From the Edge
Format: 2 CD. Disc 1, Muslimgauze. Disc 2, Various artists.
Release: Early November 2011.
The Muslimgauze Preservation Society are proud to offer you a fragment of previously unreleased musical history, vintage Muslimgauze from 1990. It was around this time when a young John Goff wrote a fan letter to Bryn Jones, along with his wishes to release a Muslimgauze track. Jones promptly responded with a cassette master of not only a track, but a whole album. At the time, Muslimgauze was signed to Extreme who were wary of fans who wanted to release music by their marquee artist. On the other hand, Jones was stymied by Extreme’s one-release-a-year schedule, but that did not stop him from making more music. At Jones urging, however, Extreme relented and Goff released the exquisitely hand carved single track 7-inch “Red Crescent Part 3” (The Way Out, 1993), but the rest of the tape remained unreleased. Not long after Jones’ passing on January, 1999, Goff organized a tribute remix album based on fragments from the masters. Many responded, more than the album could accommodate. The results were From the Edge (Chlorophyll, 2003 on vinyl and Azra, 2004 on CD). The unreleased remixes joined the unreleased masters in the vaults, until now in a wonderful two disc set! Disc one has two tracks at 20 minutes each. Track one is “Muslimgauze live at the Manchunian Turkish Baths”and track two is “Muslimgauze Unreleased Tracks”. The music was composed not long after Uzi (Parade Amoureuse, 1989) and is a cousin to Intifaxa (Extreme, 1990), only livelier. Tracks are comprised entirely of percussive textures; from machine, to acoustic, and ethno-drums along with cymbals, bells, high-hats, chimes, and gongs among others. The sole treatments are reverb, delay, and echo. Despite the narrow palette, this is still a lush and full recording, rhythms energetic and deeply kinetic. Not quite industrial, not quite IDM, From the Edge straddles the nether-regions between genres; classic Muslimgauze. The cassette master was brought to John Delf for post production and restoration. Together, Delf and TMPS made an aesthetic decision, to focus on the music and not remove the tape hiss for fear of compromising the sound. Hence, there are source limitations, but we feel the beauty of the music more than makes up for this. Cassette culture was a fact of the 80′s and we urge fans to approach this recording the way one would a recording of an old blues 78 from the 30′s, a psych-rock 45 from the 60′s, or an Industrial tape from the 80′s. As for the remix disc, some songs will be familiar to those who have earlier editions of From the Edge, but others will be new, including a few from a band Jones loved called Faust. As always, the discs will be packaged in a super-jewel case, with papyrus covers hand printed in Egypt, a fold-open poster with liner notes, and a bonus sticker. This is lovingly restored piece of history and a missing link in the musical development of Muslimgauze. Limited to an edition of 500.