INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
Loud And Quiet NOVEMBER 8, 2014 - by Tim Wilson
JON HASSELL/BRIAN ENO - FOURTH WORLD VOL.1: POSSIBLE MUSICS
The 1980 release of Fourth World Vol.1: Possible Musics ushered in a new way. Through a truly democratic fusion of Western modernity (electronics, studio production) Jon Hassell intended and achieved a sum of two distinct worlds - first and third - and thereby created another - the titular 'fourth world'.
Aspirational artistic manifestos aside, the sounds created represent a unique counterpoint. Treated trumpet, Ghatam and Conga percussion, and a diverse, subtle mix of electronics exchange a special dialogue in a constantly astonishing landscape. Forget the conventional partitioning of 'tracks', this a fluid segue through an exotic tundra. Scenes of fire-lit ceremonies and snake charmers dictated by close air and tropic haze,
To highlight a few special elements and moments within this: the trumpet is an exorcism of exhalations, as if directly threaded through Hassell's lungs, the bass frequently provides a spiritual kind of funk, and the percussion unerringly hypnotises. Delta Rain Dream is a vivid phantasmagoria, and the mammoth Charm (Over "Burundi Cloud") is founded on a bed of crystal drone.
With Hassell as the edifying orchestrator and Brian Eno in tow as advisory presence in production, this record brought forth a neglected but significant revolution in sound.