Boomkat Product Review:
Dutch multi-instrumentalist Hanyo van Oosterom and trumpeter Arthur Flink join forces to memorialize the late Jon Hassell, referencing Hassell's fourth world and bringing it into the fifth, using dub, experimental and ambient techniques alongside diverse instrumental recordings.
Okay so "fourth world" has certainly in recent years become as redundant a reference point as "new age", "furniture music", "city pop" and "Kankyō Ongaku", but there's a point to this one. Hanyo van Oosterom has been making fourth world-influenced music for years, way before it was snapped up by the Instabient set; his band Chi was founded back in 1984, and since then he's been chipping away at the genre and bending it to his will. Trumpeter Arthur Flink, a regular collaborator of van Oosterom's, has been equally as moved by Hassell's style, so the duo sound completely pointed in their tribute - willing to holistically look at the past as they attempt to shift it into the future.
Made up of two lengthy side-long compositions patchworked from sketches and ideas, "The Fifth World Recordings" is an invigorating listening experience. Hassell's influence is evident from the beginning, and not just in Flink's weightless trumpet playing; van Oosterom's processes and electronic manipulations also reference Hassell's interest in non-Western scales and mystical harmonics, and the duo wake these ideas up with dub basslines and washes of blunted ambience. To their credit, Flink and van Oosterom manage to hit on a sound that reflects Hassell's fourth world quite respectfully, whether it truly pushes the sound into a new dimension we're not entirely sure, but it's a solid record regardless.