Muslimgauze - Veiled Sisters


United Kingdom


Soleilmoon Recordings

Release Date

November 1993


Experimental, Ambient, Dub

Reviewed By




Muslimgauze – Veiled Sisters (1993)

“Veiled Sisters” is one of Bryn Jones’ early attempts at what would become the most common embodiment of his music: his exhilarating, menacing, and highly repetitive ambient/techno/dub pieces. After the release of this thick and opaque double album on Soleilmoon, the Mancunian producer’s music would never truly be the same again, all until his sudden death in January 1999.

“Veiled Sisters” is a hazy and highly homogeneous block, comprised of about twenty tracks divided into six segments, seemingly designed to make it difficult for the listener to find their way. Although Bryn Jones is known for his cunning tricks that seem to hinder the lost enthusiast from truly appropriating his music, the segmentation of “Veiled Sisters” appears relevant, as the sequencing of the tracks is skillfully orchestrated to maintain a certain dynamic throughout. The six segments serve as excursions into a shadowy and colorless labyrinth; synthesizers, abyssal basslines, and hypnotic percussion are accompanied by numerous samples of oriental instruments, conversations, and other less identifiable sounds. Far from being mere gimmicks, these elements contribute to the immersion in what sometimes resembles murky and opaque water, particularly when the tempo slows down. They help keep the listener engaged and prevent a certain monotony.

“Veiled Sisters” can be a challenge due to its considerable length, but it proves to be captivating with the right mindset. The listener is sporadically rewarded for their tenacity with more ecstatic moments, especially when sitar drones intertwine… There is a noticeable overall variety in the succeeding tracks, unlike other releases by Bryn Jones where all the pieces seem to be variations of one another.

While the album is misty and disquieting, it surprisingly provides a sense of comfort for a Muslimgauze production. Its muffled and deceptively soft sound flows like the current of a slow river, and the underlying menace that seems to rumble in most of its successor albums here remains concealed. It is as if, once the veil was lifted, this darkness subsequently poured into the rest of his discography, appearing to intensify even further in the late and sordid “Mullah Said…” Nevertheless, “Veiled Sisters” is not outdated; its sonic aspect has no equivalent in Bryn Jones’ discography, and its ambiguous atmospheres allow the listener to attach their own fantasies and mental images, whereas a more overtly dark record would have allowed less personal freedom. It is a dreamlike odyssey and one of Muslimgauze’s early milestones, essential for those who embrace the Mancunian musician’s obsession.

La version française originale de cette chronique est disponible sur Guts Of Darkness.