Boomkat Product Review:
Reissue of a super sought-after near-mythical Muslimgauze album from 1994 including the 20 minute title track...
"Oftentimes when a reissue has bonus tracks their provenance can be tangential or suspicious; in this case, they’re more like a homecoming. When Bryn Jones turned into the master for what would become 1994’s Drugsherpa mini CD to once and future label Staalplaat, the label selected the twenty-minute title track, truly one of Muslimgauze’s most distinct and awe-inspiring tracks, to fill the release.
The sinuous, doom-haunted “Drugsherpa” still sounds fresh today but in 1994 it was so far ahead of its time that the rest of us didn’t catch up until a decade or more later; only now does it really sound like it has contemporaries. It deserved its own space. But it wasn’t alone on that tape; and with the mini CD long since sold out, this reissue releases its siblings into the world for the first time. Unlike “Drugsherpa” itself, now restored to its original place as track three of the reissued Drugsherpa, the other six tracks on this now 56-minute album are all remixes of other Muslimgauze material. As usual for Jones those remixes take the songs in all sorts of directions, subtly or not; shorter, longer, backwards, dubbed out, less dubbed out, and so on. The result, as well as functioning as a kind of ad hoc compilation of material from several recent-at-the-time Muslimgauze releases (plus a remounting of “Gulfwar” from 1987’s Abu Nidal), shows anew the infinite variety, multiplicity, and complexity of Jones’ work. But the darkly brooding “Drugsherpa” itself remains, justly, the center of attention here.
Less directly political than much of Jones’ work, it builds up to an immense, slow groove until finally shaking itself to pieces in your ears by the end. Muslimgauze is always evocative, but with “Drugsherpa” Jones practically gives the listeners visions. He always intended these tracks to go together (as shown by the seamless segue into “Jerusalem Knife (Wail Mix)"), but in a way “Drugsherpa” is sui generis, even for Muslimgauze."