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ARTIST
TITLE
Minaret Speaker
FORMAT
CD

LABEL
CATALOG #
ARCHIVE 029CD ARCHIVE 029CD
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
2/17/2015

While the human voice has often been an element in Bryn Jones' work as Muslimgauze, rarely did he highlight it as much as in Minaret Speaker, the latest in the Muslimgauze Archive Series, and its concurrent release, Feel the Hiss (ARCHIVE 030CD). While elements of Minaret Speaker appeared on the 7" of the same name released by Staalplaat in 1996, much of the strongest material here is previously unheard. Jones' normal practice was to send in tapes to the label with only a title for each tape as a whole, then provide individual track titles before each release. Sadly, with his passing in 1999, there remain many projects with only album titles -- barring a séance, the tracks themselves will always remain untitled. The material on Minaret Speaker can be broken into two groups: the first, the ten tracks that make up the bulk of this release, make clear immediately why Jones picked that title for the album, with the ten-minute "Minaret Speaker Track 1" serving as a duo for his trademark digitally distorted percussion loops and what certainly sounds like a recording of a call to prayer, or adhān. The voices on the tracks here are ones that may well have come out of an actual minaret speaker at some point. On these tracks, as the musical backing gets harsher and more distorted, the voices reach toward deliverance; the results, even on wordless interludes like the string-based "Bamboo Bound," can seem more approachable than other Muslimgauze works. The four "Rest Tracks" that make up the end of this release form a brief bonus EP of even-lower-fidelity-than-normal works in progress from Jones, with "Rest Track 1" immediately sounding like Jones putting his own work through some new contortions. At times this material gets and fuzzed- and dubbed-out as anything in the Muslimgauze discography, a perfect accompaniment to the mix of soaring and pulverizing music found on the rest of the album.