Jon Hassell -- Classic Or Dud?

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That's right: everybody's favorite player of the mosquito. Or vacuum cleaner, rather. Trumpetista extraordinaire, Hassell seems like some kind of genius or at least a guy who knew how to promote his unique schtick. Of the Hassell records proper I know, Fourth World Vol. 1: Possible Musics basically sets the table for the rest of the decade: African and Latin percussion (some electronic), richly-textured synthesizer pads and sometimes ambient sounds, with Hassell's trumpet modally surveying the landscape, itself electronically altered. Power Spot (on ECM, no less) is maybe less subtle, but more rhythmic in some ways, with the succintly-named The Surgeon of the Nightsky Restores Dead Things by the Power of Sound, recorded live, following in the same vein. Voiceprint, I didn't like so much.

As for his work as a sideman, love him on Remain In Light and he's great on the Words For the Shaman Sylvian EP.

And as a side note, while everyone was consumed with fury accusing My Life In the Bush of Ghosts of cultural imperialism, for reasons unknown to mankind, Possible Musics escaped such criticisms and ended up being one of the most highly-regarded albums of Eno's career. Interesting.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Wednesday, 11 August 2004 23:10 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

He's good but there's no need to exagerrate his achievements. I really like the album with Eno, but even there, I often find his approach to rhythm too rigid and less sophisticated than the what actually goes on in the music of the cultures he emulates. (Of course, I don't like the rhythmic approach of most so-called "dance music" very much either, so this may just be another example of me being out of step with the times.) Anyway, I tend to find the rhythmic percussion (conventional or electronic) side of his work the least satisfying.

Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Wednesday, 11 August 2004 23:25 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

love the 808 State remix of Voiceprint, weird soft spot for Empire, don't know the other stuff but time i heard more perhaps

the neurotic awakening of s (blueski), Wednesday, 11 August 2004 23:26 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

steve, I bet you would like Dream Theory in Malaya for the very rhythmic qualities that I don't like, or at least am ambivalent about. I still kind of like it though.

Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Wednesday, 11 August 2004 23:31 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

hey matthew i wasn't accusing eno at all. i like that record and used to love it. i also love "dream theory in malaya".

what does everyone think of "fascinoma" where hassell goes to lengths to record himself and the bad without treatments? even has a version of nature boy.

gaz (gaz), Wednesday, 11 August 2004 23:32 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

favorite two besides Possible Musics are Vernal Equinox and Flash of the Spirit, but every album from 1977 to 1988 gets five stars from me. (except maybe for Power Spot). the Eno ambients rarely make it off the shelf anymore but I'm still listening to these regularly.

some people love the techno/pop fusion experiments of City and Dressing for Pleasure, they're not bad commercial music, but the drum machine & techno sounds bind them to the time, unlike the earlier records.

great discography at the website - http://www.jonhassell.abelgratis.co.uk/HTML/discs1.html

(Jon L), Wednesday, 11 August 2004 23:32 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I like bits and pieces of Fascinoma. My favorite is a track (I forget the title, but I've probably given it before) with Jacky Terrason (sp?!) tearing it up on the piano. The whole thing reminds me a bit of parts of Sun Ra's Other Planes of There.

(I(I(I(I think I've said all of this before.)before.)before.)before.)

Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Wednesday, 11 August 2004 23:38 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

(Yes, I regularly have trouble spelling "exaggerate.")

Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Wednesday, 11 August 2004 23:40 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

>I tend to find the rhythmic percussion (conventional or electronic) side of his work the least satisfying.

if you're talking about City and Dressing for Pleasure, I'm with you. the drum machines dominate. there are some fantastic percussionists on his other records though, have you heard Flash of the Spirit? 10 piece percussion ensemble from Burkina Faso...

(Jon L), Wednesday, 11 August 2004 23:50 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Actually I wasn't thinking of those, which I haven't heard, except maybe for a track here and there. Even on the Hassel recordings I like, the rhythmic side of it feels weak. I am not familiar with Flash of the Spirit though.

Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Wednesday, 11 August 2004 23:53 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

On the other hand, after I wrote the first thing I wrote, I realized that I don't actually know anything about the music from many of the cultures he has drawn from.

Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Wednesday, 11 August 2004 23:57 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

And neither did Eno or Hassell!

