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Muslimgauze: The Godking of Loop and Fatness
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Author Muslimgauze: The Godking of Loop and Fatness
Scories
I'd be curious to know his tricks for those nasty drop-outs:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AM7ghHbkylQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0JGIpnX9x8&t=304s
IanEye
For about a 10 year period (95-05) i was fairly obsessed with Muslimgauze.

Over time I started to think he might be using this device.
It is not technically a sampler:

Oberheim Echoplex Digital Pro

Quote:
The Echoplex Digital Pro is a digital delay designed for the performing artist! Although conceived in the early nineties, it's a lot like the new Repeater Loop Recorder from Electrix Pro. Because of the Echoplex's extended and high quality sampling time for its digital delay effect, the Echoplex can be used to record, sample, and play loops all in realtime! The Echoplex features 16-bit digital 44.1kHz recording/sampling to RAM. It ships with 50 seconds worth of memory, however this can be easily upgraded just like any sampler using standard RAM SIMM chips to up to 200 seconds of recording time.

Although the Echoplex may have been designed with the intentions of being a modern digital delay based on the classic tape-based analog delays (Maestro Echoplex EP3), the Echoplex offers digital, clean, and intuitive performance features. Play anything into it, loops, guitar, keyboards..all in realtime. As soon as you stop recording, the sampled material begins looping...and you can now jam along with it! Overdub additional loops and build arrangements, all on the fly!!! The number of overdubs and length of loops is limited only by the amount of memory. Mistakes or undesirable loops can easily be undone. The Echoplex can store up to 9 separate loop/arrangements. A cool EFC-7 Foot controller can also be used so you can punch in and out of loops without having to use your hands...so you can keep playing.

The Echoplex is also fully MIDI capable. All controls send/receive MIDI data and even the Loops can be saved and loaded via MIDI! MIDI sync makes sure your loops can be locked to the tempo of your MIDI sequencers giving the Echoplex a niche in your MIDI-studio as a dedicated loop-player! Loops, like samples, can be assigned to keys on a keyboard and can be triggered as loops or single-shot samples. Other functions of the Echoplex include Reverse, for backwards loops, and a Multiplay feature which repeats loops a user-defined number of times to create an extended loop (ie: extend a 4-beat loop into a 16-beat loop).

.
dogoftears
i am willing to believe this. i always had a feeling it was some kind of digital delay based looper. how did you form this belief though?

i wonder if he would also use this for his ridiculous stutter delay fx...



IanEye wrote:
For about a 10 year period (95-05) i was fairly obsessed with Muslimgauze.

Over time I started to think he might be using this device.
It is not technically a sampler:

Oberheim Echoplex Digital Pro

Quote:
The Echoplex Digital Pro is a digital delay designed for the performing artist! Although conceived in the early nineties, it's a lot like the new Repeater Loop Recorder from Electrix Pro. Because of the Echoplex's extended and high quality sampling time for its digital delay effect, the Echoplex can be used to record, sample, and play loops all in realtime! The Echoplex features 16-bit digital 44.1kHz recording/sampling to RAM. It ships with 50 seconds worth of memory, however this can be easily upgraded just like any sampler using standard RAM SIMM chips to up to 200 seconds of recording time.

Although the Echoplex may have been designed with the intentions of being a modern digital delay based on the classic tape-based analog delays (Maestro Echoplex EP3), the Echoplex offers digital, clean, and intuitive performance features. Play anything into it, loops, guitar, keyboards..all in realtime. As soon as you stop recording, the sampled material begins looping...and you can now jam along with it! Overdub additional loops and build arrangements, all on the fly!!! The number of overdubs and length of loops is limited only by the amount of memory. Mistakes or undesirable loops can easily be undone. The Echoplex can store up to 9 separate loop/arrangements. A cool EFC-7 Foot controller can also be used so you can punch in and out of loops without having to use your hands...so you can keep playing.

The Echoplex is also fully MIDI capable. All controls send/receive MIDI data and even the Loops can be saved and loaded via MIDI! MIDI sync makes sure your loops can be locked to the tempo of your MIDI sequencers giving the Echoplex a niche in your MIDI-studio as a dedicated loop-player! Loops, like samples, can be assigned to keys on a keyboard and can be triggered as loops or single-shot samples. Other functions of the Echoplex include Reverse, for backwards loops, and a Multiplay feature which repeats loops a user-defined number of times to create an extended loop (ie: extend a 4-beat loop into a 16-beat loop).

