INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
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.