Work began in mid-2001 and by September, a new album was ready to go. Joining the album sessions was Hugh Marsh, violin virtuoso and who had recently toured with Murphy on the Just For Love Tour, renowned jazz bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma, and reprising his role as infinite guitarist from 1995’s Cascade, Michael Brook.
What ensued was the album many had speculated for years Murphy would do. As early as Should the World Fail To Fall Apart, Murphy had incorporated several subtle hints of a Middle East influence in his work and often brought in Turkish musicians to record pieces here and there. Following his family’s move to Turkey in the mid-90s, many felt it was only a matter of time before Murphy would endeavor a world album. Dust, the sixth solo album and Murphy’s first in seven years after 1995’s Cascade, brought the Middle East influence to center stage. Musically, it was very much an extension of Dede’s own electronic-dub-meets-Sufism work, but it was still every bit a Murphy solo album. Dust also included two re-workings of previous songs, My Last Two Weeks from Love Hysteria and Cascade highlight Subway, but now featuring an additional verse.
Generally speaking, Dust received very polar reviews – some have criticized it for being too different and lacking of distinctive melodies, making for a continuous album of varied noises. Many, however, place Dust as Murphy’s most mature and uniquely individual album, mixing visual lyrics with rich and emotional music. Regardless of the individual views, it was clear that Dust had caused quite the storm. Dust found its home on Metropolis Records, a label that had increasingly adopted many of the “gothic” musicians of past and present, even going as far as to release the Bauhaus live album and DVD from the Resurrection Tour, Gotham. Released in April 2002, Dust would ultimately climb to number 38 on the Billboard Independent Album chart.
Murphy then embarked on a 30-date tour of North America to support his sixth album. Fergus Marsh was once again retained on stickman bass, Mark Kelso took over on drums with Robert Piltich joining on guitar and Levon Ichkhanian providing numerous backing sounds played on traditional instruments. Though a successful tour, Murphy would not be one to sit still and relax as he had done years prior. The next album was already looming on the horizon.