act 144 á muslimgauze á dome of the rock á cd


dome of the rock 1, dome of the rock 2, infidel asphyxia 1, infidel asphyxia 2, mandarin guerilla 4, mount of olives 1, cairopraktar 4

all tracks written, played, recorded by muslimgauze, manchester 1993.

ant-zen is proud to join the distinguished ranks of staalplaat, soleilmoon, extreme, and other labels in offering the rarified music of muslimgauze. dome of the rock is ant-zenâs first muslimgauze release, and its mesmerizing concoction of middle eastern themes and contemporary electronics is sure to become an important part of the muslimgauze catalog.

dome of the rock was recorded by muslimgauze's bryn jones in 1993 - the same year that ant-zen released its first record - but like much of jonesâ output it was placed on a shelf and somehow left behind. instead, 1993 saw a triptych of classics in vote hezbollah, hamas arc, and citadel, all of which served to cement the growing creative range of muslimgauze. although the remainder of the 1990s sees marked shifts in jones stylistic tendencies - the harsher metal looping edges of 1995's izlamaphobia, the taut ambient bliss of 1996's gun aramaic, the intense electro distortion of 1998's masar-i-sharif, the blistering tabla and bass of 1999's hand of fatima - it's not too ambitious to characterize jonesâ output from 1992-94 as foundational to the muslimgauze mystique. dome of the rock was for a decade a missing piece of that foundation.

of course there are clear stylistic connections between dome of the rock and other muslimgauze material released in 1993. dome of the rock's "infidel asphyxia 1" and "infidel asphyxia 2" share the strong presence of tabla and spoken word found throughout satyajit eye; the electric edge present at the beginning of vote hezbollah is a timbre that threads through "dome of the rock 2"; and the ever-present throb of the omnipresent desert felt on hamas arc permeates the whole of dome of the rock. furthermore, the title track has been in circulation since 1995, appearing on salaam alekum, bastard, as did variants of "cairopraktar" and "mandarin guerilla".

in fact, to suggest salaam alekum, bastard and dome of the rock are doppelgangers would be reasonable, but entirely dismissive. for one of the defining characteristics of dome of the rock - the aspect that sets it apart from not only salaam alekum, bastard but other muslimgauze releases in the early 1990s - is the way that bass rhythms drive the album through each musical thought from its simple beginnings to its logical end. from the first track, "dome of the rock 1", the album succumbs to the will of a bedrock bass theme that propels emotion to lurch forth, as if it were the muscle powering the hand that grips muslimgauze's percussive scimitar - at the very moment it severs an ambient silence.

like the 1991 album united states of islam, half of dome of the rock's structure is laid out in two-part wholes, where a prevalent theme is worked in dual directions. "dome of the rock 1" utilizes a relaxed, westernized drum kit and atmospheric synth fill to craft a sense of adroit ease; "dome of the rock 2" takes the same drum kit, drops the bass to the floor lightly, and spaces out the ambience with swirling bass flute tones - the adroit ease morphs into a rigid wisp of sound that whips past your ears. similarly, "infidel asphyxia 1" and "2" share the machine gun tempo of a piercing woodblock clack and snare accompaniment, but the first version brings synth sounds to the fore like wall of rhythmic passion, while the second volleys those same sounds in measured doses.

on the three remaining tracks, bryn jones crafts a microcosm of complimentary emotions. the first, "mandarin guerilla 4", begins with an icy gust of ambience, blowing from side to side, which ever so slowly reveals percussion figures as they lope aimlessly across the soundstage. "mount of olives 1" returns to the driving bass themes of "dome of the rock 1" and "2", although this time the quiet minor chord structure creates a stronger sense of tension, of the ominous, as the sound of the tambourine sounds of a mazhar echo in the distance. dome of the rock closes with "cairopraktar 4", a full two minutes longer than its same-named sibling on salaam alekum, bastard and even more intense in its atmosphere, where the mirwas rhythms run deeper into the stereo image as if captured inside an empty mosque - which makes all the difference in the track's effect.

in a similar fashion, itâs this difference in effect that sets dome of the rock apart from all other muslimgauze releases.

special packaging with embossing.

