Professor’s Records: Muslimgauze

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Beginning today, I would like to start a new series: Professor’s Records. This series will focus on various musicians that I have found interesting and worthy of note. Many of them will bring a bizarre innovation or creative novelties that cannot be found in any other music. The first of such artists is the English, experimental/noise artist: Muslimgauze.

Bryn Jones (1961-1999) created tracks of remixed sounds of the Middle-East under the stage-name Muslimgauze. His inspiration began with a politically-charged frustration regarding Israel, Palestine, and Lebanon; particularly Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon.  Jones’ research on the subject led him to become an open supporter of Palestine’s cause. Further research brought him to the conclusion that the West’s interference with the Middle East is causing its unstable nature.

“…the constant interference of the West in the Middle East is not welcome, the USA is the source of the trouble, giving billions of pounds/dollars to Israel every year, helping to prolong the situation…”

-Bryn Jones in an interview with Network News (September, 1990)

And although his music does not have lyrics, the influence of his political views is easily seen. Jones remixed “found-sound” (as critic John Bush called it) from Middle-Eastern nations using tape-loops, sample discs, mixing desks, and sometimes his own drum kit. What emerges is a stimulating soundscape that truly captivates me as an exploration of the Middle-East.

While alive, Muslimgauze produced a substantial amount of music (90 albums with 32 different labels)! But after his death in 1999, due to a rare (bloodstream) fungal infection, his music did not stop flowing. So much music had been produced by Jones, that new Muslimgauze albums are being released as recently as 2012. To date, over 200 albums, compilations, EPs and more have been released by Muslimgauze. And more are expected to come.

One thing is a guarantee, Muslimgauze is a fairly unique, and wonderfully bizarre, artist.

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