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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » Contemporary album of the month – Jon Hassell: Listening to Pictures (Pentimento Volume I)


Contemporary album of the month – Jon Hassell: Listening to Pictures (Pentimento Volume I)

Delivered... John Lewis | Scene | Fri 25 May 2018 8:30 am

Hassell’s ‘fourth world’ fusion of hi-tech minimalism with world rhythms proves the 81-year-old is still experimental after all these years

In the late 70s, long before terms such as “world music” or “cultural appropriation” were in common usage, the trumpeter and composer Jon Hassell devised the term “Fourth World” to describe his music. It explored what he called “primitive futurism”, where shantytown squalor coexisted with hi-tech western studio technology, fusing Hassell’s early minimalist work with Terry Riley and La Monte Young with his studies of Indian, African and Indonesian music.

Brian Eno was an early adopter of Hassell’s aesthetic and, before long, other champions of pan-cultural fusion – David Byrne, Peter Gabriel, David Sylvian, Ry Cooder – were collaborating with Hassell and employing his methodology. As dozens more musicians started plundering exotic global sounds and placing them through electronic filters, Hassell was off exploring other worlds – adding his distinctive trumpet sound for artists as diverse as Björk, Tears for Fears, kd lang and 808 State; flirting with hip-hop and electro; creating “coffee-coloured” classical music with the Senegalese drummer Abdou Mboup; exploring ambient jazz with the likes of Naná Vasconcelos, Jacky Terrasson and Anouar Brahem.

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