If ‘Satyajit Eye’ (which is released at the same time on Staalplaat) only blinks at Indian culture, the album ‘Al Jar Zia Audio’ does this with both eyes open. It is known that Bryn Jones, the man behind Muslimgauze, looked further than the Palestinian conflict and used extensively the rhythms of India, Pakistan and other Eastern cultures.
Like crossing borders in the bigger Islam region, Jones takes whatever comes at hand and moulds into his own trademark sound – often imitated, never surpassed. The tribal bang of the drums, the sampled voices of the radio, combined with a strong sense of melody, makes the music of Muslimgauze stand out a mile from the rest. Whereas others fell into the traps of commercialism, Muslimgauze remained faithful to his own principals and methods. Even in digging
the vaults of Muslimgauze, it’s hard to find material that is of a weaker nature, as ‘Al Jar Zia Audio’ will proof. From the uplifting dance rhythms of ‘We Have Shafika Habibi On Our Bus’, including the chirping of crickets, the bubble bass of ‘Arvinada Jewel Box’ and crackles of sun burned vinyl, but also some curioso piece such as the highly experimental ‘All I Have Is Sand’ or the ‘stop-start’ approach of Brotherhood Of Tikrit’.
Bryn Jones was not just a master who refined the art of sampling, but also knew how to create a fine piece of music out of it, more often then not displaying a fine sense of melody. ‘Al Jar Zia Audio’ offers fifteen tracks in over an hour of exciting Muslimgauze music of a sheer varied nature.
Less mysterious, more open, this is the melting pot of many cultures, from sunnier parts of the world, served from a rainy UK city.
1. Ayatollah Dollar
2. Taliban Code
3. Sari And Reebok
4. We Have Shafika Habibi On Our Bus
5. Radio Sharia, Eyes As Well
6. Arvinda Jewel Box
7. Come Inside My Chador
8. Lost Iranian Tourist
9. All I Have Is Sand
11. Brotherhood Of Tikrit
12. Purdah Zealot
13. Al Jar Zia Audio
14. Jai Jai Ram And Harmonium
15. Rani Rupmati, Diamond Swallower