Options Explorers Room with Flash Strap: Playlist from July 13, 2017 Options

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This is where all of culture and all of time are collapsed into one seductive portal and viewed through the panoramic lens of the exotic. Come and embark on an armchair-travel virtual-voyage to the heart of timeless darkness and beyond; embrace the numinous monolith of the exotic immensity. Let us find that place where hybridization meets its destiny as pure fantasy. Let us become observers observing those others who are ourselves. You wear your mask and I'll wear mine.

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Options July 13, 2017: Fourth World Dream Theory (The Possible Musics of Jon Hassell)

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Artist Track Album Year Comments Approx. start time
Jon Hassell / Brian Eno  Charm (Over "Burundi Cloud")   Options Fourth World Vol. 1 – Possible Musics  1980  Congas – Ayibe Dieng; Ghatam, Drum [Loop Drum] – Nana Vasconcelos   
Music behind DJ:
Pandit Pran Nath 
Ragas   Options Raga Yaman Kalyan  1971  with Lamonte Young (Tambura)  0:19:37 (Pop‑up)
Jon Hassell  Toucan Ocean   Options Vernal Equinox  1978    0:36:36 (Pop‑up)
Jon Hassell  Viva Shona   Options Vernal Equinox  1978    0:40:15 (Pop‑up)
Jon Hassell  Caracas Night September 11, 1975   Options Vernal Equinox  1978    0:46:52 (Pop‑up)
Jon Hassell  Voodoo Wind   Options Earthquake Island  1978    0:48:49 (Pop‑up)
Jon Hassell  Cobra Moon   Options Earthquake Island  1978    0:58:08 (Pop‑up)
Jon Hassell  Adios Saturn   Options Earthquake Island  1978    1:03:48 (Pop‑up)
Jon Hassell / Brian Eno  Chemistry   Options Fourth World Vol. 1 – Possible Musics  1980    1:04:34 (Pop‑up)
Jon Hassell  Chor Moiré   Options Dream Theory In Malaya (Fourth World Volume Two)  1981  mixed by Brian Eno  1:11:21 (Pop‑up)
Jon Hassell  Datu Bintung at Jelong   Options Dream Theory In Malaya (Fourth World Volume Two)  1981  Mixed by Daniel Lanois  1:14:01 (Pop‑up)
Jon Hassell  These Times...   Options Dream Theory In Malaya (Fourth World Volume Two)  1981  Gong [Bowl Gongs], Bells, & Mixing by Brian Eno  1:20:30 (Pop‑up)
Jon Hassell  Empire IV   Options Aka / Darbari / Java - Magic Realism  1983    1:23:12 (Pop‑up)
Jon Hassell  Darbari Extension II   Options Aka / Darbari / Java - Magic Realism  1983    1:28:40 (Pop‑up)
Brian Eno & David Byrne   The Carrier   Options My Life in the Bush of Ghosts  1981    1:34:54 (Pop‑up)
Music behind DJ:
Jon Hassell 
Ravinia/Vancouver   Options The Surgeon of the Nightsky Restores Dead Things by the Power of Sound  1987    1:38:06 (Pop‑up)
Brian Eno & David Byrne   A Secret Life   Options My Life in the Bush of Ghosts  1981    1:49:50 (Pop‑up)
Brian Eno & David Byrne   Regiment   Options My Life in the Bush of Ghosts Working Demos  1981    1:52:06 (Pop‑up)
Talking Heads  Houses in Motion   Options Remain in Light  1980  with Jon Hassell  1:56:36 (Pop‑up)
Brian Eno  Shadow   Options Ambient 4 (On Land)  1982  with Jon Hassell  2:01:13 (Pop‑up)
Jon Hassell / Farafina  Kaboo (Play)   Options Flash of the Spirit  1987  prod. Brian Eno  2:03:40 (Pop‑up)
David Sylvian, Jon Hassell, Steve Jansen, Holger Czukay  Words With The Shaman, Pt. 1 - Ancient Evening   Options Words With The Shaman  1985    2:06:33 (Pop‑up)
Jon Hassell  Pagan   Options City: Works of Fiction  1990    2:11:03 (Pop‑up)
Jon Hassell & Bluescreen  G-Spot   Options Dressing for Pleasure  1994    2:17:21 (Pop‑up)
Music behind DJ:
Miles Davis 
Hip Skip   Options The Complete On The Corner Sessions      2:21:40 (Pop‑up)
The Residents  The Festival of Death   Options Eskimo  1979    2:33:29 (Pop‑up)
Karlheinz Stockhausen  Gesang der Junglinge   Options   1955-56    2:43:47 (Pop‑up)
Music behind DJ:
Terry Riley 
In C   Options In C  1968  with Jon Hassell  2:52:30 (Pop‑up)

Listener comments!

