Jon Hassell – Further Fictions – Ndeya

Jon Hassell is a remarkable artist evidenced through the intersections of his life and the music he has created over decades. Access to everything is so much more readily available to all now consequently there is a never ending stream of music to be discovered, remembered, or simply experienced for all its inherent worth. Jon Hassell is certainly worth your further investigation. Brian Eno had this to say: “Jon Hassell is one of the most influential composers of the last 50 years. His invention of what he called ‘4th World Music’ opened the way for a fresh look at, and deeper respect for, the music of other cultures around the world. His recordings have had a big impact on other musicians, and, through them, have changed musical tastes dramatically. His unique intellectual contribution is also noteworthy: he is a tireless and articulate theorist as well as a great musician.”

Two albums go together to make us this release from the artist who passed away in 2021. First is Psychogeography which reworks thoughts around his 1990 release: Works Of Fiction fine tuning random moments of chaos into highly tuned blasts of sonic realisation. Imagine the rush of life cut-up then glued back together sprinkled with dusk. Offset by a cool, breezy funk blowing across the tracks sounds seem almost cinematic although you never quite known when a corner is going to be turned.

Secondly, is a live recording called The Living City which was made by Eno at a performance at the World Financial Center Winter Garden in New York in 1989. Played by the same band as the first album mentioned in ways this creative process feels all the more intriguing, pulsating with a nervous, urgent energy. A testament of the times.

Release: February 17


Brian Eno – Film Music 1976 – 2020 – UMC

Strange that I’d never really thought of Brian Eno in terms of defining timelines, although of course history plays a very big part in his existence. That attachment is all the more ready as this selection of his work for film and television is collated here (including seven unreleased numbers) between 1976-2020. Eno’s music has always been about evocation and picture forming which is most apt here. In ways it seems slightly odd however that your thoughts are guided by a title of a moving picture rather than what’s created by your own imagination, as so often occurs through experiencing his overlapping electronics. The list of directors and accompanying works are never less than impressive too from David Lynch to Derek Jarman to Danny Boyle, plus a host of other significant names. This is very much the sound of an artist fully-fledged embracing traditional elements of piano, guitar and even Bono’s voice on the hauntingly beautiful Passengers – Beach Sequence (from Beyond The Clouds). Likewise is the treatment of the studio and its abundance of creatively charged effects as a radical instrument in itself, which he has shaped full of the future. The music is wide and varied, touching upon a wealth of influences, caressing the sumptuous just as it does the more introspective as you will witness on – An Ending (Ascent). Which is also perfect.

Release: November 13



Brian Eno and Jah Wobble – Spinner – All Saints Records

I sometimes wonder if when Brian Eno breathes it creates the impulse of music. The territory he explores always seems relevant, occasionally familiar yet never less than evocative. This re-release of his 1995 album with Jah Wobble and the occasional drums of Can’s Jaki Liebezeit, amongst other contributors, chimes effectively with the ripple of today’s uncertainty. Originally the tracks were created by Eno to soundtrack Derek Jarman’s biographical movie Glitterbug but were never released separately, subsequently passed onto Wobble to add his own defining touches resulting in Spinner. You can hear the echo of all the artists involved which expands what has become more associated with a record bearing Brian Eno’s name to an intriguing blend of otherworldly funk, while sometimes sound-tracking ambience such as on the edgy serenity of Space Diary. The album leaves you at the appropriately titled final number, Lockdown by twisting a blaze of bass around a warped sense of jazz completing this exploration of genre expanding curiosity, which still stands out on its own in 2020

Release: August 21


listen to Space Diary


Roger Eno and Brian Eno – Mixing Colours – Deutsche Grammophon

Mixing metaphors, like mixing colours, conjures up all sorts of meaning. Roger and Brian Eno’s first album together is another world to lose yourself in. Which given the situation we now find ourselves may sound like a salvation. Blissful tones, resonating with emotional turmoil of both plus/ negative all escape into the ether. And just as you might imagine the experience captures our relationship between sound, the art of transference and its consequent meaning. Touching upon the memory the past is fused with a sense of now and there is a heightened belief in something more expansive then ourselves playing out. There is an orthodoxy on occasion that refreshes a church-like reassurance on Blonde (below) reminding you of the simple, eloquent power of music to transform. The piano playing is often exquisite, highlighting the spectrum, such as on the beautifully poignant Snow.

As the music unfolds your mind wonders, thinking out loud, like you have plugged directly into the livewire of the albums notation. Not so much chancing upon dark corners as there is a celebratory, though sometimes melancholy, longing which the music often reaches for that is resolutely rewarding. Sculpting sound is what these artists are most renowned for. They succeed in abundance. Listen to Celeste below and discover all of this and more as seven of the eighteen tracks have accompanying films. A further, stunning collaboration with musician/software designer Peter Chilvers proving beauty is more than just commodity.

