Fourth World Vol. 1 is one of Brian Eno's most underrated collaborative records, offering a different perspective on his ambient compositions by way of percussionist and trumpeter Jon Hassell. It questioned the paradigms of "world" music and also queried what the term would imply in the future, melding together electronic innovations with the older disciplines of several different regions. It's a deeply textural and agonisingly hypnotic work. 

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Fourth World Vol 1: Possible Musics by Jon Hassell & Brian Eno
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8/10 Brian 21 November 2014

One of those obscure and under-appreciated works from Eno in collaboration with percussionist and trumpeter Jon Hassell. It's a slow grower of a record, one of those that will throw you every five minutes, its woozy, pattering somnolent vibes causing you to forget wtf you are cocking an ear to. Both these guys are incredible scholars of world music and this is apparently their impassioned future-primitive sonic vision.

Kind of an improvised ambient music that straddles the era of Eno's beloved Ambient series with his legendary 'My Life in the Bush of Ghosts' collaboration with David Byrne. This is a bridge between those two sonic frontiers, one that gets more personable and involving by the listen but with the wavering breeze-blurts and aural smears of disembodied processed trumpet often sounding near intoxicated it may be a little irritating to some until you have got your stupid mind round it. Kinda like Colin Stetson gone to Ibiza in the early 80s to give you some idea of the strange alien timbres, once you get used to the disorientating balmy tribalisms of it all you can just relax with your sangria and soak up the sunset.

I'd recommend this to lovers of everything from classic New Age music to Sun Araw's twisted druggy dub but it is pretty weird on first exposure.

10/10 Simon Customer rating (no review), 8th February 2017


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