official muslimgauze website:


der kult um das englische einmann-ritual-projekt muslimgauze hat sich nach dem frŸhen tod von mastermind bryn jones tatsŠchlich zu so etwas wie einer legende gemausert. der nicht immer unumstrittene workaholic schuf in seinem studio in manchester eine derma§en gro§e fŸlle an material, dass selbst sein ableben vor ein paar jahren die veršffentlichungsflut bisher nicht bremsen konnte. nach staalplaat, soleilmoon und extreme verwaltet nun auch ein deutsches label einen Šu§erst hšrenswerten teil des vermŠchtnisses. die sieben stŸcke auf dome of the rock stammen aus dem jahr 1993 und damit aus der frŸhen, weniger experimentellen schaffensperiode von muslimgauze. die typisch arabischen schlaginstrumente, die dunklen ambient-drones, die sprachfetzen und gerŠusche ziehen den hšrer sofort in ihren bann und lassen ihn trancegleich in die geheimnisvolle welt des orients eintauchen - und das ganz ohne hollywood-kitsch. wo einigen frŸheren platten von muslimgauze der rechte schwung und die nštige abwechslung fehlen, ist dome of the rock ein leuchtendes gegenbeispiel, dem man sein alter kaum anmerkt. traumhaft schšn! (alexander maciol)

originally recorded almost a decade ago, 'dome of the rock' was left on the shelf as a series of other muslimgauze releases filtered out over a variety of labels. creator bryn jones compositions may well have taken harsher and more intense paths since this, with subsequent albums, such as 'izlamaphobia' and 'masar-i-sharif' picking up much attention, but 'dome of the rock' still makes for intriguing listening. as you have probably already gathered, muslimguaze is a project that is consumed by middle-eastern culture, with tabla's and various other tribal and percussive instruments thrown into the mix. with thick atmospheric synthesised layers fleshing out the rhythmic loops and instrumentation, all seven tracks are lengthy but wholly authentic and make for a decidedly ambient listening experience. the fact that 'dome of the rock' avoids over-complicating matters with melodies, bass lines and vocals, probably gives credence to its almost timeless feel. although some work could have been done to remix the release and make it more sonically interesting, it tends to sometimes aimlessly drift, it remains quite a unique and original recording. all the more so considering its age and the current inexhaustible mass marketing of a variety of similar modern day ethereal electronic projects.

bryn jones has been gone for more than three years now and the wealth of material from his incessant muslimgauze project continues to find release. while the majority of his work was released by soleilmoon and staalplaat, it has been since his death that his name has gained some wide recognition, leading to his work finding home on a larger diversity of labels. dome of the rock is an archival release from 1993 and it has just now found its way onto the discography of germany's ant-zen label. while jones' work in the late 1990s was driving towards an almost hip-hop vibe, the material from the early part of the decade was steeped in atmosphere and ambient vibes. this is period of the twin gun aramaic records and the original azzazzin. dome of the rock fits right at home in this period (and actually predates it slightly) and, if i had heard it then, it would have become just another landmark of that time period. now, though, ten years on, i've found this period to be one of my favorites and i am happy to say that dome of the rock is a record which has languished unheard for far too long. if you haven't heard muslimgauze, this is a good place to start. dome of the rock is seven tracks of endlessly looping atmospheres and rhythms, the dusty sound of hand drums shifting you into a time and place overrun with sand and heavy spices. jones has a penchant for recycling his material, using one track to form the backbone of another. the entire muslimgauze oeuvre is one man's endless experimentation with rhythm and sound and "dome of the rock 2" follows immediately on the heels of "dome of the rock 1," and you can hear the loop from the first track pitch-shifted and sped up to become the foundation for the swifter "dome of the rock 2." if the first track was dawn slowly crawling through the shadows of the alleys beneath the dome, then track two is the gradual influx of people into the marketplace, the thickening of the textured atmosphere into a darting, quivering cacophony. the next pair of tracks, "infidel asphyxia 1" and "infidel asphyxia 2," are faster, more dervish-like in their whirling sandstorms of sound. the voices drift in on the haze of drones, lost conversations set free from the distant edges of buildings, the vowels and consonants allowed to sink down into the energetic pace of the tablas. "mandarin guerilla 4" is a very different excursion. a more ambient muslimgauze, a more spatially aware and dubbed rendition of the middle east. this leads into the long loops of "mount of olives 1" and we finish with "cairopraktar 4," bringing back all of jones' favorite elements: the finger cymbals, the hand drums, the distant voices, the scratch of static and noise, the looped drones. jones had a penchant for word games in his track titles, a playfulness which belied the serious intent of his music and the occasional caustic blast of vitriol he would make about the situation in the middle east. muslimgauze's music was always a means of expression for jones, a means of communicating his reactions to the world around him. his music isn't the sound of a man beating his head against the same wall over and over and over again. muslimgauze is a variegated bolt of silk which endlessly shifts and changes in the wind and light. just when you think you've got him figured out, jones shows you yet another facet of the same sound and you realize while everything may be the same, it is all completely different. dome of the rock isn't just an archival release that is trying to cash in on the muslimgauze legacy, it is a vibrant, vital release which has a specific place in jones' evolution as an artist. new or old to the muslimgauze sound, i have the same recommendation to you: get this. (mark teppo)