No, seriously -- I've always wondered if the more "traditional" rhythm beds and generally obtuse textures of Possible Musics saved it from MLITBOG's fate.

Milton, I always liked Power Spot -- more driving rhythms and all. What's your beef?

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Thursday, 12 August 2004 02:33 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Docked one star for the DX7 presets. I'd feel the same about Tallis if he'd added even just one kazoo to 'Spem In Alum'. It's still a good record.

Rockist has a point about the occasional stiff rhythm on some of these records, but this music is primarily about impossible texture & references to things that almost don't exist, so I don't mind.

(Jon L), Thursday, 12 August 2004 06:20 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Docked one star for the DX7 presets.

Huh — I consider myself fairly sensitive to those, but never noticed on Power Spot.

this music is primarily about impossible texture & references to things that almost don't exist

Exactly — it's as if no one told them exotica was devoid of substance.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Thursday, 12 August 2004 12:39 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

odd fact popo pickers

he did the music for the practice

gaylord, Thursday, 12 August 2004 16:29 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

What does that mean?

Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Thursday, 12 August 2004 16:35 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I guess "The Practice" is a show or soemthing. (Give in to punctuation.)

Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Thursday, 12 August 2004 16:36 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Was an Ally McBeal spinoff about a legal firm from a few years back. For the show's theme they reused the track 'Club Zombie' from Dressing For Pleasure.

I listened to Power Spot again last night, the last two tracks are fantastic... it's not the DX7 sounds, there's just some looped sequences that wear me down a little on some tracks. But the album ends brilliantly, those last two pieces...

(Jon L), Thursday, 12 August 2004 17:08 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I'll have to put those on.

It occurs to me that it isn't Voiceprint I didn't care for but rather Dressing For Pleasure — I did notice, however, that one track on the latter sampled the section of Miles Davis' "Sivad" (the part that showed up on Get Up With It as "Honky Tonk"). It hit me that maybe he was drawing the comparison a little too obviously with that...

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Thursday, 12 August 2004 18:27 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

This *might* be relevant: http://members.aol.com/blissout/purefusion.htm

's a Simon Reynolds article about multi-culture v. mono-culture and the types of fusion that Hassell, Eno and Byrne were/are undertaking. Fourth World, ahoy!

Sam Benson (Sam Benson), Thursday, 12 August 2004 18:48 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

x-post, that track is 'G-Spot'. the entire album is covered with classic jazz samples cut-up and scrambled over mainstream hip hop drum loops. he thanks his dj/samplist in the liner notes for introducing him to hip hop culture -- it's as if he heard the Public Enemy records, realized they were doing the same things he'd been doing with sampling on Aka-Darbari-Java years before, and consciously decided to make a commercial record by sampling from traditional jazz instead of obscure ethno-field recordings. strange around the edges, but way too tasteful.

City is transitional, first time he introduces outright drum machine sounds to reference uhm 'the City' but at least the rest of the sounds are still abstract, and it's got some good playing... still...

(Jon L), Thursday, 12 August 2004 19:33 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

A lot of times (at least on Fourth World Vol.1, which is the one I know best), Hassell sounds like a very abstract image of "eastern"-soundingness. I hesitate to say anything like this since it's so obvious, but it does kind of interest me. I don't know enough to say, but it doesn't seem like he's actually consistently following any modes here, but there are all of these little gestures that evoke eastern, modal, microtonal music. The way one thing follows another, in the long run anyway, doesn't sound to me like anything you'd hear in, say, Indian (not that I know much about it) or Arabic music; but momentarily it does. Sort of an organic sampling effect. At least, I think that's what's going on. Also, at times his horn sounds more like what would be done with a voice than with an instrument. Without question, this music is good preparation for hearing non-western music (not that that is it's only value--I do like it as it is).

(He has studied Indian classical music though hasn't he?)

Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Friday, 13 August 2004 01:04 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

studied with Pandit Pran Nath a bit when hanging out with La Monte Young (Hassell played on this record as well as many Young bootlegs from that time).

(Jon L), Friday, 13 August 2004 01:16 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I don't think I knew there was a La Monte Young connection.

Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Friday, 13 August 2004 01:18 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Fourth World Vol. 1 I absolutely love, but City was a big letdown. I read about that in Toop's Ocean of Sound and the record didn't come close to living up to his description.

Mark (MarkR), Friday, 13 August 2004 01:18 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Does Hassell perform much live? I saw him once a long time ago, probably in the late 80's. It was him and some guy with a frame drum, if I remember correctly, and maybe some other people with electronics. I don't remember too much about it except that it was okay but not mind-blowing.

Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Friday, 13 August 2004 01:19 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I might listen to that album some more and jot down some notes.

I'm thinking about the way he will frequently finish a line he's playing, with a strong sort of feeling of closure, and then there's often (usually?) some sort of echo effect. You get that sort of sound a lot in Arabic singing, or especially Qur'anic recitation, without effects, just as a result of acoustics.

Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Friday, 13 August 2004 01:23 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

On the other hand, after I wrote the first thing I wrote, I realized that I don't actually know anything about the music from many of the cultures he has drawn from.

you kidder.

(Jon L), Friday, 13 August 2004 01:33 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I was thinking especially of the African and Micronesian (is that the right category?) sources he's drawn on. The middle eastern stuff I will admit to knowing something about, but only non-technically, and in comparison to other westerners.

Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Friday, 13 August 2004 01:37 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Actually, I think that's the point, Rockist. I think milton was onto something when he said it's like "references to things that don't exist." It's all in the suggestion with Hassell, oblique strategies, as it were, hinting at things we recognize but don't fully understand -- a sort of phantom meaning.

Maybe I've had too many whiskey sours this evening, but that's how it sounds to me at this moment.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Friday, 13 August 2004 02:10 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

The first time I heard Hassell was at 3am, 1985, on the radio... the previous show had just ended, the next DJ put on 'Charm' without any intro. Imagine listening to that piece for the first time without knowing how long it was going to last, always seemingly winding down and imperceptibly fading out, but then out of nowhere spiraling right back at you full force. I just sat there staring at the speakers for half an hour.

DJ never back announced the piece, either, I didn't find it again for another year...

(Jon L), Friday, 13 August 2004 02:34 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

It's funny you say that -- "Charm" always seems to go on and on. And on. And...on. But for some reason, it's not in a bad way. What is it, you think, that makes Possible Musics such a success compared to the (admittedly very good) others?

BTW, milton, I think you were talking about "Wing Melodies" which has sequences and triggers both -- and digibells to boot. But I like it.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Friday, 13 August 2004 02:42 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Also, while we're at it, we should clear this up: Possible Musics does NOT sound thin.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Friday, 13 August 2004 02:48 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

here's the interview: http://www.furious.com/perfect/hassell.html some interesting things about ego wars with byrne and eno. rockist's comments about voice > trumpet were dead on, voice is the original instrument.

Sometimes the first one, Vernal Equinox is my very favorite, it's so minimal; no harmonizer on the trumpet yet, just occasional subtle Buchla. the concept is already there, intensely technological yet primal music.

I like Earthquake Island though some don't, it's very much in the tradition of other 70's jazz fusion records. The harmonizer shows up for the first time. Great band; Rockist, I fully recommend this record if your complaint of the other records involve stiff rhythms. Liner notes: 'Including Nana (Vasconcelos)' Imaginative Percussion'.

Eno set him off on a path towards fragmented, studio-only creations. The three EG records are progressively less about live performance, by Aka-Darbari-Java, apart from one other drummer who was probably sent home after one or two sessions, it's all Hassell & a sampler. I've got it on now, an incredible record, sound of the mirror.

My problem with Power Spot is that it tries to reintroduce live performances, but the sequencers are still leading, and win out, till the very end... Flash of the Spirit is my other favorite because you can tell they started by recording the live band, and the treatments came later...

(Jon L), Friday, 13 August 2004 04:41 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I don't have much to add other than Fascinoma is the record I put on when I'm a bit anxious and don't know what to do with myself. About five minutes in I find something else to do. It clears out the clutter somehow.

Michael Jones (MichaelJ), Friday, 13 August 2004 12:04 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

FWIW, I was DJing at a Matmos gig in Cleveland and dropped "Datu Bintung At Jelong" (as you do), and Matmos' MC Schmidt came racing to the decks to declare that Dream Theory In Malaya is his favorite album of all time. This little anecdote represents the zenith of my DJ "career."

