Boomkat Product Review:
First vinyl pressing of a cranky ’99 transpennine illbient-dancehall wrecker by Manchester’s Muslimgauze and Bradford don The Rootsman
‘Return to the City of Djinn’ skanked out a few years after the original ‘City of Djinn’ (1997) for The Rootsman’s Third Eye Music. Weighing in at 23 tracks, 67 mins over a new 2LP cut, it’s a substantial salvo of late period Bryn Jones aka Muslimgauze, who sadly passed away the week before it was issued, in January 1999. Omnivorous in its approach to style and pattern, it diffracts dub in varying shades of illbient, rugged NYC ragga-hop, jungle breaks and millennium dancehall pressure, with the duo’s pointed politics and weltanschauung implied by track titles often referencing zones of conflict and tragedy, ‘Bradford’ included.
Taking source material from The Rootsman records ‘Into The Light’ and ’52 Days to Timbuktu’, Muslimgauze dials in a heavy duty selection of hands-on-desk loop shaping, rudely pushed into the red and spliced with a palette of sampled voices occurring as characters in its ruffcut tapestry. From acidic dancehall echoing the weirdest, contemporaneous Lenky in ’Srebrenica’ to the cone-blowing illbient hip hop of ‘Bradford’ and heavily seasoned dub-noise of ’Banja Luka’, it’s classic Muslimgauze in effect, with standout cuts of flinty jungle in ‘Kabul’, ballistic bashment on ‘Dar Es Salaam’, and ‘hardcore hip hop breaks in ’Tuzla’, plus a dreamy sore thumb ‘Faizabad’.
Whatever your take on the mysterious, controversial Muslimgauze, he made some fucking amazing music - massive RIYL The Bug, Jay Glass Dubs, Demdike Stare, Shackleton.