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.