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Power Spots: 13 Artists On The Inspiration Of Jon Hassell
Patrick Clarke , September 16th, 2020 10:26

From Katie Gately to Wacław Zimpel, Abul Mogard to Sarah Davachi, we asked 13 of our favourite musicians to pick a work by the great Jon Hassell, and to tell us what it means to them


Portico Quartet and Paradise Cinema’s Jack Wyllie on Flash Of The Spirit with Farafina (1992)

This record is with the eight-piece Burkina Faso-based band Farafina. In this collaboration he viewed himself as the ninth member of the band. It feels, in some ways, less distinctly Jon Hassell but is equally interesting and vibrant. The way in which he sits among the other musicians and the interplay between them makes this release a distinctive and essential part of the discography. Farafina bring energy and drive, sometimes with traditional rhythms, but sometimes deconstructed to the point of losing any specific tradition. Tama and djembe drums, balaphone and whistles build into a trance like layering. It’s the way that these rhythms have a circular, hypnotic quality - not dissimilarly to some of the hallmarks of ambient and minimalist music - that enable Hassell to sit so comfortably within it. His trademark pitched and looped trumpet and the textural synths sit effortlessly in the mix, creating something that is both connected to but also transcendent of its traditional influences and superbly unique.

Picture: Anna Wood