neues material von muslimgauze wird man auf dome of the rock natŸrlich nicht finden, dafŸr aber frŸher sowieso immer viel zu limitiertes, original 1993 auf soleilmoon erschienen. die zweideutigen kŠmpfer auf der vermeintlich falschen seite geben sich hier recht behaglich und attackieren nicht mit rei§enden slogans. alle stŸcke weisen eine lŠnge von fast zehn minuten auf und bringen todgeloopten tabla-dub mit hang zu atheistischer unendlichkeit. allein 'infidel asphyxia' bringt die apokalyptische spannung, die die zeit zwischen dem blickkontakt mit dem gegenŸber und dem werfen des steins dokumentieren. die momente vor und nach dem ereignis bilden vielleicht das thema der Ÿbrigen tracks. massiv. (ed benndorf)

wreck this mess
on ne compte plus les albums posthumes de muslimgauze... beaucoup n'ont de valeur que symbolique... d'autres ont un c™tŽ "fond-de-tiroir" pour le moins dŽplaisant... certains, enfin, sont une pierre de plus ˆ son mausolŽe discographique (cf. ). c'est le cas de ce disque dont les morceaux ont ŽtŽ composŽs il y a dix ans. c'est-ˆ-dire ˆ la mme pŽriode que les albums rŽfŽrences veiled sisters, vote hezbollah, hamas arc, gun aramaic et betrayal publiŽs par soleilmoon et staalplaat. le tracklisting, offre en effet, la mme rondeur vibrionnante. cette mme atmosphre fŽbrile o se mlent percus, volutes et samples moyen-orientaux, basse narcotique et textures synthŽtiques. un style que l'on ne retrouvera ultŽrieurement que sur quelques opus, tel zealot ou blue mosquee, puisque bryn jones radicalisera ensuite son approche en optant pour un jeu de dŽstructurations rythmiques aussi saignant que la guerre isra‘lo-palestienne qu'il n'avait de cesse de dŽnoncer de manire virulente. (ld)

ant-zen taucht tief in die anfangszeiten von muslimgauze ein und fšrdert aus den schier unerschšpflichen archiven des ethno-bass fetischisten aus manchester ein album hervor, das sich 1993 entstanden in den regionen von "vote hezbollah", "citadel" und "gun aramaic" bewegt. liegengelassene versionen von spŠter erschienenen tracks und studien, die elemente seiner ruhigen ambient-phase voll ausleben. der nie ermŸden wollende bass, der sich schon auf "gun aramaic" ins nirvana dršhnte. tabla-exkursionen, die sich um ominšse synthiemelodien ranken und endlos weite flŠchen, die den gesamten nahen osten umspannen versuchen. wenn man nicht in diesen sound so verliebt ist wie ich, wird man sich schon fragen, warum man diese platte rausbringen mu§te. Šhnliche tracks mit fast denselben sounds gab es schon zu genŸge auf den regulŠren alben dieser zeit. so wunderschšn es auch ist und so interessant die akzentverschiebung einzelner elemente, die eine andere wirkung des tracks hervorrufen, so hat es das verstŠndnis um den enigmatischen einsiedler bryn jones nicht wesentlich erweitert. viel spannender wŠre es, wenn man die archive nach tracks aus der zeit kurz vor seinem tode absuchen wŸrde, als er plštzlich anfing mit gebrochenen rhythmen und verzerrtem electro zu arbeiten. nichtsdestotrotz bin ich Ÿber diese wiederentdeckung schon froh, denn von diesem herrlichen bass und der prŠzisen percussion kann ich einfach nicht genug kriegen. (till)

dome of the rock is kind of hard to describe, well rather easy to describe but hard to explain what makes it great. featuring, i suppose, typical muslimgauze rhythmic structures, it has a weirdly atmospheric quality. that is to say, although largely beat focused, there is still an atmospheric edge of synthy goodness. tribal ambient drones predominate, and at times the keyboards even sound vaguely middle eastern, although i find it hard to articulate exactly how. almost in the way they flow in and out of auditory perception, though it's more than just being turned on and off, more like oscillating between hardness and softness, loudness and quietness, often at the same time. this is extremely hypnotic music, that makes the listener sway and move with each drone, and this is in more than just the beats. the atmosphere also has a strangely rhythmic quality to it, while the beats have a loosely melodic tinge. even now while i have it on i sense myself giving into its mesmerizing power, yet, still, i'm oddly frustrated in describing it. perhaps a softer release than some muslimgauze, yet there is an edge of intensity to it, kind of a soundtrack-ish quality of morbidity, a feeling of hostility and anger, while i suppose that's the image we are supposed to be left with, a form of sadness and empathy for those in the arab world. oddly harsh, yet at the same time downtrodden, while in quiet pain. okay, so how does this sound: melodic tribal beats, ambient hypnotic drones, and an overall groove that is alienating, while embracing a generated image of a lost and frustrated world? (vigzig)

