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Boomkat Product Review:
4th World explorer Jon Hassell hustles alternate takes and studio jams from 1990’s ‘City: Works of Fiction’ in the 2014 suite of ‘Psychogeography (Zones Of Feeling)’
Originally part of the 3CD edition of ‘City: Works of Fiction’ (2014), and surely worthy of this standalone version, ‘Psychogeography (Zones Of Feeling)’ sees Hassell review and rework his sampledelic classic with tight edits owing to Chuck D’s Bomb Squad collages for Public Enemy as much as Teo Macero’s hidden tape-splice stitching on Miles Davis’ electric jazz-fusion records. The original 1989 recordings form a futuristic sci-fi funk, loosened up with lessons from dub and existing on a singular plane of practice that would bleed into works by Carl Craig and Moritz Von Oswald, and has come to heavily inform the likes of Oneohtrix Point Never and Lifted,
Newly remastered by Stefan Betke (aka Pole) for the occasion, this posthumous reissue refreshes Hassell’s enduring vision for posterity and deeper immersion by new ears. The 11 parts are prime late night listening, atmospherically coloured with Hassell’s distinctive trumpet tone and spaced out to blissful degrees ideal for eyes-shut wandering. It’s not hard to hear the ruggedness of late ‘70s fusion and ‘80s hip hop under the hood, yet abstracted and unmoored from the street and allowed to float above the city, as implied on ‘Aerial View’ and the sublime fluorescent noir of ‘Neon Night (Rain)’, or in the hard swang of ‘Cityism Superdub’. The serene sashay of ‘Cuba Libre’ is a big highlight, as is the more unusually raw room recording of ‘Favela’, while the album ideally slants off into the night with its most spectral dub work ‘Emerald City’ and ‘Cloud-Shaped Time’ pre-echoing the kind of quizzical jazz-fusion soundtracks to Manga ‘Magnetic Rose’ that would feed forward into 0PN.