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Fourth World, Vol. 1


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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Jon Hassell (trumpet, prophet 5 synthesizer); Brian Eno (guitar, prophet 5 synthesizer, minimoog synthesizer); Percy Jones, Michael Brook (bass); Nana Basconcelos (loop drum, congas, gatham); Ayibe Dieng (congas, gatham); Paul Fitzgerald (electronics); Andrew Timar, Tina Pearson (handclaps); Night Creatures Of Altamira.
  • Recorded at Celestial Sounds, New York, New York and at Art Gallery Of Toronto, Ontario in 1980.
  • Liner Note Author: Brian Eno.
  • Recording information: Art Gallery Of Toronto, Ontario (01/25/1980); Celestial Sounds, New York (01/25/1980).
  • Photographers: Roberta Bayley; William Coupon.
  • The avant-garde trumpeter/semi-minimalist Jon Hassell had never really found his musical niche until he teamed up with Brian Eno for this groundbreaking collaboration in 1980. With some expert help from Brazilian percussionist Nana Vasconcelos, the pop modernists Hassell and Eno here apply deliberate brushstrokes of electronically-treated color to "exotic" third-world vistas in creating a precursor to Peter Gabriel's PASSION, another electronic fantasia on world music. One could claim that the whole concept really derives from the electric Miles Davis of the previous decade, a jumble of ethnic rhythms and electronic instruments punctuated by a spare lonely trumpet. Except that Hassel and Eno retain a beautifully austere, near scientific detachment from their ethnic sources, whether these be African, Indian, Indonesian--it doesn't really matter. In studied contrast to the possible musical exploitations of a '50s exotica "imperialist" like Martin Denny, this new breed of musical anthropologist carefully surveys and maps the landscape from on high--see the 20-minute "Charm (Over 'Burundi Cloud')"--instead of just traveling through.
Professional Reviews
Q (5/93, p.105) - 3 Stars - Good - "...illustrates their differing styles--Hassell favoring a drier, more percussive minimalism..."

Mojo (Publisher) (p.110) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[The] tracks meander through an exotic terra incognita located somewhere between Miles, minimalist electronica and myriad un-nameable ethnic forms."
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