.
dogoftears
Scories wrote:
I'd be curious to know his tricks for those nasty drop-outs:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AM7ghHbkylQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0JGIpnX9x8&t=304s


he's playing the mixer, extreme dub style. sounds like he's jamming on an insert bypass as well as the channel mute or fader.

i've always been blown away by his ability to always do those cuts NOT on the beat, in the most awkward of places within the loop, both the cut and the drop, they're like anti-drops... many sound system guys thought i was destroying their gear in the past when i DJ this stuff w00t
IanEye
dogoftears wrote:
how did you form this belief though?



Back in the late 90’s I read that he said he didn’t use samplers. Around that same time I read an interview with Robert Fripp where he talked a lot about how he had refined his “Frippertronics” technique by using the Oberheim Echoplex Digital Pro to create “SoundScapes”.

It just sort of clicked for me that Muslimgauze may be doing the same thing.

Also, around this time I was experimenting with a Tascam multi-track tape recorder with a Lexicon Vortex effects processor hooked up to the fx send. The Vortex only had about 2 seconds of delay time, but I discovered that if I sped up the tape while I was overdubbing ( sending a drone out to the Vortex, and then also occasionally cross feeding the Vortex back to itself as I was recording ), and then played this back at the normal speed I would get a sound very similar to “Return of Black September”, especially the “morphing” intervals as the Vortex segued between effect settings.

In the end, I think Bryn Jones learned more about recording every day, and just kept going, until he died.
Scories
dogoftears wrote:
Scories wrote:
I'd be curious to know his tricks for those nasty drop-outs:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AM7ghHbkylQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0JGIpnX9x8&t=304s


he's playing the mixer, extreme dub style. sounds like he's jamming on an insert bypass as well as the channel mute or fader.

i've always been blown away by his ability to always do those cuts NOT on the beat, in the most awkward of places within the loop, both the cut and the drop, they're like anti-drops... many sound system guys thought i was destroying their gear in the past when i DJ this stuff w00t


In à similar vein: I like to do this kind of trick with my Sh-1000 by switching preset tabs while à melody is being played. I will post an example someday.
cycad73
Bryn was a recluse who lived with his parents and spent basically all night and all day with his gear. Music and the political issues were basically everything in his life. No job, no family, no partner, nothing else apparently. Never as we now know, traveled to any of the lands or met any of the people who inspired his work, yet in a strange the inspiration was even more genuine and the case for this is made in the work. It's very clear in the work. But the gear and the music, he knew it at a much greater level of intimacy than most of us. A Joe Meek, Lee Perry sense of immersion. Its silly if you expect that this or that equipment can replace years of 24/7. It can help but you have to really resonate with it, and develop together with it. It's this resonating to which we respond, and there is no easy path to this. The secret to being a great artist is in the end, to be a great artist and to have a total dedication and commitment to one's art. Bryn was certainly one of the greatest and like Charles Cohen it's sad that certain political or personal factors prevent his work from being discussed or more widely known. For Bryn they were of course part of the work, central to the work. And I'm not saying you ever can separate art from artist, that is also wrong but ignorance and cowardly neglect is not a good way forward for any of us.
IanEye
This album, "Al-Zulfiquar Shaheed" is sort of the Holy Grail of Muslimgauze albums for me. I used to see it in record shops fairly often, but foolishly I always passed on it because I didn't like the cover art.


Now I never see it and keep hoping someone will re-issue it:




.
Gyroscope
Ashamed to say I didn't know Muslimgauze before reading this thread. Just listened to the album cited above (Al-Zulfiquar Shaheed) and it is really great! Very nice post from cycad73 just above too.
neandrewthal
The first and last time I listened was probably when this thread was first started.

That album is nice but it's a bit samey to me and doesn't really seem to go anywhere. I enjoyed the two tracks at the top of the page quite a bit more.

Anybody got any favourite tracks? I have no idea where to go next.
neandrewthal
Well now I'm getting somewhere. The first one that popped up in the youtube search and also happens to have the highest rating on RYM. Dark and moody the way I like it. Kind of sounds like a sped up Lustmord with percussion and found sounds. It's also samey and doesn't really go anywhere but this time I like where it is already hihi Next it's suggesting Return of Black September which is the second highest rated.


