INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
"Craft is what enables you to be successful
when you're not inspired." - Brian Eno
Mojo AUGUST 2014 - by John Bungey
JON HASSELL - CITY: WORKS OF FICTION
Classic Fourth World LP from 1990, now with bonus CDs.
He's admired as a visionary by artistic egg-heads - Brian Eno, Kronos Quartet, Peter Gabriel - and City is one of Jon Hassell's most convincing albums. Put simply, Fourth World means Third World percussion and voices sampled and intricately spliced with First World synths and Hassell's own "Miles Davis in space" trumpet-playing. Rap also creeps into the picture here. Hassell's pieces are all about atmosphere, texture and rhythm, less about big melody. Perhaps because he has been so influential - you can hear echoes in everyone from The Orb to Howie B - this work doesn't sound quite so innovative today. On a 1989 live set, mixed in situ by Brian Eno, waves of brooding electronica build in intensity, propelled by muscular bass guitar, while wispy trumpet tones float by. The CD of alternate takes is interesting, but Hassell's world is more to be absorbed than analysed.