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Jon Hassell / Farafina: Flash Of The Spirit

Read "Flash Of The Spirit" reviewed by Chris May

The trumpeter and keyboard player Jon Hassell is often labelled a practitioner of ambient music. This is a misconstruction resulting mainly from Hassell's encounters with Brian Eno, who is widely perceived as ambient's originator. Hassell's oeuvre, a technologically enabled fusion of western and non-western musics which he calls Fourth World, is a wholly different kettle of fish. Eno defines ambient as “music that does not demand the listener's attention but rewards such attention if it is given." The ...

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Jon Hassell: Listening To Pictures (Pentimento Volume one)

Read "Listening To Pictures (Pentimento Volume one)" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

At age 81 legendary American trumpeter/composer/conceptualist Jon Hassell could reasonably be kicking back in retirement, relaxing and resting on his considerable laurels. His Fourth World concept, combining world ethnic music with modern electronics, has been hugely influential; it is hard to imagine the sound of Norwegian trumpeter Arve Henriksen without it, not to mention a lot of music in both the ambient and World Music genres. He has collaborated with Brian Eno, Talking Heads, David Sylvian and Peter Gabriel among ...

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Jon Hassell: Listening To Pictures (Pentimento Volume one)

Read "Listening To Pictures (Pentimento Volume one)" reviewed by Chris May

By the time even the most revolutionary musicians reach their ninth decade, few are any longer making profoundly adventurous work. Typically, conservatism has kicked in or, if not that, a younger generation has come along and moved the goal posts. But on Listening To Pictures (Pentimento Volume One), Jon Hassell, the creator of fourth-world music in the 1970s and other innovations since, is as venturesome and digging as deeply as ever. Listening To Pictures is Hassell's first new release since ...

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Jon Hassell: Dream Theory In Malaya: Fourth World Volume Two

Read "Dream Theory In Malaya: Fourth World Volume Two" reviewed by Chris May

Three decades and more after the last vinyl reissue of trumpeter Jon Hassell's landmark album, back in 1987, Britain's Glitterbeat label has released a remastered edition of the LP, which is also available on CD. The new edition includes a previously unreleased three-minute bonus track from the recording sessions. Dream Theory In Malaya, first released in 1981, arguably ranks as the most perfect realisation ever of fourth-world music, the acoustic-electronic blend of minimalism, jazz, drone, ambient and traditional ...

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Jon Hassell: Fourth World Vol. 1: Possible Musics

Read "Fourth World Vol. 1: Possible Musics" reviewed by Nenad Georgievski

Some records can be easily identified and defined by the time and the place of their creation, but Jon Hassell's records appear to have a different and opposite effect. His record Possible Musics doesn't give the impression of coming from a certain place, but rather from many places. And this collage approach where he mixed and melded different elements and sounds, belonging to different continents and traditions, into a pan-ethnic sound, with the technology of the first world was named ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Jon Hassell: City: Works of Fiction (Expanded Edition)

Read "Jon Hassell: City: Works of Fiction (Expanded Edition)" reviewed by John Kelman

Originally released in 1990 on Brian Eno's forward-thinking Opal Records and reissued again, two years later, on All Saints Records, Jon Hassell's City: Works of Fiction was the trumpeter/keyboardist/conceptualist's fourth “official" installment in the Fourth World series that began with Fourth World Vol. 1: Possible Musics (EG, 1980), followed by Fourth World Vol. 2: Dream Theory in Malaysia (EG, 1981) and Aka / Darbari / Java--Magic Realism (EG, 1983), though this groundbreaking and ultimately vastly influential concept truly began to ...

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Jon Hassell: Last night the moon came dropping its clothes in the street

Read "Last night the moon came dropping its clothes in the street" reviewed by Nenad Georgievski

One of the most significant American composer/musicians of the late twentieth century, Jon Hassell, has served as a synthesist, catalyst, and eventually a sound painter and innovator. He has, over the course of his career, unleashed a stunning new vocabulary that still resounds today in the playing of artists including Nils Petter Molvaer, Arve Henriksen, Paolo Fresu and Erik Truffaz and a plethora of electronic music adventurers such as Orb, Howie B, and Tricky. By drawing on ...


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