on life, music etc beyond mainstream

„Scary stuff usually seems tamer in retrospect; Hassell’s masterpiece is ever more shivery and fraught, a perfect soundtrack to mad and bad times, and not in the slightest consoling.“

(Brian Morton, The Wire)

„When has Jon Hassell painted his masterpiece? There’s more than one actually. Certain shades always prevail, the twilight zones for sure, with their  sense of threat, otherness and lost paradise.“




This entry was posted on Freitag, 29. September 2017 and is filed under "Blog". You can follow any responses to this entry with RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


  1. Glitterbeat HQ:

    When speaking of his musical journey — a journey that that spans more than five decades — Jon Hassell recently noted: “without overstating it too much I don’t know who else has had the kind of experience that I’ve had in various kinds of music.” It is very hard to argue with his self- estimation. Hassell’s soundworlds have been varied and bold and their influence on contemporary musics, discernable and ongoing.

    A childhood in Memphis; a classical conservatory education studying the trumpet; composition and electronic music study with Stockhausen in Cologne; a passage through the New York minimalist sphere with Terry Riley, Lamonte Young and Phillip Glass; a singular and radicalized approach to the trumpet developed after a mentorship with the Indian vocal master Pandit Pran Nath; collaborative excursions with Eno, The Talking Heads, Peter Gabriel, David Sylvian, Bjork and Ry Cooder; a continuous questioning of the dichotomies between North and South, sacred and sensual, primitive and futurist.

    These cross-pollinating influences and pan-cultural musical educations led Hassell to seek sonic solutions outside of the didactics of western music. The result of this search was the gradual development of musical concepts and gestures that he grouped under the umbrella theory: “Fourth World.” In a 1997 interview he describes the genesis of these ideas:

    “I wanted the mental and geographical landscapes to be more indeterminate- not Indonesia, not Africa, not this or that…something that could have existed if things were in an imaginary culture, growing up in an imaginary place with this imaginary music…I called it ‘coffee-colored classical music of the future’…What would music be like if ‘classic’ had not been defined as what happened in Central Europe two hundred years ago. What if the world knew Javanese music and Pygmy music and Aborigine music? What would ‘classical music’ sound like then?”

    In the late 1970’s in New York, Hassell began to produce a series of astonishing albums where his trumpet explored both non-western modalities and dramatic sound processing (deftly rendered by nascent digital effects like the AMS harmonizer). Brian Eno, who was living New York at the time was thrilled by Hassell’s debut album Vernal Equinox and sought out its creator. Eventually they began an in-depth (and at times contentious) collaboration that resulted in the classic album Fourth World Vol.1: Possible Musics (also reissued by Glitterbeat Records).

    While the partnership with Eno surely introduced Hassell’s music to a wider audience, it also left raw feelings and unresolved issues. As Eno charged headlong into “Fourth World”-ish collaborations with a new partner, David Byrne from The Talking Heads (My Life in The Bush of Ghosts / Remain in Light), Hassell began to feel that at best they were heavily borrowing concepts and sounds he had introduced them to, and at worst, that a full-scale appropriation was taking place.

    As Hassell undertook the process of recording and finalizing Dream Theory in Malaya: Fourth World Volume Two — the follow-up to Possible Musics — Brian Eno was again present, as both mixer and musician, but this time the album was clearly ascribed to Hassell. The back cover credits leave no room for interpretation or confusion: “All compositions by Jon Hassell. Produced by Jon Hassell.”

  2. Jan Reetze:

    One of his best recordings ever.

  3. Glitterbeat HQ:

    Jon Hassell
    Fourth World Vol.2:
    Dream Theory In Malaya

    Release Date: 29/09/2017
    Format: CD/LP+CD
    Cat-No: GBCD/LP 052

  4. Cheyenne Burroughs:

    Named after German Renaissance painter Matthais Grunewald, Mati was raised by two very creative parents, his father, an architect and his mother, an opera singer. Born in Germany, he and his family had fled to Palestine when he was only two years old to escape Nazi persecution. Mati dropped out of school at the age of 15 and immediately entered an art college in Jerusalem where he began his career as a painter.

    Mati has previously been called “pre-psychedelic era” because of the fact that it was not modern western culture that had influenced his work, but instead, it was his extensive travels from youth that gave him his perspective. While Mati did not deny that he had used psychedelics later in his life, even Timothy Leary, who was friends with Mati, had been quoted saying that Mati’s imagination and style had already been incredibly well developed and that “Mati didn’t need psychedelics.”

    Originally known as Mati Klarwein, he adopted the Muslim name “Abdul,” as a peaceful gesture in light of the Israeli/Palestine conflict. Because Mati lived in many places as a child, he grew up with many different cultural influences, which are all very apparent in his artwork, as well as in his intricate landscapes. Painter Laurance Caruana explains that “the art of Mati Klarwein manifests, above all, a movement towards transcendence.”

    “I grew up in three different cultures: the Jewish, Islamic and the Christian. These circumstances and my family’s stern resistance against being part of any kind of orthodoxy has made me the outsider I am today… That is also why I took the name Abdul.”

    Commonly referred to as “the unknown famous artist,” Mati’s work has been featured as album art for many famous musicians. Artists such as, Miles Davis, Jon Hassell, Eric Dolphy, The Chamber Brothers, Santana, Buddy Miles, Howard Wales & Jerry Garcia, Earth, Wind, & Fire, The Last Poets, The Mooney Suzuki, amongst others, have had the privilege of having Mati’s work serve as the visual introduction to their musical compositions.

  5. Martina Weber:

    Yep, ich habe die Dream Theory vorhin auch nochmal aufgelegt.

    Eine größere akustische Herausforderung ist für mich jedoch „City: Works of Fiction“. Ich hatte vor ein paar Tagen Peter Rüedis gesammelte Jazzkolumnen, Stolen Moments, aus der UB ausgeliehen und in der einzigen Kolumne über Hassell unter dem Titel „Der entgrenzte Hassell“ über „Last Night the Moon Came Dropping Its Clothes in the Streets“ neben den bereis in comment no. 1 genannten Einflüssen und Kollaborationen gelesen:

    „(…) zusammengesetzt wie ein Film: aus Studioeinspielungen als Kern, dazu Liveaufnahmen aus London und Belgien und Teile aus einem Soundtrack für einen Film von Wenders.“ Peter Rüedis Schlusssatz dieser Kolumne wirkt sehr bodenständig, nüchtern: „Hassells Musik mag Trancen auslösen oder auch nur Tagträume, aber sie ist nicht aus einer entrückten Vision entstanden, sondern in handfester Kleinarbeit.“

  6. Michael Engelbrecht:

    For the Lanzarote trip I’ll do what I often do, chose 3, 4, max. 5 cds that are the only company on my car rides between Orzola and Il Golfo, at this moment the selection might consist of:

    – Gustav Mahler: 1st Symphony (Leonard Bernstein)
    – Robert Wyatt: Rock Bottom
    – Michael Brook w/ Eno and Lanois: Hybrid
    – Van Morrson: Moondance
    – Lucinda Williams: Sweet Old World (re-recording)

Manafonistas | Impressum | Kontakt | Datenschutz