Jon Hassell studied under Stockhausen in Cologne (alongside future members of Can); he played on the original recording of Terry Riley’s ‘In C’, in 1968; he was part of La Monte Young’s Theatre Of Eternal Music; and he studied Kiranic singing with Pandit Pran Nath.
You can hear the influence of his Fourth World project right away in the collaboration of Brian Eno and David Byrne; twenty years later it’s a key inspiration of Rhythm And Sound. His forthcoming alliance with Moritz and Carl Craig is a thrilling prospect.
These LPs magnificently re-present Hassell’s 1990 album Original Fictions, his dub-wise, avant-funk encounter with hip-hop; digital downloads and the extra CDs add a 1989 concert performance of the City group mixed live by Eno, and various alternates and remixes.
‘Hassell’s incredible music simulates the individual adrift, saturated to the point of collapse by the city in its fractured intensity. The dense polyrhythmic undergrowth, the oblique glimmers of synth, the apprehensive funk-pulse, Hassell’s woozy, hieroglyphic trumpet, the moth-mad whirr of guitar (Chic on PCP), create the impression of being dazed and distracted by light glancing off surfaces, by indecipherable sounds coming at you from every angle’ (Simon Reynolds).