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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


Qasim Naqvi on ‘Viva Shona’ from Vernal Equinox (1977)

When I was introduced to Jon Hassell’s music it was difficult for me to digest. The first album I heard was Power Spot and it felt like cultural appropriation to my ears. It reminded me of something you would hear in an 80s Tony Scott film, where Tony’s trying to evoke “that tribal feeling” or whatever wordage his music supervisor stamped on the cue sheet, which the poor film composer was then tasked to make something from. But over the years I’ve learned to love Hassel’s music – and his place as the progenitor of a sound that runs so deep in most music out in our ether. For me, even though he’s liberally labelled as being a minimalist, he's felt maximal, with a massive root structure that has influenced folks across genres. With that in mind, I picked ‘Viva Shona’ off his debut record Vernal Equinox, as the most paired down origin of his sound.

Picture: Smriti Keshari