Boomkat Product Review:
Fully remastered edition of Hassell’s debut trip into the Fourth World for Lovely Music, now prepped from original master tapes and packaged with sleeve notes by Hassell and Eno for optimal immersion in their oddly familiar world, and on occasion of the 2020 Vernal Equinox.
Hailed in Pitchfork’s 50 best ambient of all time list, ‘Vernal Equinox’ charts the first bold and probing trips by trumpeter Jon Hassell into a parallel dimension that exists between jazz, dub, Indian raga, and new age ambient. Released in 1977, it was one of the groundbreaking albums of its era, channeling a wealth of inspirations into an imaginative framework that would come to resonate with many other listeners and musicians, but in a much more fully formed, if dreamlike, style.
This dream would come to more resounding fruition with 1980’s ‘Fourth World, Vol.1: Possible Musics’, co-produced by Brian Eno, but in ‘Vernal Equinox’ it’s possible to hear a primordial and enigmatic genesis of what would become known as Fourth World music, with Hassell accompanied by Lovely Music’s avant-garde brigade (David Rosenboom, Nana Vasconcelos, Bill Winant) to effectively bridge Miles Davis’ forays into Indian music with the emergent appeal of more meditative New Age, and open up whole new avenues of exploration for future generations in the process, from Skaters to 0PN and Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith.
A classic in its field.