Hand Of Fatima
release date: June 11, 1999
"Hand of Fatima" was recorded in June, 1998, exactly a year ago, by Bryn Jones, the genius behind Muslimgauze. It was the first of four albums he sent to Soleilmoon that month. He asked us to set aside our planned release of "Hussein Mahmood Jeeb Tehar Gass", at that time already slated for a major publicity and radio push, and replace it with this one. We considered his suggestion but in the end decided to continue with our original plans, mostly because it was felt that radio stations would find "Hussein" a less explosive pill to swallow. "Hand of Fatima" is an example of what has come to known as the "West Bank" sound of Muslimgauze. Among his many styles, this style is best described as his most aggressive and abrasive work ("Farouk Engineer" is another Soleilmoon release that falls into this category). With the sudden and unexpected passing of this remarkable musician in January we are able to return to works previously set aside. Throughout the last few years of his life the intense pace of his output grew and grew, until finally it reached a point at which fewer than half of the tapes we received were being released. It's eerie how it seems as if he somehow knew his days were numbered. The man may be gone, but his music lives on.
"Hand of Fatima" was designed by Plazm and is limited to 1000 copies.
Press release from Soleilmoon.
The following appeared on StarVox.
Christ how I hated to open this CD. As if, somehow, by not opening it, Bryn Jones would not really be dead, and it would be just a fluke, and he would be okay, and I could count on another 30,000 new Muslimgauze releases this year.
I put the headphones on, and pressed play. Immediately, the lush sounds and splatterbeats that I've come to know as Muslimgauze, began.
Tears came to my eyes. I look back over Bryn's amazing discography and think, "He must have known. He must have known he only had such a short time, and he had to get it all done." I don't know if he knew. I've known other people who worked like mad, died too soon, and left a long lifetime's worth of work behind- maybe it's not just coincidence.
I can't pretend I liked everything he did. Some of it gave me the worst headaches! He always pushed the envelope, and sometimes he pushed it in ways that made me uncomfortable; which was, I'm convinced, in those instances, the desired effect- to be disturbing, and to awaken fear, rage, sorrow, and pain in his listeners. Even when I didn't care for what he was doing, it affected me profoundly. "Hand of Fatima" is one of the more tender Muslimgauze pieces, and yet, I hesitate to use the word "tender." Tender in the context of war. Tender in the context of extreme distress. Tender in the midst of chaos. Intensely beautiful, but not serene. Stirred, but not shaken.
Passionately aggressive, but not violent. This album is full of my favourite things about Bryn's work; the smattering of beats, the hot, exotically-spiced, fly-ridden textures, so humid and so dense they're breathtaking; the shocking intrusions that startle one from the trance, and back into ones surroundings, only to be charmed back into the world of Muslimgauze again and again- a willing enchantment, no doubt, but nevertheless the result of a brilliant enchanter.
Bryn Jones, wherever you have gone, you are missed. Thank you.
You made my life a better place. You traumatized me awake. You brought me joy in times of sadness. You soothed me when I was full of pain.
The desperation in your music wailed for my heart when I would not let it wail. Ironically enough, I listened to your music most, when a friend of mine died suddenly, last year, much too young, and very unexpectedly. Little did I know that you would be gone a month later.
If you see, her, share tea. You had a lot in common; 'love of unwonted beauty, fascination with violence, passion for life, and an exhausting work ethic. Your music continues to touch us. I only hope that as we are touched, you are touched too, and that the caress brings you joy.
review by Kirin
This review originally appeared on StarVox November, 1999
see also Hand Of Fatima, Hand Of Fatima & Fakir Sind, Hand Of Fatima & Lo-if India Abuse, Box Of Silk And Dogs, Azad, Fakir Sind & Hand Of Fatima & Fakir Sind, Hand Of Fatima, Box Of Silk And Dogs & Iranian Female Olympic Table Tennis Team Theme
January 10, 2017