die leute vom ant-zen-label haben mal wieder in versteckten schatztruhen gewŸhlt und ein frŸhes werk von muslimgauze, "dome of the rock", ans tageslicht befšrdert. mit dem album mag man sich anfangs etwas schwer tun. fŸr muslimgauze typisch, ist der schwerpunkt der musik auf die perkussion gesetzt. ebenso charakteristisch sind die augenfŠlligen, orientalischen einflŸsse. das ganze bekommt zusŠtzlich noch einen etwas seltsamen touch, denn "dome of the rock" ist eine posthume veršffentlichung und erscheint somit etwas aus dem kontext gerissen. die tracks wurden im Ÿbrigen von bryn jones, dem mann hinter muslimgauze, bereits 1993 aufgenommen. bryn jones begann schon 1982 damit, musik zu machen - als antwort auf die besetzung des libanons durch die israelis. seitdem erschienen von ihm Ÿber 120 veršffentlichungen, die meisten in limitierter stŸckzahl. obwohl bryn jones nie im nahen osten war, hat er sich dennoch fŸr die palŠstinische freiheitsbewegung eingesetzt. es ist also mehr als absicht, wenn die musik von muslimgauze orientalischen impressionen folgt. seinem musikalischen schaffen wurde jedoch 1999 ein jŠhes ende gesetzt, als er im alter von 38 jahren einer seltenen blutkrankheit erlag. "dome of the rock" erscheint anfŠnglich etwas monoton. doch bei nŠherer betrachtung breitet das album seine wunderschšnen, ruhigen und dennoch imposanten klangteppiche vor einem aus. es scheint so, als ob bryn jones ein besonders sensibles gespŸr fŸr feinsinnige musik gehabt hat, denn "dome of the rock" šffnet sich mit jedem hšren mehr und mehr, fast so, als ob die tracks eine geheime botschaft enthielten. und obwohl die melodien weit in den hintergrund gerŸckt sind, schafft es muslimgauze immer wieder, mit neuen arrangements zu verblŸffen. "dome of the rock" ist ein sehr au§ergewšhnliches album und kann trotz seiner 10 jahre alten tracks auch heute noch als musikalische besonderheit bezeichnet werden. "war of sound" kann sich problemlos mit den werken anderer industrialgrš§en auf dem gebiet der 'dark tones' wie etwa raison d'etre oder desiderii marginis messen. mathis mootz anliegen war es auch, die "ultimative satanische platte" zu schaffen. diese aussage darf man natŸrlich nicht all zu ernst nehmen, denn im gleichen satz bezeichnet mootz dark ambient und satanische musik als einen witz. ob diese aussage auch auf "war of sound" zutrifft, kann und muss wohl auch nicht mit gewissheit gesagt werden. nicht nur anhŠnger der dunklen tšne oder tolkien-fans werden in "war of sound" ein beeindruckendes album entdecken. "bšse" elektronische musik in perfektion :-)

guts of darkness
cÕest cette fois le label allemand ant-zen qui nous livre une galette de feu bryn jones, emballŽe dans une ravissante pochette de carton gaufrŽ avec motif dorŽ. musicalement ? Ôdome of the rockÕ est un album serein dans son ensemble, avec de lŽgres inspirations dub et ambient passŽes ˆ la moulinette arabisante. selon la bonne vieille mŽthode muslimgauze, peu dՎlŽments: un rythme, quelques samples et nappes de synthŽ en arrire-fond. je trouve pourtant que lÕalchimie fonctionne particulirement bien sur ces morceaux, lÕorchestration est trs minimaliste certes mais riche dans ce dŽpouillement, les quelques bribes de mŽlodie sont toujours placŽe au bon endroit, au bon moment, du travail dÕorfvre. si les deux parties de Ôdome of the rockÕ oeuvrent dans un registre dub, les deux de Ôinfidel asphyxiaÕ font cohabiter roulements rapides et montŽes de cithare pour une ambiance de transe lente, judicieusement enrichie dՎchantillons de conversations arabes; vraiment bon. Ômandarin guerillaÕ avec ses nappes en boucles dŽbute sur des atmosphres quasi Ôchill outÕ oriental, malgrŽ quelques discrtes percussions en arrire-fond, puis se colore de touches expŽrimentales. Ômount of olivesÕ me semble la pice la plus mŽlancolique du disque, un beat sur une loop triste, poignant. ÔcairopraktarÕ achve lÕalbum sur une note percussive. voilˆ lÕun des albums (parmi ceux que je connais) que je conseillerais en prioritŽ pour qui souhaite se familiariser avec lÕunivers de cet Žtrange anglais, du grand muslimgauze ! (twilight)

back - next - overview