Eh, removed the embedding for NSFW picture I guess. Now get back to work, slackers.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YxQUTVFJ_s
dogoftears
my favorite is the later era, loopier stuff. there's a newish one called Red Madrassa that is really good. Mazar-i-Sharif, super hard. Azad-- more hypnotic. Baghdad and Lo Fi India Abuse-- classic dub records. for a dose of everything he does in epic format-- Fatah Guerilla. most aggressive, edgy for me-- Izlamaphobia. something different and unique to his own catalog-- Azzazin. super chill to the max-- remixes 2 and 3.

hope that helps.
neandrewthal
Thanks for all the suggestions. I ended up going with Azzazin next because it seemed really familiar (now I realise it has been in my discogs wantlist for 7 years). Definitely not what I expected after listening to those other ones.

From there I clicked on Zul'm and the first track completely blew my mind:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BkeDaqvtYJE

I had to stop what I was doing and just listen. It's not the mood I usually go for but it completely drew me in anyway. It's just so unbelievably alive for lack of a better word. It's amazingly detailed with all the drums, cymbals, bells, chimes, drones, whistles, sitar flourishes, all the other strings (dulcimer?) plus vocals and environmental sounds on top. Completely transports me to another place. I just sat there completely blissed out. I can't remember the last time a piece of music made me feel this way. I'm officially hooked.
IanEye
Be Careful With That Peacock, Bryn.
















.
dogoftears
cycad73 wrote:
Bryn was a recluse who lived with his parents and spent basically all night and all day with his gear. Music and the political issues were basically everything in his life. No job, no family, no partner, nothing else apparently. Never as we now know, traveled to any of the lands or met any of the people who inspired his work, yet in a strange the inspiration was even more genuine and the case for this is made in the work. It's very clear in the work. But the gear and the music, he knew it at a much greater level of intimacy than most of us. A Joe Meek, Lee Perry sense of immersion. Its silly if you expect that this or that equipment can replace years of 24/7. It can help but you have to really resonate with it, and develop together with it. It's this resonating to which we respond, and there is no easy path to this. The secret to being a great artist is in the end, to be a great artist and to have a total dedication and commitment to one's art. Bryn was certainly one of the greatest and like Charles Cohen it's sad that certain political or personal factors prevent his work from being discussed or more widely known. For Bryn they were of course part of the work, central to the work. And I'm not saying you ever can separate art from artist, that is also wrong but ignorance and cowardly neglect is not a good way forward for any of us.


not sure i would compare bryn's politics with the accusations against cohen. very different stories there.

the interesting thing about bryn's politics was that they were expressed mostly via track and album title, and i always found it easy to divorce myself from his extremist views and just enjoy the music. some of the stuff he said in interviews was truly wild-- as a young Jewish kid it was really startling reading some of that stuff (i got into MG when i was around 14).

i would very much like to know more about bryn's production setup/routines. how have you verified his extreme reclusiveness? do you know what gear he had at home-- just drums and an ADAT and a mic and his looper? what kind of stuff was done at home vs in the studio? and most curiously, what did he use to loop... i get that he was good at it... still wanna know what he used to loop.
Gyroscope
dogoftears wrote:
cycad73 wrote:
Bryn was a recluse who lived with his parents and spent basically all night and all day with his gear. Music and the political issues were basically everything in his life. No job, no family, no partner, nothing else apparently. Never as we now know, traveled to any of the lands or met any of the people who inspired his work, yet in a strange the inspiration was even more genuine and the case for this is made in the work. It's very clear in the work. But the gear and the music, he knew it at a much greater level of intimacy than most of us. A Joe Meek, Lee Perry sense of immersion. Its silly if you expect that this or that equipment can replace years of 24/7. It can help but you have to really resonate with it, and develop together with it. It's this resonating to which we respond, and there is no easy path to this. The secret to being a great artist is in the end, to be a great artist and to have a total dedication and commitment to one's art. Bryn was certainly one of the greatest and like Charles Cohen it's sad that certain political or personal factors prevent his work from being discussed or more widely known. For Bryn they were of course part of the work, central to the work. And I'm not saying you ever can separate art from artist, that is also wrong but ignorance and cowardly neglect is not a good way forward for any of us.


not sure i would compare bryn's politics with the accusations against cohen. very different stories there.

the interesting thing about bryn's politics was that they were expressed mostly via track and album title, and i always found it easy to divorce myself from his extremist views and just enjoy the music. some of the stuff he said in interviews was truly wild-- as a young Jewish kid it was really startling reading some of that stuff (i got into MG when i was around 14).

i would very much like to know more about bryn's production setup/routines. how have you verified his extreme reclusiveness? do you know what gear he had at home-- just drums and an ADAT and a mic and his looper? what kind of stuff was done at home vs in the studio? and most curiously, what did he use to loop... i get that he was good at it... still wanna know what he used to loop.


