|Arabbox was recorded in 1993 following the first Gulf War. 10 years later, following the second Gulf War, Soleilmoon is pleased to finally release this important Muslimgauze album. It's commonly known that Bryn Jones, the late musician behind Muslimgauze, was driven by the passion of the Palestinian people's fight for an independent homeland. What is less well understood is how he found inspiration in other parts of the Muslim world, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. India, with its dominant hindu culture, might seem like an odd place to include in the list, until you remember that more than one hundred million Muslims live there. In fact Jones, who loved language and wordplay (consider the name 'Muslimgauze', for example), frequently plundered the south Asian subcontinent throughout his long musical career for song titles and album names, coming up with gems like 'Old Bombay Vinyl Junkie' and 'Tandoori Dog'.
So it's not surprising that two song titles on Arabbox can be traced to India. 'Ganges Swimmer', heard in another form on the Staalplaat CD Izlamaphobia, and 'Firozsha Baag', the fictitious Bombay (now Mumbai) setting for a collection of interconnected stories by Indo-Canadian author Rohington Mistry. Thus it is appropriate that the images and packaging of this release are derived from India.
But Iraq is very much in the news again, and that country is not neglected here. Track names like 'Kurdish Red', 'Sadaambush', and 'Basra' all come directly from that region. Incredibly, it seems the more things change, the more they stay the same. Stylistically, the songs of Arabbox follow other works recorded by Muslimgauze in the early 1990's. Fans familiar with the Soleilmoon double CD Veiled Sisters will recognize the flowing, humanistic sounds, natural sounding percussion, and gently shimmering keyboards that sent the reviewers running to their dictionaries to search for new words to describe what they were hearing. Now that Bryn is gone we're left to listen to his work and interpret his genius on our own."