Avatar 4:14pm Flash Strap:

"The ability to bring the actual sound of musics of various epochs and geographical origins all together in the same compositional frame marks a unique point in history."
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:22pm doctorjazz:

Looks like interesting listening...Hi!
Avatar 6:27pm geezerette:

Evening Evan! Good quote, which century is it from?

Hiya Doc!
Avatar 6:32pm Walking Daydream:

Sort of musical collage.
Avatar 6:38pm Flash Strap:

Hi Doc! Hi Geezerette! Hi WD!

Good question, G: it's from the liner notes of 4th World Vol. 2, but that sentiment could have been expressed in another recent century and been essentially as true.

A funny thing about Hassell is that he sort of sometimes gives the slightly absurd impression that he thinks he's invented syncretism, or at least elevated it to a totally transcendent plane. He's great though
Avatar 6:41pm geezerette:

Looking forward. Another artist I know nothing about, which is only one of the reasons I love this station.
Avatar 6:48pm Flash Strap:

I'm looking forward as well! I actually didn't know a whole lot about Hassell, outside of some of his more lauded records with Eno, prior to compiling this show. So once again we embark on a voyage of discovery together
Avatar 6:51pm Flash Strap:

@WD: some serious musical collage ideas abounding tonight, well put
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:57pm doctorjazz:

Hey Geez! (have to stop meeting like this...)
Have the Fourth World v1 on vinyl somewhere at home, haven't heard it in ages, don't know much else about Hassell's music, should be fun and interesting.
Avatar 6:59pm Flash Strap:

That's a good album to have around Doc!
Avatar 7:02pm Flash Strap:

At last, we begin
Avatar 7:09pm Walking Daydream:

This feels kind of like The Shining to me
Avatar 7:10pm Walking Daydream:

or actually like the old dungeon crawler video games like Shadow Tower..
Avatar 7:12pm Flash Strap:

I get that, WD

Actually, a lot of this stuff reminds me of a particular later-period Wendy Carlos album, Beauty in the Beast, which is similarly concerned with ethnological forgery/futurist syncretism. Beauty in the Beast
Avatar 7:13pm Flash Strap:

never played Shadow Tower though
Avatar 7:13pm Flash Strap:

the vagueness of it all reminds me of Myst, or maybe Zork, speaking of games
Avatar 7:16pm Walking Daydream:

The phrase "ethnological forgery/futurist syncretism" brings to mind some visualizations of The Martian Chronicles - sort of Greek architecture in the middle of a desert.

Zork graphics are kind of what I was meaning, or like King's Field. I get the vagueness you mentioned, especially compared to the vagueness of old computer graphics.
Avatar 7:18pm Flash Strap:

Man, I never really liked actually reading Martian Chronicles, but when I was a kid I absolutely pored over the illustrations. they were so cool
Avatar 7:21pm Walking Daydream:

They made a mini-movie series of it a few decades ago that follows the book pretty well.
This seems to relate to exotica in the mental travel sense. Is there some specific differentiation you're thinking about between ambient and exotica?
Avatar 7:24pm geezerette:

I keep hearing elephants, which are probably just intentional distortion, and that reminded me of all the sound tricks on sound tracks going at least back to early thirties and Tarzan movies. Sound montage, aural equivalent of visual...which loops right back to our conceptual starting point.

