Release date: August 27, 2020
"Long-time Muslimgauze fans with keen eyes and/or photographic memories may immediately notice something about the newly unearthed Sadaam's Children album; with some slight orthographic differences, it just about shares a name with a short track from the classic Narcotic (Staalplaat, 1997; the similarity and the difference is pretty much expected from someone who both liked to reuse names and didn’t care for consistency in spelling as Bryn Jones did). While none of the four lengthy tracks found on Sadaam's Children actually sound like sparse, clean string sounds of Narcotic’s “Saddam's Children”, three of them never previously heard extended versions of tracks previously found on that release – well, one is both an extended and truncated version, but such are the idiosyncrasies and joys of the ever-complex Muslimgauze oeuvre. That extra-special track is the mighty, dubbed-out “Gulf Between Us”, which does appear on Narcotic as a brief palate cleanser but in the same year was also released by Staalplaat as a standalone track in its ultimate, 23-minute form. That sprawling version takes a rather circuitous route as subtle electronic elements wear away at the track; the more compact 10-minute version here instead dials up the bass wobble for a track that’s about as chilled as Muslimgauze ever gets. “Believers of the Blind Sheik” and “Effendi” are slightly more straightforward, in that both are about twice as long as their Narcotic excerpts, with the former’s echoing drum hits and quiet pulse proving to be a natural fit with “Gulf Between Us” at the beginning of the release and the even sparser, slower building version of the latter seeing the album out in slightly abstract fashion. Before that track, however, there’s the previously unreleased and similarly lengthy (at nearly 17 minutes) “Trikrit Brotherhood Quartet”, the only track of the four here to get more of Jones’ traditional layers of instrumentation and distortion to form a track that seems to shimmer in the summer air like a mirage. As “Trikit Brotherhood Quartet” winds its way from roiling static to more of Jones’ classic use of hand percussion it’s clear that these extended editions make for another compelling look at Jones’ archives and the seemingly infinite flexibility of his muse. Limited to 700 copies."
Press release from Staalplaat.
The following appeared on Boomkat.
Immersively expanded dubs of gear from Muslimgauze’s 1997 album ‘Narcotic’, now reframed as ‘Saddam’s Children’ in Staalplaat’s eternal stream of archival Bryn Jones salvos
As any ardent Muslimgauze nut will know, they guy had a a really frustrating way with titling his tunes, and Staalplaat know this better than most, leading them to constantly discover new material mislaid from classic sessions. The tracks on ‘Saddam’s Children’ stem from 1997 session that became ‘Narcotic’, but offer much more in-depth versions where it’s easy to lose yourself in Muslimgauze’s patient but ever shifting patterns and evolving filter envelopes.
The star of this show is the rescue of ‘Gulf Between Us’, a 10’ expansion of the 3’ original, rolling out on his slipperiest drums and furrowed atmospheres. But that’s also the shortest cut, as the others really take all the time needed to wrap us up in reversed loops, ghostly calls and snatches of overheard conversation on ’Believers of the Blind Sheikh’ while ’Tikrit Brotherhood Quartet’ commits to a rawly mindbending sort of raga noise - like new age with teeth - and ‘Effendi’ unfurls a nocturnal tableau flecked with percussive shrapnel and radio interceptions that eventually gel into a bone crunching electro-steppers groove almost indistinguishable from the styles of his acolyte and torch carrier Vatican Shadow..
The following appeared in Rate Your Music.
Consists of extended versions of tracks from Narcotic and a completely new track, so naturally i absolutely loved this.
This album is basically just Narcotic but more long-form and consequently much more hypnotic, giving you more time to drown in the palette and atmosphere of each track separately. The full version of Believers of the Blind Sheikh especially hugely trumps the one on the album, in my opinion. the cut of Gulf Between Us (which certainly seems to be one of Bryn's favourite tracks as there are multiple edits of varying length of it) here is amazing too, yet the 23 minute one will always have my heart. I just generally think this album does more of what Narcotic does for me and applies to long-form extended track formula to it which naturally I will be attracted to in any piece of music. Definitely the most up-my-alley of his releases but I'd still say Narcotic is more consistently brilliant over it's runtime.
There isn't too much I can say about this that isn't said in my Narcotic review, but if you like that one, give this one a shot!
reviewed by StoneInFocus
Rate Your Music
November 3, 2020