Monday, 26 January, 2009

Muslimgauze - Silknoose (1995)

Muslimgauze was the stage name of Bryn Jones (June 17, 1961 - January 14, 1999), an extremely prolific British electronic music artist, strongly influenced by everything to do with the Middle East.

Bryn Jones was not a practicing Muslim and never went to the Middle East. His recordings as Muslimgauze, however, qualified him as one of the Western artists most explicitly slanted in his favor of the Palestinian liberation movement. Since the Manchester-native's works were instrumental, most of the political statement was inherent in the packaging: Witness titles such as Fatah Guerrilla, Return of Black September, Hebron Massacre, Vote Hezbollah, United States of Islam and The Rape of Palestine. Jones could have been a potentially controversial figure if his releases were available in anything except severely limited editions -- usually less than one thousand copies of each. Despite their lack of prominence, Jones' blend of found-sound Middle Eastern atmospheres with heavily phased drones and colliding rhythm programs were among the most startling and unique in the noise underground.

The name Muslimgauze was derived from the word "muslin," which is a type of gauze, and changed into an adjective describing the area in which he was interested. He was a staunch supporter of Hamas and the PLO, and he believed Palestine should be "freed from the Zionists." Born in Manchester, England, United Kingdom, he never visited the Middle East, explaining, "I don't think you can visit an occupied land. It's the principle. Not until it's free again."

He first began making music in 1982, under the alias of E.g Oblique Graph, to protest the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. He released three cassettes and a 7" EP as E.g Oblique Graph: Extended Play (1982), Piano Room (1982), the 7" Triptych (1982), and Inhalt (1983). After he changed his name to Muslimgauze, he released a 7" EP (Hammer & Sickle), his first full-length LP (Kabul), and another cassette (Opaques) in 1983. In 1990, the Australian record label Extreme signed him, but he left in 1994 for Dutch label Staalplaat and its sister American label Soleilmoon because his albums were not being released as promptly as he had wanted, and he was also not receiving payment. Since he had put out seven releases since he signed, money was becoming a problem. His output was always very high. In 1995, he had six releases; in 1996, fifteen; in 1997, nine; in 1998, sixteen. After his death, the many record companies he had associated with released unreleased material and re-pressed older, out-of-print material. In 1999, the year of his death, twenty-two new (and old) albums and EPs on several media were released.

Strongly opposed to the use of computers and samplers in music, Jones always recorded his music with old analog equipment, which were never from the United States or Japan. He would record himself playing various Middle Eastern instruments and record voices of Middle Eastern people from old tapes. Jones's music was heavily percussive; a review of a rare live performance notes that Jones used a "backing DAT tape with pretty harsh, rhythmic textures, his sort of patented spiralling hypnotic beat, to which he played on two or three different drums with great skill." He never looped his music; it was all recorded live, and edited/mixed afterwards. The end result was often loud and staticky, with sudden changes in volume. Jones was never concerned with how many copies of his record were sold, or even how much listeners enjoyed his music, but rather how original his music was.

On Wednesday, December 30, 1998, Bryn was rushed to the hospital in Manchester with a rare fungal infection in his bloodstream, for which he had to be heavily sedated all the time. His body eventually shut down, and he died at 22:50 GMT on Thursday, January 14, 1999.

About Silknoose:
Ambient-industrial with Arabian tribal dance influences. According to some, one of Muslimgauze's most impressing works. Fifteen tracks of extraordinary dance floor propaganda. This is one of the albums where the variety is the main driving force: interspersed between the fast paced majority are some slower, lazy paced tracks. A very enjoyable album edging towards the harsher sounds of some later albums. Silknoose was released on cd by Daft Records (D1005 CD) in 1995. In a limited edition of 800 copies.

** thank you for the review, mr sangkoyo!

1 - Moslem Satellite Channel
2 - Gandhi Tentacle Song
3 - Your Arms, Our Opium
4 - Priyanka Tumdesh Chalao
5 - Memsahib Tea Emporium
6 - Qazi Hussain
7- Qazi Hussain (Re-Prize-Al)
8 - Myth And Tyrants
9 - Dish Poison
10 - Azure Taboosh
11 - Sheesh Mahal
12 - Amber Lake
13 - Moslem Satellite Channel
14 - Kalka Male
15- Memsahib Tea Emporium


Sunday, 18 January, 2009

Chico Science / Nação Zumbi - Da Lama ao Caos (1994)

Chico Science Nação Zumbi's debut album represents a seismic shift in Brazilian music from the '60s tropicalia generation headed by Gilberto Gil, Milton Nascimento, and Caetano Veloso. Da Lama Ao Caos is a revelation, an organic fusion of the forceful maracatú rhythm from the Recife region delivered by massed surdo drums with overlays of metal-tinged hard rock or James Brown-style rhythm guitar, Chico Science's convincing rap vocals, and the creative sensibility of the dub/mix generation.

