Jon Hassell ‘The Living City’ 2xLP
Three new archival releases from Ndeya that showcase Jon Hassell and group in the late 1980s exploring a radical tangent on his Fourth World sensibility.
During this period Hassell was inspired by the increasingly innovative production techniques being used in hip-hop, in particular the hyper-collaged sampledelic barrage of the Bomb Squad’s work with Public Enemy, hearing it as a kind of extension of the tape splicing that Teo Macero brought to his work with Miles Davis. He began to incorporate more of this aesthetic into his own music, playing over loops of his own performances and riffing on angular juxtapositions of noise, rhythm and melody.
The resulting sonic stew is a kind of futuristic sci-fi funk with an appropriately melted production aesthetic - instruments and samples jumping to the forefront then disappearing in the manner of the best dub records.
‘Further Fictions’ is a double CD anthology of the music on the vinyl editions, with a disc devoted to each album in hardbound book style spot gloss packaging, and an extensive booklet containing sleevenotes and archival images.
‘The Living City’ captures the Jon Hassell Group in September 1989, performing as part of an audio-visual installation inside the World Financial Center Winter Garden in New York City, with Brian Eno mixing the band live.
‘Psychogeography’ is a situationist re-thinking of the 1990 ‘City: Works Of Fiction’ album, a carefully edited sequence of alternate takes, demos and studio jams put together by Jon Hassell in 2014 using Debordian philosophy as his guide.
‘The Living City’ and ‘Psychogeography’ are being made on vinyl for the first time, each album cut across four sides by Stefan Betke aka Pole and presented as deluxe gatefold vinyl editions with spot gloss covers and printed inner sleeves containing commentary from Hassell, Eno and new interviews with some of the other musicians involved, alongside archival images from the period and download card for the full album.
Catalogue number: NDEYA8LP