The illustrator for Martian Chronicles might have been Joe Mungiani, have to look it up. Sure I'm spelling that incorrectly.
Avatar 7:27pm hyde:

hello explorers! i now feel really old because i remember buying that jon hassell/brian eno possible musics record at main st records in northampton just a couple years after it came out.
Avatar 7:28pm Walking Daydream:

Yeah, that's the right track, geezerette.
Avatar 7:30pm hyde:

i bought Earthquake Island, too. i don't have either of these LPs anymore, sad face
Avatar 7:33pm geezerette:

WD, some bok cover art for Bradbury.
There's a Mugnaini cover for Fahrenheit 451.
Avatar 7:34pm geezerette:

Hey Hyde!
Avatar 7:35pm Walking Daydream:

R is for Rocket! haha :D
  7:36pm JtotheK:

Hi Flash and fellow Explorers!
Avatar 7:37pm hyde:

hiya, g
Avatar 7:39pm Flash Strap:

Hi Hyde! JtotheK! Welcome to the room! I promise to not talk for that long again tonight, fingers crossed
Avatar 7:40pm Flash Strap:

Vernal Equinox is some of his best stuff, to be honest
Avatar 7:42pm hyde:

also in feeling old, you guys are making me flash back to the copy of The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury that we had when i was a kid. The paperback with the tattooed guy with his back facing the viewer. don't know who did that cover, but i loved that story called The Veldt.
Avatar 7:43pm Flash Strap:

what'd you think of Earthquake Island, Hyde? It's a strange duck
Avatar 7:43pm Walking Daydream:

I think that cover was included in the link. I believe there were a couple involving the posture you mention.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:45pm doctorjazz:

Like this Viva Shona track.
Avatar 7:46pm Flash Strap:

The Martian Chronicles illustrations that I liked as a kid were definitely by Ian Miller, that stuff was crazy!
Avatar 7:46pm Flash Strap:

@Doc: me too! Nana Vasconcelos on this as well I believe
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:47pm doctorjazz:

Avatar 7:48pm hyde:

@Flash i really liked it when i bought it. but i heven't heard it ince like....1985?

@Walking yeah, you're right. the painting is there. seems like what we had was the Bantam 1969 paperback, near as i can tell
Avatar 7:48pm Flash Strap:

rare unadorned trumpet sound here. still sounds weird though
Avatar 7:49pm Walking Daydream:

Wow, I've never seen the Ian Miller illustrations, though, I feel Mugnaini better matched the vibe of the first song in terms of vagueness.
Avatar 7:50pm Flash Strap:

@Hyde: well, we're revisiting it now!

It's pretty cool
Avatar 7:51pm Flash Strap:

Agree on that point, WD
Avatar 7:52pm hyde:

it's amazing to me how familiar this sounds even though i haven't heard this for decades!
Avatar 7:53pm Flash Strap:

That's the fourth world for ya!
Avatar 7:54pm hyde:

also, i'm feeling terrible regret about selling a huge swath of my records in the mid eighties ;)
Avatar 7:56pm geezerette:

Hyde, The Veldt stuck with me too.

Not a fan of Mugnaini either! (hahaha)
Avatar 7:57pm Flash Strap:

Dom Um Romao also on this album
Avatar 7:59pm hyde:

@Flash that makes two times today i've thought about Weather Report
Avatar 7:59pm geezerette:

Is there a sameness to these tracks or am I not paying attention?
Like I keep thinking of actual whale songs or Paul Horn, (I think),
Avatar Swag For Life Member 8:03pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

Bradbury taught me to read - in sense of picking up books for myself. & I got to tell him too.
Avatar 8:03pm Flash Strap:

@G: I think one of the fundamental shortcomings of Hassell's vision of the exotic is that, while his technique is really unusual and interesting, he always uses essentially the same treatment on the trumpet. Listening to his discography gets a little same-y; fortunately, as he progresses he gets increasingly into adventurous compositional cutting-and-pasting, which I'll try to highlight. we'll also hear some collaborations and influences later on
  8:04pm melinda:

Avatar 8:04pm hyde:

@Flash i don't think you're wrong, because the same time that i bought this LP is pretty much about when i also was listening to Sounds of the Humpback Whale and Paul Horn
Avatar 8:05pm Flash Strap:

Hi Melinda! Warmest welcome!

That's hilarious Hyde!
  8:07pm melinda:

@hyde I remember that cover of The Illustrated Man.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 8:10pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

'People ask me to predict the future - when I just want to prevent it!'
- Bradbury
Avatar 8:11pm hyde:

@Flash now that i think about it it might be i came to the whales a little earlier, because i am remembering now kind of shutting down a high school party in c. 1979 by cranking up that whales record after maybe a bit too much orange sunshine. also, at some point i got a cool flexi disc from National Geographic with whale songs.
Avatar 8:12pm geezerette:

Hey Melinda!

