Muslimgauze

Betrayal

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The first Muslimgauze release after the initial peace agreement between Israel and the PLO in late 1993, Betrayal has a memorable cover featuring the handshake between Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafatwith, with its title boldly, simply printed on it. The album dedication itself is "to a united Arab response," so expecting the album, recorded mere days after the handshake, to be a new explosion of musical anger would be the logical conclusion. As it happens, though, Betrayal isn't that far removed from Veiled Sisters; while not as minimalist, if not repetitive, as that particular release, Betrayal relies on the same basic tools of gentle, steady electronic percussion and low-level bass and keyboard shadings. The most immediate changes lie with the various vocal samples on some of the tracks; while not immediately intelligible per se, you get scraps and hints from them, expressing a range of negative emotions regarding the initial peace pact. At the same time, often a subtle but nonetheless effective sense of omen and dire warning lurks throughout the music; the use of bass tones in particular doesn't seem that far removed from what Massive Attack eventually came up with years later on Mezzanine. Also, as with Veiled Sisters, even the most low-key of changes has a large effect in context, such as the metallic clattering added to the electronic pulsing on the second "Nabius." Overall, the feeling is meditative; this is the kind of music you could put on for a quiet moment, but it's not exactly easy listening in any sense of the word.

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