The latest release for The Muslimgauze Preservation Society (TMPS), Fuck Israel, is among the more interesting albums I have had the privilege to work on. From the moment I first posted the press release to distributors and clients, two distributors expressed fear and misgivings about such a title. (As if they have never sold Muslimgauze before and do not know what the music is all about). After I explained to them that the title was a statement of outrage, they went ahead and placed an order anyway. Clients however, immediately understood though some observed that this is this is the most direct title, yet. First, I want to draw a distinction to all readers, there is a difference between hate and anger. In Canada, it is forbidden to publish hate literature. This release is not hate, but one of anger at injustice. Fuck Israel is a proclamation, that Israel’s shameful treatment and apartheid against Palestinians needs to stop and justice must be delivered. Prior to 1949, what is now Israel was called Palestine. Then a group of rogues who called themselves ‘Israeli’ forced Palestinians off their land at gun and bomb point during their so-called “War of Independence”. The majority of people in Gaza and the West Bank are refugees from what is now called Israel. They are herded in densely populated areas and designated as second class citizens with no human rights. The rest of the Palestinian populace were either expelled or executed. Such is one of the most horrible on-going human rights blights on the planet that continues for over 60 years. I think a bit of indignant anger is allowed in this case, while Palestinians and surrounding Arab states are subjugated by Israel.
During fabrication of the release this week, a printing company used Purolator Courier to deliver the poster inserts to the CD assembly plant. Rather Purolator took the posters directly to the police. (Thanks Purolator, for trying to censor a music CD) I received a phone call from the Peel Region Police, an officer demanded my name, home address and date of birth. Afterwards, he asked what the CD was about. The insert poster has cartoons from Mr. Fish, art work by an individual with a Jewish background who is outraged with Israel, quotes from Noam Chomsky, and inserts from Cultures of Resistance. After I explained to him what the release was about, and that it was an anger release and not a hate, clearly evidenced by the music and content, that no Canadian laws were broken. After this discussion, the office concurred and agreed to release the CD art work. The posters will be delivered and fabrication resumes tomorrow. Of this incident, I received the following comments,
One of the TMPS distributors, Charles Powne, owner of Soleilmoon said, “Scary story, though. The idea that a music CD needs to be given to the police is chilling, but it’s a fact that Canada doesn’t have free speech.”
Artist and TMPS contributor Dwayne Booth aka Mr. Fish said, “That is fantastic! I love how you almost got arrested for committing a thought crime.”
Friend, Terre Thaemlitz, “the irony is that you’d probably have a much easier time making a cd called “fuck canada.”" (what a great idea, I would love to elaborate on Canada’s (and America’s) unjust treatment towards First Nations peoples. After all, apartheid is a Canadian invention.
Below is the press release for Fuck Israel I wrote for TMPS. Further below, a cartoon by Mr. Fish.
The Muslimgauze Preservation Society are pleased to announce another incendiary Muslimgauze remix, Fuck Israel. The source material is the International Language of Dub (Third Eye, 1995) which is a remix album of The Rootsman tracks, hence a remix of a remix, or ‘Gauzified as it were. When Jones first met The Rootsman in 1996, several Rootsman albums were passed along by way of musical introduction. Jones promptly responded with several remixes on DAT, his way of saying “hello”, the posthumously titled Fuck Israel being among them. Chronologically, International Language of Dub is the second Rootsman album and is part two of the multi-part The Rootsman/Muslimgauze series on TMPS. Fuck Israel is a cry of anger against the illegal occupation of Palestine and the ongoing economic, political, and social subjugation of Palestinians by the Israelis. Each track is dedicated to an Israeli authority figure directly responsible for the oppression and/or death of Palestinians. Musically the tempo and textures of Fuck Israel varies from song to song. “Fuck Ariel Sharon pt 1”, “Fuck Benjamin Netanyahu pt 1”, “Fuck Benjamin Netanyahu pt 2” are comprised of upbeat, vigorous breaks with a distinct ‘grime’ feel. “Fuck Yitzhak Rabin” is a breaks track that cascades along a river of bass and then plummets into a chasm of drones. Conversely, “Fuck Ehud Olmert” is a beatless psychedelic vocal loop while “Fuck Benjamin Ben-Eliezer” is a digression into more abstract textures. By “Fuck Shimon Peres”, organ melodies and Rasta vocals place Muslimgauze in distinct dub reggae territory. “Fuck Ehud Barak pt 1” and “Fuck Ehud Barak pt 2” are among the stand-out tracks with their echo-soaked steady horse-trot tempo while electronic ricochet’s shimmer and pulse throughout. Crowning track, “Fuck Avignor Lieberman” could pass for a downtempo rhythm-with-flute track if it was not for the over-muscular bass lines that shake the speakers like a tectonic shift. On Fuck Israel, Muslimgauze muscles through a dubstep club, knocking-over hipster trendies in the process. The CD will be packaged with papyrus covers, hand printed in Egypt, with a 9 panel fold-open poster, CD set in a super jewel case and bonus sticker. It is the poster part we would like to draw special attention as the equally incendiary political cartoonist, Dwayne Booth aka Mr. Fish agreed to provide art work. Mr. Fish contributes to reputable and prestigious magazines, journals and newspapers. In addition to Harper’s Magazine and Truthdig.com, his work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times,The Village Voice, Vanity Fair, Mother Jones Magazine, the Advocate, Z Magazine, the Utne Reader, Slate.com, MSNBC.com and others. This is a very special underground release as shops and supposed long-time fans turn away in fear of this album while distributors get nervous. Indeed, the album title could not be printed on the Egyptian papyrus covers as the print source feared a government crackdown and persecution. Though Egypt is liberated from a long-time tyrant, freedom of speech has yet to be exercised. We urge you to order the CD as soon as possible lest it be banned in the free world as criticism of Israel grows increasingly illegal, or the Mossad finally silences the TMPS once and for all. In that case, you would miss a chance at getting a real collector’s item.