Boomkat Product Review:
Helm’s Alter label hail a Muslimgauze masterwork with a first vinyl edition of 1993’s ‘Veiled Sisters’, one of the legendary project’s atmospheric salvos, cultishly coveted for its spellbinding slink and opiated psychedelia.
Newly remastered for vinyl by John Hannon, and CD by Cam Deas, the original 2CD-turned-3LP now firmly holds attention with over 2hrs of mazy tape loops and hands-on dubbing that speak to the depth of Bryn Jones aka Muslimgauze’s obsessive vision and endless hours of studio-as-instrument practice. It’s worth reminding that Jones was only 37 when he passed away, in 1999, from complications with a rare fungal infection in his bloodstream, leaving behind an unfathomable tranche of recordings that are still being raked thru and issued to this day. While there’s evidently no shortage of work on circulation for even the most ardent fan, it’s the duty of releases such as this reissue to highlight the most significant moments in such a broad and hard-to-grasp catalogue.
‘Veiled Sisters’ stands up among a certain strain of more spaced-out, subtly evocative Muslimgauze collections. It’s the sort of stuff that patently inspired Vatican Shadow’s best work, and may even be heard in the more recent releases by Luke Younger’s Helm, as well as Shackleton (although he used to play down the influence). As ever, it wears its politics both explicitly via track titles, and more obliquely in its use of fragmented voices that pepper and spice proceedings with a sense of fiurtive portent reflected in the music’s palpitating drums and noir-ish pads.
Without Muslimgauze still around to elucidate the music’s concepts, it’s really left to anyone’s guess, and the whole Muslimgauze canon has practically become shorthand for a sense of unresolved enigma and complex politics in industrial-related music. Trust that ‘Veiled Sisters’, with its immersive trip between flying steppers rhythm, charcoal-baked loops and synthy intimations is a stone cold classic of its own genre that will be pored over for generations to come.