RevRab, good one! Wish he could have, this one anyway.
Avatar 8:13pm hyde:

@melinda right? i loved that paperback.
Avatar 8:15pm Flash Strap:

Hi RevRab!
Avatar 8:16pm Flash Strap:

@Hyde: I did a similar thing more than once with that Robert Redford wolf record! and I loved that Nat Geo flexi, I played it on the show at one point last summer
Avatar 8:18pm geezerette:

Getting into it now. Every now and then he reminds me of Miles Davis. I love those long,clean lines.
Avatar 8:18pm Flash Strap:

This is a really cool record, a welcome change in formal composition towards collage and sampling

@G: He's really, really into Miles
Avatar 8:19pm hyde:

@Flash haha, i dug the wolf record too. i used to take that one out from my hometown public library. my whale flexi i still have, but it sounds like crap.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 8:19pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

...kinda wonder if there was any other dose of orange sunshine than too much (tho' I never encountered that kind)...
Avatar 8:19pm geezerette:

Yeah, it's much better.
Avatar 8:20pm hyde:

@RevRab heh. i'm just glad someone got that brand reference
Avatar 8:21pm geezerette:

...@Flash: 8:18
Avatar Swag For Life Member 8:26pm Doug Schulkind:

So glad to be amongst friends in the Exploratorium. Hello, dear Flash.
  8:27pm melinda:

I didn't read The Illustrated Man but I liked October Country.
Avatar 8:27pm coelacanth∅:

hello Flash and Explorers

big into Jon Hassell here
Avatar 8:27pm Flash Strap:

Hi Doug! We friends rejoice to have you among us
Avatar 8:28pm Flash Strap:

Hi C! Then you're just the guy we want to see!
  8:30pm melinda:

Hassell is new to me but I'm liking it.
Avatar 8:30pm Flash Strap:

I like this track a lot, the samples are such small snippets, like a kaleidoscope
Avatar 8:32pm hyde:

i never copped to this record, but it's super cool
Avatar 8:32pm geezerette:

Yes, like a kaleidoscope!
Avatar 8:33pm geezerette:

Hi Coel!
Avatar 8:33pm Flash Strap:

i like the cover art too, tho it totally looks like a computer game re: Walking Daydream's first impressions: img.discogs.com...
Avatar 8:37pm hyde:

this record is so great. the book is really great too.
Avatar 8:37pm geezerette:

I remember this and love that album.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 8:38pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

A lot of what I love in Eno's work here. A long comprehensive exposition of Eno collaborators would be worthwhile...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 8:41pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

...too many of course...
Avatar 8:45pm coelacanth∅:

hey there g!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 8:50pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

'You can close your eyes, but not your ears.' That stuff gets 'appropriated' is one of the great, culture-bridging qualities that Music has.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 8:53pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

...It generally works both ways simultaneously, & nearly instantly (on hearing) - Cultures A & B & all that...Respect & credit due may be legitimate concerns - but it always ends up Culture C, right?
Avatar 8:54pm hyde:

this record. THIS RECORD
Avatar 8:55pm northguineahills:

Damn, it's a hassle to miss so much Hassell, to the archives (later)!
Avatar 8:55pm coelacanth∅:

imagine if this album had never been made because they didn't find out who created the sample source material.
- that would be a crime.
Avatar 8:56pm Flash Strap:

I agree, RevRab - while I sympathize with Hassell here, really do, I also think it's a strange claim from someone who sort of treats "ethnic" music as a natural resource to be extracted and used

To get both the best (good theory, well-articulated ideas on exoticism and syncretism) and worst (casual ignorance, as when he says,"About this time my marriage ended and I entered into a new relationship with a girl who was an African-American/Native-American mixture... A bit of Fourth World on a personal level.") of Hassell's thought process, I highly recommend reading the Perfect Sound interview: web.archive.org...
Avatar 8:56pm northguineahills:

I used to find Hassell records in discount bins and garage sales. Those were lucky days.
Avatar 8:58pm geezerette:

wow! No denying! It's stronger though, which must be due to Eno and Byrne's taste and distance from source. Being Hassell's baby he was perhaps overindulgent.
We've all been on both sides of that issue.

