Monday, 31 July 2017

Jon Hassell and Brian Eno ‎– "Fourth World Vol. 1 - Possible Musics" (Editions EG ‎– EGED 7) 1980


Around 1980 the horrible blight of white man mucking about with, and in most cases, just openly misappropriating African music began to float to the surface like scum on a millpond.
Lack of ideas lead to such affronts to the exploited people of the birthplace of the homo-sapien like Paul Simon stealing a whole album from Soweten musicians and paying them,basically, 'fuck all'.
Then we had Peter Gabriel doing the same in the name of political consciousness with 'Biko' and god knows what else in his dodgy eighties back catalogue.
In the 'Pop' world we got Bow Wow Wow and Adam Ant squabbling over who thought of using the Burundi beat backing to their hits first.
The middle classes were seen wearing African print at the WOMAD festivals,and began leaving Bhundu Boys albums openly on their coffee tables.
Personally, I can't stand all that Afro-beat stuff,and the entire 'World Music genre;most of which is just for white people to show how open minded and cosmopolitan they are.
Of course, with all dodgy directions in music there are always a few persons who get it right,....."and Eno" is,as always, one of them.
Ex-Lamonte Young collaborator, Jon Hassell, had developed a bizarre, heavily effected, breathy Trumpet style and an unhealthy interest in recreating landscapes through music......I blame his classical training. In classic Eno style, our Brian, spotted the potential, and as is his way, allied himself with a 'proper' musician to create something innovative and forward moving.
This was the first album I bought that had Eno on it, and was suitably impressed at the success this duo had in recreating something like an aural jungle in my bedroom.This stuff has a smell, like dense, humid, rain forest; and has a sense of danger,like wading through a tropical swamp,not knowing what horrendous creatures lurk below the slick of algae on the surface (maybe a poisonous dwarf like Paul Simon?).
A very rare attempt at merging the third and first worlds, without patronising,or exploiting, indigenous peoples.

Tracklist:

Chemistry 6:48
Delta Rain Dream 3:22
Griot (Over "Contagious Magic") 4:00
Ba-benzélé 6:03
Rising Thermal 14° 16' N; 32° 28' E 3:34
Charm (Over "Burundi Cloud") 21:24


4 comments:

Kaiser said...

Genius!

Petty Vendetta said...

All of Hassell's records are amazing. HAve you heard "Last Night the Moon Came Dropping Its Clothes in the Street"? Oh look- a link:

http://pettyvendetta.com/jon-hassell-last-night-the-moon-came-dropping-its-clothes-in-the-street/

-PeaVey

Jonny Zchivago said...

I got volume 2 of possible musics, but never stuck with his many, many releases.....i will explore that naked moon with my probe.

pinkpressthreat said...

Thanks Jonny and also cheers to Petty Vendetta (another blog I like very much) - looking fwd to listening to both of these today.