Ships When IN STOCK.
Hammer & Sickle


Bryn Jones' work was justly known for its excess -- of tracks created, of rhetoric, of volume levels, of repetition, of length -- and the sometimes-indiscriminate way he produced material as Muslimgauze carried over into his approach to the part of the business that involved getting people to actually hear his music. Known for the deluge of DATs he'd share with the labels he worked with, Jones also didn't necessarily restrict himself to just one outlet. Very early in his career, in the same year the first two Muslimgauze LPs came out (1983), Jones released an obscure 7" single with completely blank black sleeve art on a label called Hessian. Hammer & Sickle is to date the only release on Hessian (which may have just been Jones himself?). Those two LPs, Kabul and Opaques, are fascinating in the context of the full swath of Jones' work. They're much spacier, more drifting, and notably less interested in using the kind of Middle Eastern percussion and other instrumentation that's such a distinct element on many Muslimgauze releases. Hammer & Sickle operates in a similar territory, but if anything, a little further out from the main body of Jones' work. The side-long title track and the three B-sides here are all cut from the same cloth, spacious productions that mainly play rounded synth percussion against echoing, "bag of wire"-style dub hits. After the lengthy examination of Hammer & Sickle itself, the other three cuts experiment with altering pitch, duration, tempo, and other elements as if testing the ways Jones could vary the effects of the title track without ever ditching its component parts. His sound was already quickly evolving (even the next year's Buddhist on Fire is closer to what fans likely picture when they think of the "Muslimgauze sound"), leaving Hammer & Sickle an intriguing and valuable portrait of one of Jones' early side investigations.