Occupied Territories

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As both a remix project of and a tribute to Muslimgauze, Occupied Territories is an unexpected but sometimes captivating effort. Most of the names who contributed won't be known outside the extreme experimental/noise circles in which Bryn Jones found himself, if only mostly by association. Finnish minimalists Pan Sonic (appearing here as Panasonic, before the lawsuit kicked in), veteran English fringe artists People Like Us and zoviet*france, along with Jones remixing himself on two tracks, are the most notable contributors here. This said, even practically unknown figures like Extremadura and the Square Root of Sub do their best with the base material; nothing quite achieves the level of Muslimgauze's singular fusion of strains and styles -- most contributors focus instead on bringing out one element and concentrating on that -- but more than once, things really connect on a grand scale. The first disc, Occupied Beats, unsurprisingly serves up more dance/drum-oriented efforts over the course of ten tracks. Most of the tracks are fairly anonymous, but Clika's "See For Yourself" creates a fair hip-hop/Mideast fusion, while O Yuki Conjugate's "Unlevel Line" captures both the dreaminess and the rhythm at the heart of Muslimgauze. The second disc, Occupied Frequencies, contains the lion's share of the winners here, with generally more experimental and freeform compositions and reworkings. "Muzzled," the nicely mysterious zoviet*france entry, Starfish Pool's "Lion of Kandahar" trancy revamp, and Jones' own brief but evocative efforts are just some of the many standouts.

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