Originally released in 1980, Jon Hassell and Brian Eno’s collaborative album “Fourth World Music Vol.I: Possible Musics” is a sound document whose ongoing influence seems beyond dispute. Not only is the album a defining moment in the development of what Eno coined as “Ambient Music” but it also facilitated the introduction of Hassell’s “Future Primitive” trumpet stylings and visionary “Fourth World” musical theories to the broader public. These vectors continue to enrich contemporary audio culture. Eno’s Ambient strategies are now fixed in the DNA of electronic music and the cross-cultural legacy of Hassell’s “Fourth World” concept is apparent not only in the marketplace genre “World Music” but also more persuasively in the accelerating number of digitally driven, borderless musical fusions we now experience.
Brian Eno has been an essential fixture of both experimental and popular music since the 1970’s: An art school education; early success as an androgynous synthesizer interventionist with Roxy Music; a run of influential vocal-oriented solo records; the embrace of the term “ambient music” and the application of it to increasingly discreet and oblique electronic instrumental albums; seminal collaborations with David Bowie, The Talking Heads, Robert Fripp and Krautrock pioneers Cluster; and by the mid-80’s chart-topping marquee productions for the Irish rock band U2.
Jon Hassell’s musical journey, while more obscured from the cultural mainstream, is every bit as storied and individual as Eno’s. A childhood in Memphis; a classical conservatory education studying the trumpet; composition and electronic music study with Stockhausen in Cologne; a passage through the New York minimalist sphere with Terry Riley, Lamonte Young and Phillip Glass; a singular and radicalized approach to the trumpet developed after a mentorship with the Indian vocal master Pandit Pran Nath; collaborative excursions with The Talking Heads, Peter Gabriel, David Sylvian, Bjork and Ry Cooder; an ongoing questioning of the dichotomies between North and South, sacred and sensual, primitive and futurist.
Glitterbeat is proud and honored to re-release and re-introduce this compelling, groundbreaking album.