a disembodied mix of Arabic street sounds on "Al Souk Dub." Jones' heavily filtered samples pack a punch, particularly on "Android Cleaver" and "Dust of Saqqara." He can just as easily move away from clattering loops to something softer, as in the sparkling "Dogon Tabla." Compelling, aggressive ambient (if there is such a thing) from an old hand.
review by Lucy O'Brien
Q Magazine January, 2000
The following appeared in Uncut Magazine.
Muslimgauze is Bryn Jones, who sadly died early this year of a blood disorder. He'd been making albums for 17 years. Electro-brutalist affairs tinged with Middle Eastern influences, which reflected his pro-Palestinian views. Lo-Fi India Abuse is hard work. Frankly claustrophobic and migraine-inducing at times, but it does have its moments of impact.
review by David Stubbs
Uncut Magazine January, 2000
The following appeared in URB Magazine.
Bryn Jones was the Englishman known as Muslimgauze, an insanely prolific recording artist whose releases stretch back to the early '80s. Blending experimental home-tape tricks with industrial beats and Middle Eastern inspiration, Jones came up with a lot of music that was as aggravating as it was fascinating. Basically, he needed a good editor. But, as if to prove he didn't release just any old stuff, here he is, back from the dead ( he left this earth in 1999) with some previously unavailable tracks that fall more on the 'fascinating' side of the equation.
The disc opens with some vibrant Arabic percussion, an element of Jones' work that always set it apart from his imitators (though you can never tell if he's appropriated a field recording or played everything himself). Yet there's something askew, as usual: The tracks on the disc progressively get more fucked up, and by the third cut, "Valencia in Flames," I was sure my turntable was broken. The trick is, this is a CD. Jones has actually taken the track's underlying dub ideas and turned the process of dub in on itself. Though the sonic disruptions here get annoying after a while, Jones surely wouldn't have wanted it any other way.
review by Benjamin Diaz
URB Magazine March, 2000
The following appeared in Losingtoday Magazine.
Sadly the last offering from Bryn Jones aka Muslimgauze who died early last year from a blood disorder. His death has robbed us of a prolific and challenging artist, whose body of work has sought and succeeded in pushing back the barriers of pre-conceived concepts. Lo Fi India Abuse is a pared down collection in some respects disappointingly short in that the tracks aren't given time to evolve. That aside it displays a curious blend of deconstructed elements of dub being set against native middle eastern sounds. The intriguing thing about this album is the quality, the initial few seem to fade in and out making you wonder whether your CD player's faulty, yet pinpointing perfectly the sounds of a culture it seeks to convey. The track "Al souk dub" is the albums high point, a piece of pure dub friction set against a clambering native wail. An irreplaceable loss.
review by Mark B.
Losingtoday Magazine #2 Spring, 2000
The following appeared in Freq E-zine.
Tabla. Whistle. Cries. Rhythm. Huzzahs. Hisses. Whirring. Rhythm. Distortion. Thrumming. Bass. Rhythm. Stops. Starts. Chirps. Rhythm. Muttering. Echoes. Cut-ups. Rhythm. Warbling. Scuttling. Buzzes. Rhythm. Superimposition. Melodies. Endings. Rhythm.
review by David Cotner
The following appears on listen.com.
Controversial yet cloistered, Bryn Jones, who died in January 1999, created Muslimgauze as a conduit for his pro-Palestinian views. However, these ambient works allow even the non-politically minded to enjoy Muslimgauze's diverse experimental electronics dotted with Eastern samples.
Lo-if India Abuse, one of the band's more percussive albums, constructs a sonic mosaic from the first song, "Antalya," which loops primitive sounding drums over an eerie reverberating Indian vocal sample and dub-like tendencies. Here, whistles, whoops, and high-pitched wails overlay each other like ornate tiles. The goal of Muslimgauze was always to encourage curiosity by using music to convey its message. With this unique and easily digestible program of drums, samples, and electronica, it is posthumously successful.
The following appears on Amazon.com.
The editorial reviews and buyer reviews are very precise, but really don't describe this music. (Besides the oud is a string instrument, a ney is a wind instrument.) Okay, imagine a B science fiction movie circa 1950 from the Middle East. That is an apt description of this music. Sometimes the idea of something is better than the execution of something. This is not going to be everyone's piece of cake but it is still eatable.
Leslie Akers "Dulce_Quod_Utile"
Awesome feast of dub, distortion, and percussion.
This is one of the most varied Muslimgauze releases around, and I've heard a lot of them. Heavy hand drumming, big dub bass-lines, crackling dropouts and disorienting delayed dropouts make for a mesmerizing listening odyssey. Many Muslimgauze releases are sort of 'thematic', in the sense that they stick to one basic style, tempo, or groove structure, but not Lo-Fi; it's got a great variety of tempos and textures, but definitely stays on the beat side - Arabic/electro futurepast! Terrific production and mastering. This one's a must! To all those who think 'you've heard one Muslimgauze, you've heard them all' - forget it. Check this out!A Music Fan (November 25, 1999)
Muslimgauze in fresh and varied form - all killer, no filler.
If Muslimgauze needs an introduction, you haven't had your ear to the dirt for too long. Like the sublime archaeology that adorns the record sleeve, give thanks that this set has been unearthed.
Lo-Fi India Abuse (the title scrawled by Bryn Jones on the DAT master he sent to BSI) shows Muslimgauze in fresh and varied form, focused on a minimalist palette of hand drums, sine-wave bass, sick distortion, and drop-out dub delays. All the tracks feel live and hands-on; not labored over, but with real staying power nonetheless. The recording and mastering are immaculate, with devastating low end, and tablas so crisp you swear the drummer's four feet in front of you wearing a cloaking device. Some of the tracks are reconfigurations of Systemwide songs, elements of which were torn straight off their Sirius CD. Bryn and BSI have left it to the attentive to determine which tracks are versions, and which are straight up `Gauze.
A. Antalya drops you smack in the center of the Souk, a tide of humanity surging to the whistle. Romanie Abuse and Valencia in Flames tear holes in your speakers' mids, as obtusely looped live bass patterns keep you stumbling forward, blacking out and coming to from the deadly delays. Al Souk Dub brings you back to the market, with a bass-line so subby you won't even know it's there unless you have 12" or bigger woofers. Catacomb dub flanges the hats and dubs the rhythm until the dub becomes the rhythm, until the void itself is being dubbed - as dope a testament to Bryn's compulsive genius as you'll hear on any release that came before.
B. Possibly the baddest track on the disc, Dust of Saqqara drags a glowing meteorite out from under Zoser's step pyramid, cracks it open, and slowly gets the glowing green ooze all over the place. Android Cleaver resurrects Eldridge as a loping automaton blazing like Westworld. Dogon tabla calls the Great Fish God out of the deep with sweet, aquafied keyboard trills, and Nommos' Afterburn sends him back to the Sirius system with rocket fuel burning hot, white, and deafeningly loud.
Brush away the sand, put your ears to the cut-glass headphones of the ancients, and leave this place behind. Now.A Music Fan (October 22, 1999)
A dub-happy excursion.
One of Muslimgauze's "lighter" releases, this sees him playing with plenty of dub lines in the tracks. Minimal percussion to the core (drum and bass and sample), it works for its stripped nature. Recommended!
A Music fan (August 7, 2001)
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Lo-if India Abuse (CD) Lo-if India Abuse (LP)
January 10, 2017