Hussein Mahmood Jeeb Tehar Gass is the 1999 album by Muslimgauze; a music project by the British experimental-electronic artist, Bryn Jones. A musician who has released dozens of albums and EPs that focus on the artists’ interest in the Middle East and the Israeli–Palestinian conflict in particular. Jones first began releasing music in 1982 but did not begin using the Muslimgauze moniker until the late 80s. The name meant to bring the issue of Western Imperialism to the forefront of thepublic’s attention and create a greater understanding of the Wests’ complicity in the use of terror and mass incarceration against the Palestinian people.
One of the many unique characteristics of the Muslimgauze catolog has always been the fundamental resistance to any affiliation with the larger music industry. Even when his records began selling in larger amounts, Jones stayed clear of the majors labels and their money. Preferring to work with smaller, independent labels that gave him the flexibility he desired for his music. That small-label affiliation even had Jones releasing material on (nearly) every independent label that approached him. A business decision that cause a great deal of frustration for Jones when some labels took advantage and issued unauthorized tracks. Or producer’s editing and/or remixing his music without permission and, very often, the label never paying royalties for the music they use. Let’s just say that, Jones had very strong beliefs. And he was willing to stand by those beliefs even when his music and livelihood were put at risk .
Byrn Jones stated early in his career that he had little or no time to think about or listen to other people’s music and often refused to mention any outside musical influences. Nevertheless, we can clearly hear the sounds and influences wrapped into the unique Muslimgauze sound. In a 1992 interview with Impulse Magazine, Jones’ finally revealed some of the music he found most inspiring; traditional Middle Eastern music, as well as bands Faust, Can, Wire and Throbbing Gristle. That’s a damn fine list of music/bands that gives us some insight into the textures and colors Jones’ wanted to incorporated into his music. Still the Muslimgauze catolog is difficult to define; nearly every record blends together the obvious influence of early techno & ambient with the wholly unique experiments of Jones. Weaving together a tapestry of analog live music with the digital sounds of a modern bedroom studio. Jones creates sharply textured but old-school music that really has little in common with the sounds of the club or dance floor. Muslimgauze is a experimental, hypnotic and earthy electronica that samples and layers muted beats and found sounds into an intentionally obscure mix. There’s almost nothing else like it. As if Jones was insisting that his listeners pay close attention to the detail as the music flows through your head. The real impact of the music only emerging when time and consideration are invested.
Jones first became politically aware after learning about the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982. The injustice of the conflict triggered Jones to learn more about the deeper origins of the conflict. Eventually leading him to the conclusion that the Palestinian struggle should be the focal-point of his music/work. Jones further concluding that it is actually the presence of U.S. and British imperialism that is at the center of the conflicts throughout the region. In a 1994 interview Jones stated; “It is music. Music with serious political facts behind it. There are no lyrics, because that would be preaching. It is music. It is up to you, to find out more. If you don’t want that, it is up to you. You can listen to only the music or you can preoccupy yourself more with it”.
In 1999, Byrn Jones died in Manchester, England of a rare fungal infection in his bloodstream. However, the legacy and importance of his unique vision and music has continued to grow through an vast underground of musicians and listeners that understood the rare gifts Jones presented to the world.