Imagine growing up as a young Palestinian, in Palestine.
IanEye
*









*
IanEye
http://www.muslimgauze.org/articles/chainArticle.html

In all of your records we can listen to a strong use of both percussion as well as of electronic environments. Do you feel more comfortable with the acoustic or the technological instrumentation and music in general? Which is your relation with technology?

Muslimgauze are percussion based, acoustic and electronic. My relation to technology is minimal. I use old analogue equipment, I abuse it to the max.

What do you think about the Internet and the power of "broadcasting" world-wide news, pictures, sounds and everything else? Don't you think this could be a good mean of transmission for your political message, at least in the Eastern society?

I never touch the Internet, have never seen it, have never used a computer, don't want to, I make Muslimgauze CD's with my hands, not on a computer keyboard. I learn comment on Eastern Society, I have music which is inspired by a political event, but I don't preach, there are no bad lyrics badly sung. Telling people how to think, it's up to the listeners.

Do you like the opportunities that the sampler provided music-makers with? I think you do use lots of samplers in Muslimgauze's works, don't you? What kind of instrumentation do you use?

I have never used a sampler, I couldn't turn one on never mind use it. I use analogue reel to reels and old amplifiers, real percussion, cassettes, anything that's not modern or digital, raw, ideas. I'm pleased that Muslimgauze don't use Japanese or American samplers like 99% of all the others out there.

I've noticed a certain lo-if aspect in your music, which is of course something you actually specially make. I'm referring to the fact that often we can hear sounds temporarily disappearing (hearing them far in background) and I am also referring to the fact that it is possible to clearly hear where the starting point of a certain loop has been placed, even because you do not always respect that very starting point as it is usually done by others, if you know what I mean... Well, is this a kind of metaphor or simply your way of doing things in music?

I use so called lo-if, I hope a piece of music ends up how I envisage it. The loop you state is made by me the loop contains me, made by me, on tape looped by me not others. Muslimgauze are based on analogue reel loops, with real percussion and cassette bits of real people sounds. Sounds disappear, yes, lots of the tape noise, yes, rough, whatever I feel I need for each track.

There are many so called field-recordings artists also among your label-mates. Do you feel somewhat inspired by those ways of doing music and how much would you like to make use of it, given you could?

I used so called field-recordings, mainly from cassettes, as background sound to main ideas.

http://www.muslimgauze.org/articles/chainArticle.html

-

I have often wondered what Muslimgauze would have made of the Swedish Elektron Octatrack:








.
dogoftears
I've read that one.
It still doesn't make total sense to me. He definitely uses "classic" breakbeat loops and other stolen samples quite often, not to mention plenty of Japanese drum machines. And without a doubt digital delays-- likely made by a Japanese, American, or otherwise Western company of some kind. So in some sense he is dishing out a bit of disinformation there. Actually I feel most of his interviews contain disinformation when it comes to discussing process-- I have no proof of that, it's just the vibe that I get.
neandrewthal
Yeah, everything in that interview seems a bit off to me from his admitted ignorance of politics while holding such a strong stance to the gear and processes he used and bragging about what he didn't use.

The comment about the nationalities of samplers he didn't use kind of reminds me of Burzum saying that while in jail he had to make music with a "synthesizer" that was "invented by a jew".

Anyways I can't imagine how he put out so many albums of dense multilayered music if he only used tape loops of self created phrases. Sounds like BS to me.
Voltage_Controller
neandrewthal wrote:


Anyways I can't imagine how he put out so many albums of dense multilayered music if he only used tape loops of self created phrases. Sounds like BS to me.



He didn't - its either bs or this interview was from a time when he just did an album a certain way and was talking about only that album or recording session. He clearly used some sort of looping devlce (probably an MPC) on recordings other than tape loops and he clearly sampled recordings not made by him.

Many artists say bs stuff in interviews (aphex twin being a good example) be it from apathy, intentionally creating mystery and misdirection, or simply just taking the piss for the hell of it.