Dave Segal (Da ve Segal), Saturday, 14 August 2004 01:25 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

As per that Perfect Sound Forever interview: "Fourth World is an entire week of Saturdays." I love, love, LOVE it. Love it.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Saturday, 14 August 2004 05:16 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

And "Fourth World means: get yourself a world vocabulary; use it with subtlety and a keen sense of surprise; follow pleasure; trust your intuition (after you're sure you know what that is)."

I want to speak in parentheses...

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Saturday, 14 August 2004 05:19 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...
After listening more attentively to this album (Fourth World. . .) than I usually do, I decided that his horn reminds me of a train horn more than anything else.

Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Monday, 30 August 2004 10:52 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I don't mean that as a criticism, though I guess it sounds a little funny to say.

Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Monday, 30 August 2004 10:52 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

eight months pass...
New one: Jon Hassell Maarifa Street/Magic Realism 2 (City Hall).

RS, Friday, 13 May 2005 19:12 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

wire review made it sound like it's a compilation of live recordings, heavily recomposed in the studio. so, buying it on sight. have you heard it?

it sounds like a modern update of The Surgeon of the Nightsky Restores Dead Things By the Power of Sound (which did the same thing to live versions of things from the 1980-1983 fourth world trilogy).

milton parker (Jon L), Friday, 13 May 2005 19:58 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

have you heard it?

No, no, I just saw it announced, without any details.

RS_LaRue (RSLaRue), Friday, 13 May 2005 21:14 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

http://www.maarifastreet.com/

great site. no sound samples though.

milton parker (Jon L), Friday, 13 May 2005 21:36 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

it sounds like a modern update of The Surgeon of the Nightsky Restores Dead Things By the Power of Sound (which did the same thing to live versions of things from the 1980-1983 fourth world trilogy).

Whaaa??!?

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Saturday, 14 May 2005 05:21 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

yeah, check out Surgeon, it's got a great live version of "Charm"

ok I bought Maarifa Street last night -- it's great. Fuzzy, liquid, and weird again. All the sharp techno edges and slickness of City & Dressing For Pleasure have been dropped, everything's muted and gauzy and mysterious again, although the tracks are still a lot more straightforward than the original trilogy; the rhythmic backing is less alienating & weird, in support for the lead trumpet, but it fits, it works

co-produced by Peter Freeman, who also played bass & laptop in the original concerts. the rhythms are slow & dubby, especially the bass lines; One track samples a dub filtersweep hit from Pole's CD1 for the downbeat (it's such a generic 'dub' sound that I wouldn't have noticed if not for the liner notes).

the album packaging is incredible, a huge sprawling tree filled with dozens of people. when you look very closely, it dawns on you that it's a sprawling multi-racial orgy. it's by Mati Klarwein, same guy who did Earthquake Island & Bitches Brew.

fits the music perfectly, this is an unusually erotically charged album even for Hassell, feels almost awkward listening to this by myself. it's all about the trumpet playing here, and no one sounds like Hassell, I love this record...

milton parker (Jon L), Saturday, 14 May 2005 20:27 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I must say, I've owned "Fourth World Music Vol 1" for years and after many, many tries found it uncompelling (I'm a fan of lots of Eno ambient stuff; I'd rather listen to the "Apollo" soundtrack)

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Saturday, 14 May 2005 20:42 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Milton Parker OTM. Maarifa Street gives me chills in the same way Possible Musics, Dream Theory In Malaya and Aka-Darbari-Java did.

Dave Segal (Da ve Segal), Saturday, 14 May 2005 22:17 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

yeah, check out Surgeon, it's got a great live version of "Charm"

I have it -- I just don't think I ever noticed that. That's a fantastic description of the record, btw.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Sunday, 15 May 2005 01:38 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

well they've definitely been made into new pieces, but you can hear some of the same tapes & sounds, and "Brussels" is definitely the new band doing a version of "Charm"

I'd forgotten Richard Horowitz was on Surgeon... have you heard Horowitz & Sussan Deihim's Azax Attra : Desert Equations? that is one classic record, definitely related to the fourth world series...

