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Shorter than many of Muslimgauze's 1990s albums - 13 untitled songs over 45 minutes - Azzazin, originally released as part of the limited-edition subscription series, feels more like a collection of random experiments than a cohesive piece of work per se. If not something that would intrigue the casual listener, the hard-core fan will likely find something of interest on the various tracks here. Starting with an extremely minimal opening number - it's no surprise Finnish experimental duo Pan Sonic are Muslimgauze fans, based on this track - Azzazin has a much more electronic feeling than most of Bryn Jones' other albums, eschewing the traditional elements used elsewhere for a rough, quietly aggressive and disturbing feel. Comparisons with Aphex Twin aren't too far off the mark here, but this is still clearly a Muslimgauze release than any sort of rip-off. The fourth track, with its unpredictable keyboard snarls over a low, quiet pulse, and the sixth and seventh songs, with distorted, high-pitched noise tones mixed with a soft series of bass notes and a slight spoken-word interjection from time to time, are some of the strong points from this intriguing release. Beats are used in an extremely limited way throughout Azzazin, with rhythm, always a key component of Jones' work, more suggested at points by the nature of the keyboard lines than anything else. Closing with an equally minimal track, Azzazin won't be everyone's cup of tea, but adventuresome listeners will find themselves rewarded.
Cat. number: MUSLIMLIM 003