Release: March 20


Brian Eno with Daniel Lanois and Roger Eno – Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks (Extended Edition) – UMC

Brian Eno is a bit like God. Always present playing somewhere in the distance. Echoing into collective consciousness now and again. Maybe that’s why he has had the Asteroid 81948 named after him: Brian Peter George St John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno, or Eno for short. Besides, he is undoubtedly one of the most important, significant artists of this, and indeed the previous century with an influence stretching out far beyond any human horizon sculpting sonic masterpieces that resound into the sublime ether from the 1970’s to today. This latest re-release, originating from 1983, revisits the flurry of ambience created alongside his brother Roger and Daniel Lanois was produced to accompany the documentary ‘For All Mankind’ by Al Reinert, celebrating the Apollo 11 moon landing of 1969. Zoom fast-forwards to now and the 50th anniversary of that surreal, cosmic event now features the original album (remastered by Abbey Road’s Miles Showell), plus an accompanying additional album of 11 new compositions which freshly reimagine the soundtrack. Analytically, as we do like to analyse the man’s work, categorising and theorising as to this and that, for me this isn’t his most important moment. Not that it isn’t great. It’s just not as great as the 1970’s trio from Music For Airports, but music is of course a personal journey and whatever reflects time and space for you is always going to be most significant. What is perhaps most interesting here, in that context, is the comparison of the new music which has been created sonically, as well as highlighting the progression from then to now. ‘For All Mankind’ occasionally marks a more playful, melodic side while also hitting those atmospheric buttons relieving brilliant sensations, most notably on the piano punctuated Waking Up. Or tearing at the heartstrings via on the picture-postcard, haunting nostalgia of the closing, Like I was A Spectator. Moments that capture time like these don’t come much more elated….

Meandering past the point of no return…

Release: July 19


Brian Eno – Discreet Music/ Music For Films/ Music For Airports/ On Land – UMC / Virgin EMI

If music wasn’t subjective then we wouldn’t talk about it. If Brian Eno didn’t exist then the world would be different. If you have not heard these albums before how you perceive experience will change. Is all of this important? You know it is. The one word that doesn’t count here is, Nostalgia. With any other type of music – with the exception of Classical – that term can be applied. Certainly Disco, certainly describing decades too. And that allows for a kind of breathy application to the music that generates its own space and vitality. A resolution that dissolves into time, breathing an eternity of potential around it. The thing is, you can feed your own emotions and experiences into these evolving landscapes. Perhaps that process is what is so valuable, uniquely rewarding you in your own location. The re-release of this set of Eno’s four defining albums is always perfect timing. Options are a) Deluxe, limited edition 2 LP heavyweight vinyl, remastered at half-speed for 45 RPM. B) Standard 1 LP vinyl, remastered at normal speed for 33 RPM. But back to the music…

Music For Airports is one of my favourite albums period. It has been for a very long time now. I’m glad it’s hard to capture the words to describe the heightened emotions it produces but perhaps try picturing, Eno ‘spending several hours waiting at Cologne Bonn Airport, becoming annoyed by the uninspired sound and the atmosphere it created’. And then witness the creating of his own soundtrack to accompany an alternative airport experience. In retrospect it is also slightly bizarre that this album was originally released in 1978 at the height of the pointed, angry energy of almost everything else that surrounded it. That’s equally, uniquely Brian Eno, who incidentally produced some of those very bands too: Devo, Ultravox etc. Each of the other albums holds a special significance numbering: Discreet Music (1975), Music For Films (1976), and finally On Land (1982). I have purposefully avoided the word Ambient here because that may colour your idea of what might happen next. When what might actually happen is that your brain might explode into a sea of thought, pulsing with sound and motion. Listen.

Release: November 16



Brian Eno – Music For Installations – UMC

When you activate Play it could mean any number of things when it comes to hearing Brian Eno. Gathered from this his more reflective palate, collating pieces from installations between 1986 to the present day, here it is about the sense of movement. Of time not standing perfectly still as seemingly familiar patterns of sound sheer off, dissipate and disperse in different directions. Yet the upmost important factor is always the most constant one. And that is the emotional resonance emanating from the music itself. And it is always about the music in and of itself. It is also about uncertainty. About human existence. When time comes back into play it does so fused with a gentle nostalgia for memory, yet this music is neither a nostalgic cash-in, nor reviving. It simply is. Beautiful, though-provoking, wondrous paths of exploration that may lead nowhere as they do somewhere. Music For Installations is what you want it to be. You feed your own experience into its formless constructs and the resulting emotions are probably unique to the individual listener. Or, perhaps it just feels that way. Spread across 6 CD’s (or slabs of vinyl) which total as 5:25:02 (plus accompanying book etc) the release seems very much like an occasion to be cherished and remembered. Almost ghost like. Although, devastatingly tuned into mind and body. After all it is easy to say that Eno is our most important composer for decades: future and/ or past.

Or: “If you think of music as a moving, changing form, and painting as a still form, what I’m trying to do is make very still music and paintings that move. I’m trying to find in both of those forms, the space in between the traditional concept of music and the traditional concept of painting.” Brian Eno

Release: May 4

CD Box Set:
Vinyl Box Set:
Super Deluxe Edition: