Speaking with Hamas

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Though a Manchester resident with no demonstrable Middle Eastern ties, the late Bryn Jones was inspired by the culture, mystique, and alluring iconography of the Islamic world. His Muslimgauze recordings are similarly fraught with contradiction. Jones' pro-Palestinian views color a uniquely passionate music that demonstrates moods other than the hatred reflected in title tributes to terrorists and violent political factions. Jones released material in intimidating volume, occasionally showing begrudging mercy to overwhelmed Muslimgauze followers.

SPEAKING WITH HAMAS, an offering "to be permanently available to people who don't deserve it," is the third collection compiled from the limited, much-desired Muslimlim series. HAMAS downplays Jones' distorted hand-drum hip-hop leanings (heard in dissipated form in "Deceiver") in favor of atmospheric excursions strafed by siroccos of noise, electronic rhythms, Semitic voices, and disembodied samples ("Thuggee," "Anti-Arab Media Censor"). The disc is the gentlest introduction yet to Jones' intoxicating oeuvre, playing up the dub-damaged dune ambience aspect embodied in "Devour," "Return of Black September," and the unreleased "Shaheed."

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