milton parker (Jon L), Sunday, 15 May 2005 02:10 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Like the Jon Hassell album for Kompakt you never knew you needed.

fuckin

this train can’t take me home soon enough

flamenco blorf (BradNelson), Thursday, 7 June 2018 23:31 (six months ago) Permalink

haha <3 u Brad

sleeve, Thursday, 7 June 2018 23:31 (six months ago) Permalink

this record is wonderful

flamenco blorf (BradNelson), Friday, 8 June 2018 11:41 (six months ago) Permalink

Fuuuuuuuk

A cynic might say this is just a Hassell record crossed with '94 Diskont', but against that proposition I would proffer that this is also a Hassell record crossed with '94 Diskont'.

Tim F, Friday, 8 June 2018 14:10 (six months ago) Permalink

Heh, sold.

pomenitul, Friday, 8 June 2018 14:14 (six months ago) Permalink

lol tim otm

flamenco blorf (BradNelson), Friday, 8 June 2018 14:33 (six months ago) Permalink

This is an amazing record. Maarifa Street and Last Night... (both of which are great) suggested he was moving gracefully towards a kind of dubby ambient jazz - but this is something else, wilder and far less smooth. Seriously heavy low end on it too.

bamboohouses, Friday, 8 June 2018 14:52 (six months ago) Permalink

pvmic but i think this is my album of the year (it's been an extremely rich year)

flamenco blorf (BradNelson), Friday, 8 June 2018 17:54 (six months ago) Permalink

mine too honestly, haven't been blown away by anything new this instantly in a bit

(although this is my first hassell; what are the recommended starting points?)

lowercase (eric), Friday, 8 June 2018 18:03 (six months ago) Permalink

imo you can go backwards but i loooove last night basically as much as the new one

flamenco blorf (BradNelson), Friday, 8 June 2018 18:05 (six months ago) Permalink

i think most would recommend either of the fourth world records though

flamenco blorf (BradNelson), Friday, 8 June 2018 18:06 (six months ago) Permalink

Fourth World, Vol. 1: Possible Musics (with Brian Eno), Power Spot and Last Night the Moon Came Dropping Its Clothes in the Street are all classic in my book.

pomenitul, Friday, 8 June 2018 18:07 (six months ago) Permalink

I've actually never heard Dream Theory in Malaya. Time to remedy that.

pomenitul, Friday, 8 June 2018 18:09 (six months ago) Permalink

I think Hassell's discography is so consistently brilliant and unique, pretty much any way is a good direction. Some of the availability of his catalogue is a bit spotty, unfortunately. But, it's all worthwhile. Maybe the only thing that isn't as immediately akin to the rest of his stuff is Bluescreen; but that's pretty good.

I haven't heard the new one yet, so I can't really comment on how it stands in regards to the rest of his work.

(V) (°,,,,°) (V) (Austin), Friday, 8 June 2018 18:15 (six months ago) Permalink

Iiiii neeeeed tooooo heeeaaaarrrr thiiiiiiiiiiisssssss

William Thinkpiece Hackery (NickB), Friday, 8 June 2018 18:20 (six months ago) Permalink

Aka/Darbari/Java is my favorite solo rec of his fwiw

sleeve, Friday, 8 June 2018 18:25 (six months ago) Permalink

spare, evocative, kinda mesmerizing

sleeve, Friday, 8 June 2018 18:25 (six months ago) Permalink

I've actually never heard Dream Theory in Malaya. Time to remedy that.

― pomenitul, Friday, June 8, 2018 11:09 AM (twenty-two minutes ago)

I really like that one. Weird follow-up to the original Fourth World album, but a very good record all the same.

(V) (°,,,,°) (V) (Austin), Friday, 8 June 2018 18:36 (six months ago) Permalink

Aka/Darbari/Java is probably my favourite as well.
and this new one is incredible. maybe the best thing i listened this year.

Nourry, Friday, 8 June 2018 18:50 (six months ago) Permalink

thanks y'all :+)

lowercase (eric), Friday, 8 June 2018 19:27 (six months ago) Permalink

Today is its release date so it's on Spotify now. Presumably the other streaming svcs as well.

WilliamC, Friday, 8 June 2018 19:51 (six months ago) Permalink

Ha, pfork says 7.3.

