Those keeping a running count will notice that 2000's SUFIQ brings the Muslimgauze CD catalog into the triple digits. This mini album is especially significant, as it extends the extraordinary productivity of Muslimgauze auteur Bryn Jones beyond his untimely passing. New Muslimgauze titles have emerged since, but each was scheduled prior to Jones' death in January of 1999.
Active to the end, Jones left behind a store of finished masters. SUFIQ sees the first release of material from this impressive stockpile by Soleilmoon, Jones' devoted Stateside label. Presented in stark, white packaging, with Jones' hand-scrawled track listing adding an especially poignant note, SUFIQ is an astonishing Muslimgauze opus and an ideal introduction for the uninitiated. Serpentine sax and meshes of urgent electronic and hand-drum rhythms immediately usher the listener into Jones' singular, sumptuous Saracen soundworld. The powerful "How Rustem, the Thief, Moves Through Fire" casts its spell with jeering brass and prattling beats. "The Girl Who Sleeps with Persian Tulips" steals the breath with rattling breaks and sudden, mischievous stops and leaves a listener drunk on its opulent, Middle-Eastern melodies. Elsewhere, ancient instrumentation binds jarringly contemporary rhythms ("Jackal the Invizibl," "Last Mosque of Herzegovina") in an incantation of timeless enchantment.