The opening monologue's twanging berimbau and pounding drums set the tone before sweeping seamlessly into the power chords married to funk-riffing attack on "Banditismo por Uma Questão de Classe." "A Praieira" is centered on a staggered riff that drops down into the parade drumming perfectly and "Côco Dub (Afrociberdelia)" is a savvy maiden voyage into dubwise sound science. The artfully layered arrangements and impeccable command of dynamics enables the group to shift gears from the funky "Samba Makossa" to the title track's heavy guitar without missing a beat. Lino Maia's guitar is savagely intelligent throughout, the fierce rhythmic undertow never lets up, and Chico Science's staccato vocal bursts fit the musical framework like a glove. Rarely can you point to an album as the definitive marker of a change in musical generations, but the new Brazil started with Da Lama Ao Caos.

1 - Monólogo ao Pé do Ouvido (Vinheta)
2 - Banditismo por Uma Questão de Classe
3 - Rios, Pontes & Overdrives
4 - A Cidade / Boa Noite do Velho Faceta (Amor de Criança)
5 - A Praieira
6 - Samba Makossa
7 - Da Lama ao Caos
8 - Maracatu de Tiro Certeiro
9 - Salustiano Song (Instrumental)
10 - Antene-se
11 - Risoflora
12 - Lixo do Mangue (Instrumental)
13 - Computadores Fazem Arte
14 - Côco Dub (Afrociberdelia)

Chico Science - Vocal
Lúcio Maia - Guitarra
Alexandre Dengue - Baixo
Toca Ogan - Percussão
Gilmar Bola 8 - Alfaia
Jorge dü Peixe - Alfaia
Gira - Alfaia Canhoto - Caixa


Friday, 9 January, 2009

A Gift to Ustad Allah Rakha - 75th Birthday

Alla Rakha Quereshi, born April 29, 1919, at Ratangarh, near Jammu in India, is one of the leading accompanists and tabla soloists of Hindustani music. He is also vocalist, harmonium player and composer. He rose to fame through his work as Ravi Shankar's accompanist in the 1960s and 1970s when Shankar's music was finding a new, international audience. Since record-keeping at the time of his birth tended to be hit-and-miss affairs -- often little more than a season or in proximity to a holy day -- his birth date is approximate, borne out by the fact that he celebrated his 75th birthday in Bombay on January 15, 1994.

Quereshi's musical interests were fueled by the traveling theatrical entertainments that would pass through the Jammu region, and eventually, he ran away from home to Lahore in present-day Pakistan. There he lived with his uncle and eventually took formal tuition; fortunately, his skills were recognized early on. Unusually, he studied under Mian Kadur Bukhsh for tabla and under Ashiq Ali Khan for voice. He went to work with All India Radio (AIR) at its Delhi location in 1936 with the famous broadcaster Z.A. Bokhari. He worked in other locations for AIR before leaving the company in 1943 for the movie industry where he composed and performed music to meet the insatiable demand for cinematic entertainment. In time he moved on to classical music. He was especially known for his work with two of the subcontinent's finest sitarists, having worked with both Vilayat Khan and Ravi Shankar. Alla Rakha went on to record extensively with Ravi Shankar. He also made a mark as a world class percussionist with his early East-West collaboration with American jazz drummer Buddy Rich on Rich à la Rakha (World Pacific WPS 21453) and the solo Tabla! (WPS 21458).

He remains one of the supreme percussionists of Northern Indian music and like his sons, Zakir
Hussain and Fazal Quereshi, he has given birth to a new style of tabla playing which has elevated the role of tabla player from the relatively lowly accompanist to soloist. Many listeners expect the flamboyance and panache of their cross-rhythms and compare other players' styles unfavorably to that of Alla Rakha and his sons. It is a relatively recent trend, fast becoming the norm. Exciting musically and visually arresting, it has been carbon dated to the 1960s and the emergence of a new wave of soloists bringing new levels of stagecraft to the concert podium. -- Ken Hunt, All Music Guide

A performance celebrating the approximate 75 years of the tabla master, joining father and sons in an unique display of immaculate rhythmic techinique. Allah Rakha would expire six years later and this was one of his last recordings.

