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Originally recorded live at the Manchester Turkish baths in July of 1993, only a few years before Bryn Jones' untimely death at the age of 38, he and his bandmates, Muslimgauze, recorded Arabbox: an unusual project even by Jones' standards. It was reissued in 2003 in a limited edition of 500, each copy packaged in a metal box handmade in India. A subsequent unlimited edition was released in conventional jewel-case packaging illustrated with photographs of urban Indian scenes, an unusual theme for Jones, whose primary musical and political inspiration have always been found in the Middle East. The music on this album will take no longstanding fan by surprise, though. Drones, beats, buzzes, chattering and singing, warbles and ululations, all string themselves out for extended periods without much variation or elaboration. This is not music for the impatient. It is for those who want to immerse themselves in a particular sort of mystical, faintly menacing, mood, and stay there for awhile. "Kurdish Red," with its cheesy synthetic drum-machine beats and soothing keyboard washes, sounds a bit like Bill Nelson's more ambient excursions; "Ganges Swimmer" offers almost twelve minutes of trance-inducing water sounds and buzzing drones; the unusually funky "Zenanna" is an artful combination of electronic percussion and ominous minor-chord keyboard sounds. This album probably won't convert any infidels, but fans of Jones' particular brand of aggro ambient electronica will enjoy it very much.

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