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City: Works of Fiction Many Decades After

A tremendous live performance by Jon Hassell

“I’m basically an expatriate who lives in the country he’s expatriated from,” says Jon Hassell in a recent KCRW interview. He’s referring to being an American returned to America after a long spell abroad. But the concept of “country” has particular meaning for Hassell, a trumpeter whose electronically mediated music has for decades given us glimpses of a territory he calls the Fourth World. The music in the KCRW performance is classic Hassell — long, held tones that swell with an organic breath, afloat atop a bed of nuanced washes of sound and muffled pneumatic beats. It’s music from imagined places where technology and culture coalesce in unexpected ways. The performance was posted to promote the re-release, in “expanded edition” form on the All Saints Records label, of his 1990 City: Works of Fiction album. A short video excerpt is available via youtube:

The video is just a few minutes, but there’s a full, 45-minute version of the performance and interview at More on the rerelease at

By Marc Weidenbaum

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