1. Matt Taal: Ustad Allah Rakha solo
Sarangi Lahra Raag Khamaj
2. Rupak Taal: Zakir Husain & Fazal Quraishi
Sarangi Lahra Raag Saraswati
3. Sawari Taal: Zakir Husain solo
Sarangi Lahra Raag Chamapakali
4. Ek Taal: Ustad Allah Rakha & Zakir Husain
Sarangi Lahra Raag Maru Bihag
5. Teen Taal: Ustad Allah Rakha, Zakir Husain & Fazal Quraishi
Sarangi Lahra Raag Dhani

Sarangi accompainment by Ustad Sultan Khan

Recorded & released in 1994 by T-Series India


Monday, 5 January, 2009

V/A - State of the Union (1992)


A Collection of 68 short works curated by Elliott Sharp. Avant, Jazz, Rock, Noise, and all the Downtown space between. A good overview of what (some) Popular Music sounded like before the bloody 90s.

1. David Weinstein - Non-Verbal News (1:00)
2. Barbara Barg - Hey Geoge (1:00)
3. Borbetomagus & Voice Crack - Westworld (1:03)
4. Soldier String Quartet - Patchwork Quilt For Those Now Gone (0:55)
5. Margot Mifflin - Backlash (1:03)
6. Krackhouse - The Whole World Turned Upside Down (0:53)
7. Ikue Mori - Frankspeach/Tonge And Groove (0:59)
8. Anthony Coleman - Patches '91 (0:56)
9. God Is My Co-Pilot - Role Model (0:55)
10. Lois V. Vierk & Ngoneni Cele - Nkosi Sikelel 'l Africa (1:07)
11. Marc Ribot - Motherless Child (1:04)
12. Vicki Stansbury - African Spit Poems (0:58)
13. Gen Ken Montgomery - Keystone Model CC-16 (1:03)
14. John Zorn & Yamatsuka Eye - Cowlick Pussyman (1:07)
15. David Fulton - Overture For The 90's (1:06)
16. Nicholas Collins - Tropical Boubou (0:52)
17. Marc Sloan - Murk (1:21)

18. Syd Straw - What I Heard (0:54)
19. David Linton - Land Du Lack (1:11)
20. Pamela Z - State (1:09)
21. Grafted Media Devil - A Minute To Pray (0:57)
22. Mofungo - Down He Looked, At Her Pocketbook (0:51)
23. Henry Kaiser - Moosylvania Perestroika Guitar Solo (0:59)
24. Mad Arab - The Cold Silent Treatment (1:04)
25. David Shea - Quiet Please! (0:54)
26. Alex Noyes - Vocalize (0:59)
27. Wanda Phipps & M. Doughty & Jonathan Maron - Marching To Euphoria (1:04)
28. Michelle Kinney - An Arrival (0:58)
29. Brian Karl - Inspirational Message (0:54)
30. Lee Ann Brown & Sarah Boyd Blair - The Of A The (0:59)
31. A Thousand Tiny Fingers - Ready, Set, Shred (1:09)
32. Leslie Ross - A New World Sympathy (0:54)
33. Hal Willner - Jerry's Hymn Of The Republic (1:13)
34. Shelley Hirsch - Hallucinogen (0:55)
1982 #1

35. John Lurie - Good Morning Dear (1:05)
36. Felipe Orrego - One Minute (1:04)
37. Peter Blegvad & John Greaves - Like A Baby (1:01)
38 - Diana Meckley - A Small Motion (1:02)
39. Bill Obrecht - Cornered (1:09)
40. Pulsallama - May (1:44)
41. Bartok Liebermann - As Told To Andrew Zev Weinstein (0:35)
42. Michael Boom - Misery Loop (0:44)
43. Squat Theatre - Mr. Dead & Mrs. Free (1:28)
44. A.C. Chubb - Rough Translations Will Be Provided For The Ancient Inscriptions (0:50)
45. Gerry Lindahl - What's To Come (1:00)
46. Arto Lindsay & Toni Nogueira - Due Pay To (1:05)
47. Social Climbers - Standing In The Need Of Prayer (1:00)
48. Sonorexia - F Troop (0:57)
49. Tim Wright (2) - My Town (1:00)
50. Spalding Gray - Address (1:23)
51. Thi-Linh Le (w/ Laswell, Beinhorn, Skopelitis) - No Regrets (1:18)
1982 #2