(V) (°,,,,°) (V) (Austin), Friday, 8 June 2018 20:17 (six months ago) Permalink

I think Hassell's discography is so consistently brilliant and unique, pretty much any way is a good direction. Some of the availability of his catalogue is a bit spotty, unfortunately. But, it's all worthwhile.

― (V) (°,,,,°) (V) (Austin), Friday, June 8, 2018 2:15 PM (three hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I have everything he's ever released and I agree with this statement. Even City, which I didn't connect with at the time, sounds brilliant and ahead of its time to me now

Paul Ponzi, Friday, 8 June 2018 21:31 (six months ago) Permalink

I think I took City: Works of Fiction for granted because it was the first album of his I got and it was hilariously easy to acquire (especially in comparison to the lengths I had to go to get some of his other records). The three disc reissue from a few years back was a great way to get to reintroduce myself to it.

I think I need to revisit the Bluescreen album. I remember it being the other one of his, besides City, that was most common in used bins. I bought it the first time, when I was just kind of exploring new things in college and it was played maybe twice. I either traded it or gave it away, don't remember. But then I reacquired it about a decade ago, right around the time Last Night the Moon Came Dropping Its Clothes in the Street came out and the majority of his back catalogue was out of print and second hand copies were rising in price. I may have listened to Bluescreen three times since then. So, yeah: it's due for a reassessment, I think.

(V) (°,,,,°) (V) (Austin), Friday, 8 June 2018 21:44 (six months ago) Permalink

I've never managed to fall in love with the Bluescreen album but it does contain one of my all time favourite Hassell tracks in "Blue Night (live)" which is literally and metaphorically lumped on the end of the cd. It's totally out of step with the rest of the album and more akin to something from "Power Spot", but is so, so sublime.

I've not listened to the new one enough to really formualte an opinion yet.

stirmonster, Friday, 8 June 2018 22:30 (six months ago) Permalink

i just listened to "Listening To Pictures" again and oddly, I'd swear the track "Ndeya" samples the track "Blue Night (live)" mentioned above.

stirmonster, Friday, 8 June 2018 23:28 (six months ago) Permalink

so happy I am home and listening to this new one, sounds great so far

sleeve, Saturday, 9 June 2018 00:16 (six months ago) Permalink

Also, if you guys don't know it, this one is terrific:

https://www.discogs.com/Jon-Hassell-Fascinoma/master/527072

Paul Ponzi, Saturday, 9 June 2018 00:17 (six months ago) Permalink

oh my god "Picnic" - I can see where y'all are getting the Oval vibes from

sleeve, Saturday, 9 June 2018 00:22 (six months ago) Permalink

Dream Theory in Malaya is good (especially the last 3 tracks), but the relentless fluttering of "Chor Moire" and unsettling squelchy loop on "Datu Bintung at Jelong" both make me feel like I'm about to have a panic attack.

Hideous Lump, Saturday, 9 June 2018 04:38 (six months ago) Permalink

Didn't expect *this* Jon Hassell at all. A lovely surprise.

The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums (Chinaski), Saturday, 9 June 2018 09:58 (six months ago) Permalink

The end of Picnic sounds like Zawinul! Marvellous.

The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums (Chinaski), Saturday, 9 June 2018 10:01 (six months ago) Permalink

Dream Theory in Malaya is good (especially the last 3 tracks), but the relentless fluttering of "Chor Moire" and unsettling squelchy loop on "Datu Bintung at Jelong" both make me feel like I'm about to have a panic attack.

― Hideous Lump, Saturday, June 9, 2018 12:38 AM (eight hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

My wife has the same reaction to this record, and uses the same words ("panic attack") to describe it. She also refers to it "anxiety music" despite liking or at least being indifferent to everything else by Hassell she's heard. The only other thing that inspires such a reaction from her is Wolfgang Voigt (solo, not GAS), whose music she loathes

Paul Ponzi, Saturday, 9 June 2018 13:08 (six months ago) Permalink

What do people think of surgeon of the nightsky

cheese is the teacher, ham is the preacher (Jon not Jon), Saturday, 9 June 2018 13:41 (six months ago) Permalink

I love it

sciatica, Saturday, 9 June 2018 13:44 (six months ago) Permalink

this thing is great! reminds me a bit of the ambient electronic jazz that Justin Walter has been putting out on Kranky

William Thinkpiece Hackery (NickB), Saturday, 9 June 2018 17:24 (six months ago) Permalink

Received mine yesterday. Wonderful and quiet pressing except for an annoying defect at the end of side 1, a very audible ticking / scuff sound. Anyone else experience this?

