Brian Eno is MORE DARK THAN SHARK
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Electronic Sound FEBRUARY 2020 - by Ben Murphy

JON HASSELL/FARAFINA: FLASH OF THE SPIRIT

An alliance between the famed trumpeter, experimentalist and "Fourth World" theorist Jon Hassell and Burkina Faso eight-piece Farafina, Flash Of The Spirit is one of the lesser-known jewels in the crown of 1980s ambient.

But as a focus falls on the electronic obscurities of that especially rich period, this timely reissue should correct that. With Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois co-producing, the American musician and the West African group mesh their styles effortlessly, Hassell's effects-laden horn and ambient textures blending with Farafina's percussive rhythms, vocals and flute.

Out Pours (Kongo) Blue (Prayer) is a subtle and atmospheric piece in which the drums are fed through metallic effects, the trumpet becomes synth-like and balafon (a type of xylophone) materialises like a psychedelic bloom.

On Tales Of The Near Future (Clairvoyance) the synth takes on a dreamlike quality, while Hassell adds jazzy touches reminiscent of Miles Davis. An immersive delight.


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