52. Christian Marclay - Disc Composition #23 (1:07)
53. Adele Bertei - Baal (1:17)
54. Ivan Kupala - Discoration Of Independence (1:09)
55. Charles K. Noyes - Discrepancies (0:59)
56. Chris Vine - Terminal Activity (1:02)
57. Tuli Kupferberg - A Rant (1:20)
58. Sue Hanel - Agenda (1:06)
59. Butch Morris & Jessica Hagedorn - Crayon Bondage (1:13)
60. F.A. Nettelbeck & Wayne Horvitz - Beer Notation (0:40)
61. Martin Bisi & Victoria Galvez Bisi - Bear Dance (0:54)
62. Melody Sumner - The Time Is Now (1:02)
63. Marina La Palma - World Whirl (1:15)
64. Bob Holman & Vito Ricci - Panic DJ's State Of The Union (1:10)
65. Artless Time - Cherry Blossom (1:12)
66. Fred Frith & Tina Curran - I'm Still Here And I Know What Time It Is (1:06)
67. Patrick Sumner - Precious Chemicals And Dice (1:15)
68. Hi-Sheriffs Of Blue - HMZ (1:08)

Tracks 01-34 released in 1992.
Tracks 35-68 originally released in 1982.
Collection released by Muworks in 1993.


Bravo Clippings #40

Ted Rall, No More Mr. Nice Guy, 06.03.2004

Friday, 2 January, 2009

Sam Rivers - Fuchsia Swing Song (1965)

In the autumn of 1964 tenor saxophonist Sam Rivers spent two months on tour with the Miles Davis quintet. This was the group that, with the addition of Wayne Shorter, would become known as Davis’ “Second Great Quintet.” Miles found the young tenor man to be too “out there” for his group, influenced as he was by avant-gardists such as Eric Dolphy, Ornette Coleman, Albert Ayler, and Archie Shepp. Yet Rivers successfully mixed these influences with more traditional ones. His expansive tenor sound is reminiscent of blues and R&B players like Arnett Cobb or Albert Ammons, while his melodic and rhythmic conception indicate the influence of Sonny Rollins.

Fuchia Swing Song was recorded in December of 1964, and it features two-thirds of the Davis rhythms section: bassist Ron Carter and drummer Tony Williams, both of whom provide a modern, aggressive, yet sumptuously swinging base for Rivers to work off of. Pianist Jaki Byard, who began working with Charles Mingus in 1962, offers not only the chordal framework from which Rivers works, but also distinguishes himself by playing a variety of styles with equal aplomb as well as offering some deft solo work of his own.

Fuchia Swing Song is Rivers’ debut Blue Note recording, and it is a confident and sharp debut. All the pieces here are Rivers compositions, with the most well-known being “Beatrice,” dedicated to his wife. Other musicians have recorded the piece, but there has never been a better, more sensitive reading than here, and the solo work of Byard and Carter furthers the lyricism of the piece beautifully. Other standouts include the title track, a 32-bar structure that features the propulsive cross-accents of Tony Williams, helping Rivers build an intense, turbulent swirl of notes that eases back into a rollicking swing formation, as well as “Luminous Monolith,” which employs traditional chord changes but manages to sound modal.

Byard and Rivers are perfect for each other, as both are in complete command of their instruments and are aware of the traditions that other musicians have paved on them, but at the same time can propel those traditional sounds into the future. In addition, both possess loads of technique but never use or display it as an end in itself. Add to this the potent mix of Ron Carter and Tony Williams and you’ve got an album that sounds as modern, complex, beautiful, and hard-hitting as it did in 1964. The reissue of this CD should go a long way towards restoring interest in Rivers, which would be an excellent thing.

1. Fuchsia Swing Song
2. Downstairs Blues Upstairs
3. Cyclic Episode
4. Luminous Monolith
5. Beatrice
6. Ellipsis

Sam Rivers - Tenor Sax
Jaki Byard - Piano
Ron Carter - Bass
Anthony Williams - Drums

All compositions by Sam Rivers
Recorded in New Jersey, 21-5-1965.
Originally released by Blue Note in 1965.


Bravo Clippings #39

The Ewing Clan would like to wish all Friends of Juju a petrolfying New Gregorian Year.