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We revisit our 1989 interview with Jon Hassell in the Echoes Podcast. The interview, like his music, still sounds like it could’ve been recorded tomorrow.
How long has Jon Hassell been around? Long enough to have played on Terry Riley’s first recording of In C in 1968. His debut album, Vernal Equinox released in 1977, influenced Brian Eno and the two musicians went on to create the groundbreaking album, Fourth World Volume 1: Possible Musics. His trumpet is one of the most distinct sounds in music, a breathy whisper magnified by harmonizers and other processing into a smooth chordal glissando. It’s been heard on records by Peter Gabriel, Ry Cooder and Talking Heads and he’s released a string of inventive albums on his own. In 1990, he put out the powerful album, City: Works Of Fiction, a sign-post in what came to be known as techno-tribal music, a merging of electronics and world music elements with heavy grooves. It’s just been reissued by All Saints Records in a deluxe set that includes a live performance from 1989 mixed by Brian Eno and an additional CD of outtakes and remixes. I interviewed Jon Hassell while he was recording that album in 1989. We revisit that on Echoes today..