Paul Ponzi, Sunday, 10 June 2018 15:30 (six months ago) Permalink

Got this in the mail today and just finished up my first listen now. Wow, what a wonderful turn in sound from Last Night the Moon Came Dropping its Clothes in the Street. That was essentially beatless, where this new one definitely has a rhythmic base, but not quite as defined as Maarifa Street. First impression is that it strikes a perfect balance between the funky backbeats of Maarifa Street and the impressionistic wash of Last Night the Moon Came Dropping its Clothes in the Street. Fantastic.

(V) (°,,,,°) (V) (Austin), Tuesday, 12 June 2018 04:02 (six months ago) Permalink

I like this but the drum sounds on "Pastorale Vassant" sound distractingly dated where everything else sounds unattached to any time.

boxedjoy, Tuesday, 12 June 2018 10:08 (six months ago) Permalink

They don't bother me, but I see what you mean. They're mixed pretty low though, and used subtly throughout, so it's not like you're listening to "Come To Daddy" or something

Paul Ponzi, Tuesday, 12 June 2018 12:10 (six months ago) Permalink

It's a mid-90s Wire Magazine wet dream ;-)

I really like it, first four tracks especially so far. Breezes by at <37 minutes.

Absolute Unit Delta Plus (Noel Emits), Tuesday, 12 June 2018 12:55 (six months ago) Permalink

For those that hoped for more in the *Last Night the Moon Came Dropping Its Clothes* vein, some of that itch may be scratched by Sly & Robbie Meet Nils Petter Molvær feat. Eivind Aarset and Vladislav Delay - *Nordub* (2018).

Chaos reigns... in my pants (Sanpaku), Wednesday, 20 June 2018 17:03 (five months ago) Permalink

Caveat, Nordub is really is more of an African Head Charge type album than Fourth World (though I think it would be great at -30% tempo). NP Molvær's past work is closest to a Hassell protege I'm aware of.

Chaos reigns... in my pants (Sanpaku), Wednesday, 20 June 2018 17:11 (five months ago) Permalink

This Sly and Robbie is fantastic - thanks for the heads up. Have added to the Sly & Robbie thread.

The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums (Chinaski), Thursday, 21 June 2018 11:31 (five months ago) Permalink

On my first listen, this is wonderful.
Lovely liner notes from Hassell himself. Good to read this: "Finally, I'm pleased to note that this record also marks a valued moment of reconnection with my longtime friend, Brian Eno."

willem, Tuesday, 26 June 2018 06:36 (five months ago) Permalink

What is the connection to Eno here?

Naive Teen Idol, Thursday, 28 June 2018 02:55 (five months ago) Permalink

No actual/musical connection with this particular album. There's some background on the reconnection in this candid interview with Billboard (and a not so subtle diss on David Byrne :)

https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/8463129/jon-hassell-interview

But anyway, my lingering scars of being left off any mention of My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, that was the clearest evidence that the backroom boys – Brian's managers and David's managers of the time – [were like] "Hold on here, that guy could come after you with a big lawsuit." And I was still in the ivory tower frame of mind and didn't have a structure there. If I had been Ry Cooder and had a management structure, that would have been my harpoon to lance this appropriation. So I wrote a 50-page letter a couple years ago when I was way down on my luck, and I made a big reconnection with Brian, and I would say we're brothers now. And that was a rough patch for me. But that's ironed itself out. I've had zero contact with David, but he's not exactly in the same intellectual class with Brian, so that's not surprising.

willem, Friday, 29 June 2018 09:35 (five months ago) Permalink

Yikes

Karl Malone, Friday, 29 June 2018 14:09 (five months ago) Permalink

what did he contribute to the record? serious question, I never knew he was involved. I guess I could look up the chapter in Rip It Up but I'm at work.

sleeve, Friday, 29 June 2018 14:12 (five months ago) Permalink

five months pass...

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