1998 Not only has Muslimgauze’s work survived the death of Bryn Jones, so have his working methods; with so much worthwhile material still in the vaults and much of it having little in the way of information or context left by the artist upon his untimely passing, recent reissues and new releases have seen Staalplaat going largely by the way the working tapes were originally organized.
Here we have an excellent example of the perils and rewards of that approach; eight mixes, just over an hour, of some of the dubbiest, most spacious material Jones ever put to tape. The tracks collected on Un-used Re-Mix’s 1994-1995, the newest release in Staalplaat’s Muslimgauze Archive series, are too good to leave collecting dust, but Jones never got around to organizing or even titling them (except, perhaps, inside of his own head).
The truly diligent might be able to track down the source for some of these tracks after hours poring over the rest of Muslimgauze’s vast discography, but no such trainspotting is needed to appreciate the smeared, haunting vocal and hand percussion of the third track, or the ominously rattling, echoing sixth track, or the heavy organ overlay that brings the last track as close to showgaze as Muslimgauze ever came.
So much of Jones’ work evokes the sounds and atmospheres of the Middle East, India, and other points further south than his own Manchester environs; the remixes here bring a bit of that northern chill into the veins of these productions, resulting in an album that sometimes feels like Muslimgauze venturing into outer space. Without the political context that Jones no doubt intended for these tracks, we’re left only with the actual sound, a sound that continues to retain its power and striking individuality.