I really love his work. Just When I think I have heard it all another album pops up! I read somewhere that he would completely inundate his labels with albums - they couldn't keep up with his output.
Gyroscope
Discovered two albums last night that I don't think have been mentionned in this thread : Sandtrafikar and Vampire of Tehran. Very mellow, almost ambient, great stuff!
cycad73
dogoftears wrote:
cycad73 wrote:
Bryn was a recluse who lived with his parents and spent basically all night and all day with his gear. Music and the political issues were basically everything in his life. No job, no family, no partner, nothing else apparently. Never as we now know, traveled to any of the lands or met any of the people who inspired his work, yet in a strange the inspiration was even more genuine and the case for this is made in the work. It's very clear in the work. But the gear and the music, he knew it at a much greater level of intimacy than most of us. A Joe Meek, Lee Perry sense of immersion. Its silly if you expect that this or that equipment can replace years of 24/7. It can help but you have to really resonate with it, and develop together with it. It's this resonating to which we respond, and there is no easy path to this. The secret to being a great artist is in the end, to be a great artist and to have a total dedication and commitment to one's art. Bryn was certainly one of the greatest and like Charles Cohen it's sad that certain political or personal factors prevent his work from being discussed or more widely known. For Bryn they were of course part of the work, central to the work. And I'm not saying you ever can separate art from artist, that is also wrong but ignorance and cowardly neglect is not a good way forward for any of us.


not sure i would compare bryn's politics with the accusations against cohen. very different stories there.


It's not the acts but the receptions that are being compared; I actually have sympathies for much of Bryn's politics while not exactly being on board with certain tactics, and it would indeed take quite an involved political discussion to tease out all of the details, a discussion which seems to be prohibited here.

what I object to is when obviously important and frequently discussed music is simply dropped, simply not mentioned any more due to the artist suddenly becoming "controversial" for whatever reason, valid or not. the sudden silence regarding muslimgauze's music began abruptly after 9/11; the silence regarding cohen began of course with the incident in 2015. while the issues are in no way comparable the silences, I think, are quite comparable.

to turn back towards the artist, to refuse to be silent is not at all "separating the artist from the art"; i agree that is impossible. But, also impossible is the separation of any individual at all from the area of controversy. Sanitization is really avoidance of accountability. People with perfectly sanitized and safe music/book collections nonetheless go on to commit horrible crimes. It is only by facing the issues head on and working through them (even without possibility of resolution) that one can hope to avoid these things in one's own life (if indeed, they are to be avoided, which is not necessarily the case here).
mafouka
cycad73 wrote:
Bryn was a recluse who lived with his parents and spent basically all night and all day with his gear. Music and the political issues were basically everything in his life. No job, no family, no partner, nothing else apparently. Never as we now know, traveled to any of the lands or met any of the people who inspired his work, yet in a strange the inspiration was even more genuine and the case for this is made in the work...


Interesting! Any sources supporting this brief biographical account you provided?

IMO the most tangible bit of info this thread has brought forth thus far is the fact Bryn probably wiggled a cable to achieve some of his signature gating effects! LMAO
cycad73
mafouka wrote:
cycad73 wrote:
Bryn was a recluse who lived with his parents and spent basically all night and all day with his gear. Music and the political issues were basically everything in his life. No job, no family, no partner, nothing else apparently. Never as we now know, traveled to any of the lands or met any of the people who inspired his work, yet in a strange the inspiration was even more genuine and the case for this is made in the work...


Interesting! Any sources supporting this brief biographical account you provided?

IMO the most tangible bit of info this thread has brought forth thus far is the fact Bryn probably wiggled a cable to achieve some of his signature gating effects! LMAO


An article by Ibrahim Khider, I can't find it right now, he wrote a shorter one here:


http://www.furious.com/perfect/muslimgauze.html

which more or less corroborates details I discussed above, but the one I remember was a lot more in depth, perhaps an unabridged version of the above, or maybe a direct excerpt from Khider's book.

(also is consistent with stuff I heard on 1990's mailing lists, from people who had corresponded with Bryn)

As I mentioned Khider wrote a full biography, Chasing the Shadow, but by the time I knew of it it was already sold out, hard to get, expensive etc. so I don't have it. obviously that would be the best source.

http://chasingtheshadow.org

($91.90 - the cheapest I can find on discogs. this is the main reason I don't have it. if I just went and bought everything on my discogs wantlist it would be thousands. there is also a 10-CD box set that includes the book, currently at $540.23)

https://www.discogs.com/Muslimgauze-A-Putrid-Oasis/release/5666780
https://www.discogs.com/Muslimgauze-Chasing-The-Shadow-Of-Bryn-Jones-1 983-1988/release/5667726
[/i]
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