Feb 2020 08

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Originally released in 1977, the debut album from ambient music pioneer Jon Hassell has been reissued by the artist’s own Ndeye imprint. Fully remastered from the original tapes, Vernal Equinox will be made available on vinyl for the first time since its original release, as well as on CD for the first time in 30 years; with a release date of March 20, the new edition will also include extensive sleeve notes by Hassell with contributions from fellow ambient music legend Brian Eno. Physical editions of Vernal Equinox are now available for pre-order, with the digital edition on Bandcamp available to purchase now.

As his first commercial release, Hassell’s Vernal Equinox is often hailed as one of the 50 best albums in the genre of ambient music, presenting a blend of field recordings, electronically created atmospheres assisted by synth players David Rosenboom and Andy Jerison, as well as electric jazz, and influences from global music by way of percussionists Naná Vasconcelos, Nicolas Kilbourn, William Winant, and Miguel Frasconi. The sound of this album and Hassell’s subsequent work – with the artist’s effects-laden and microtonal trumpet playing serving as the centerpiece, incorporating modal harmonies inspired by Miles Davis – would go on to be referred to as “Fourth World,” which Hassell explains as “a unified primitive/futuristic sound combining features of world ethnic styles with advanced electronic techniques.” This blend of styles would serve as inspiration for such artists as Peter Gabriel, Techno Animal, Ry Cooder, Talking Heads, and more.


Jon Hassell/Ndeya
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Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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