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Jon Hassell - Fourth World Vol.1: Possible Musics (with Brian Eno) CD (album) cover


Jon Hassell


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.92 | 31 ratings

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4 stars The musical endeavors of Hal 9000

Itīs funny how some albums just sound and feel like their artworks look. This is one of those, and Iīve spent many a nights looking at the pink and turquise alien surface of this record thinking about how much dough Eno and Hassell had to pay for their unofficial space journey before recording this little gem. -They surely found inspiration outside our little blue planet for this unique sounding music - no doubt about it. Possible musics is just about the best description of this album, if one doesnīt want to come off as sounding absurdely glib.

Glib is, however, perhaps the best way of actually describing the tunes herein. To me it sounds like Iīm sitting on some sort of old school Zeppelin balloon made for space travels - slowly and steadily circling around a planet with such remarkable colors, that youīd think it was overpopulated with flamingos and peacocks. This record sounds otherworldly like no other album in my collection, and with a healthy dose of eastern percussions in the back simulating a two stroke engineīs muffled monotony, the whole spaceship metaphor suddenly takes on another form, and you are there! Right there overhead the pinkish crackled surface.

Now to the head honcho here: the trumpet. First time I listened to this album some 8 years ago, I didnīt hear anything sounding like a trumpet. I bought the album solely based on the front cover, which in all fairness is scorchingly beautiful, but it took me some time to fully understand that those wailing and yearning notes emanated from a trumpet. Itīs here this review may become too glib for your tastes, but trying to express how the main ingredient of Possible Musics sounds like - demands unconventional imagery and ludacris statements, so here goes. The trumpet sounds like:

Some sort of elephant synthesizer

An electric violin played backwards

A hyperactive fly caught in one of those plastic toy saxophones

Or if you stretch and twist the end of an inflated balloon whilst pressing the air out of the sucker

Add to these slightly bonkers metaphors - that every note and beat of this record is processed and filtered through the mad genius of Brian Eno. He works like a sodastream machine - infusing bubbles into your off kilter drink. On the other hand it sounds like the album was recorded in a vacuum - far far away from gravity and other mundane things. On possible musics, I often picture Eno as an enormous wall of raspberry jam that every sound and instrument needs to pierce through. It covers them in this gooey substance making everything seem in unison, although some of the music here quite frequently acts altogether skewed and sonically challenging - like outbursts from an alien planet put into notes. You can hear how the trumpet sometimes wrestles its way through the sticky jam, and then suddenly breaks through sounding like: DIIIIUUUUUHHHHH DUUUUIIIIIIIIHHHHHOO UUHHIIIHHH

Along with the two stroke engine drums, which in some cases sound like they were recorded from the insides of a matchbox by tiny Indians, - the wailing of the trumpet becomes otherworldy. Like music from dreams - illustrations and thoughts from the back of your mind.

Come to think of it, this albums almost sounds like a slow and jazzy version of King Crimsonīs The Sheltering Sky. Thereīs a similar vibe going on, although the emphasis on tranquility and gentleness is all the more apparent on this album. This is one of the most unique sounding records I have, and if youīre just remotely interested in the artwork - you should definitely go for it. Itīs made by the same colors. Oh damn I almost forgot it again! This album is made by real humans and not colors.

Guldbamsen | 4/5 |


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