Haven't heard this album in years and still love it.
Avatar 8:59pm Flash Strap:

@C: I agree! Honestly, this is why we need to separate art and commerce completely and support artists independent of the market's willingness to do so
Avatar 8:59pm hyde:

this show is really making me relive my past. i remember buying the My Life In The Bush of Ghosts record, playing it endlessly in my dorm room and then getting and reading the Amos Tutuola book out of th UMass library just because of it. And then reading The Palm Wine Drinkard too, and actually thinking it was better.
Avatar 9:00pm Flash Strap:

I need to read that book, Hyde! you liked it?
Avatar 9:00pm hyde:

and now Remain in Light, which is the 2nd time i've thought of this today!
Avatar 9:01pm geezerette:

Evan I agree wholeheartedly.
Avatar 9:02pm Flash Strap:

Hi NGH! wish I could find some of this stuff in a bin
Avatar 9:03pm hyde:

@Flash it's amazing. i've only read those two works by Tutuola, but theyre both fantastic.
Avatar 9:04pm coelacanth∅:

in the world in my mind, Evan, the artists would have no more chance of starving than the corporate lawyers.
Avatar 9:04pm geezerette:

hahaha :)
Avatar 9:08pm Flash Strap:

Sounds good, C.
Avatar 9:08pm Flash Strap:

gotta check it out and give it a read, Hyde! never read Tutuola
Avatar Swag For Life Member 9:10pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

...anyhow - as Bowie taught us - it takes keen perception to know who best to appropriate & talent to do something good w/ it that masses will find accessible...I'm certainly not familiar w/ Jon Hassell (which is the sort of reason I'm here...was thinking of Eno-Byrne being accused of appropriating African sources, really...)
Avatar 9:17pm Flash Strap:

I hear ya, RevRab. I mean, I really think if you divorce creative expression from market pressures (within, y'know, a necessarily more egalitarian society worldwide), you have less of a problem with appropriation and idea-theft and copyright violation. All should be invited to drink from the well of the zeitgeist and make of that wellspring whatever they will and rejoice in the result. Capital, competition, and geographically-based oppression/racism make this impossible
Avatar 9:19pm Flash Strap:

at least: FOR NOW
Avatar 9:20pm Flash Strap:

this is Hassell in his hip-hop period. We got Flea on the bass. Thoughts? I'm torn!
Avatar 9:20pm geezerette:

a secular amen.
Avatar 9:21pm northguineahills:

I wonder who this Blue Screen was.... This would have been right before I got into rhythm based beats, and there was a razor-thin difference b/tn successful and cheesy appropriation of jazz and or World (w/ a capital W) sources.
Avatar 9:33pm geezerette:

"ornamenting ones life" That's sort of his problem, if he has one.
It's a matter of taste, but I'd like him to lose a layer or two.
Avatar 9:38pm geezerette:

Digging The Residents and putting them in new context because of show.
Avatar 9:40pm Flash Strap:

I think I agree, Geezerette. I didn't set out to have this show take Hassell down a peg, but I did set out to learn more about him and having explored the subject, I think at the very least he should be treated with the same critical analysis we bring to the more overtly problematic exoticists.

If anything, with them, I try to highlight their avant-garde tendencies; with someone like Hassell, who has tremendous avant-garde cred and wide influence, I think it's important to highlight the aspects of rote exoticism in his approach

I think he's great, but that greatness has its limits

The Residents do it so great because they don't try to dodge the contradiction or the grotesque nature of the endeavor. They make a strength of it
  9:41pm melinda:

@geeze same here
Avatar 9:42pm tuner fish:

greetings. digging the jon hassell...
Avatar 9:43pm Flash Strap:

Hi Tuner Fish!

Man, I wanted to play some Yma Sumac in this set but I'm too short on time! Oh well
Avatar 9:45pm tuner fish:

and now THIS classic! Haven't heard Gesang in a long time!
Avatar 9:47pm Flash Strap:

It's so crazy good. I'd love to hear it in all its original five-channel glory
Avatar 9:48pm tuner fish:

I always thought the kids' voices and the electronic sounds had a nice, playful and fun vibe. It would be cool to have an Explorers Room that covered his psychedelic years. Like "Stimmung" and works of that time period. Not too familiar with that canon.
Avatar 9:48pm Flash Strap:

NEXT SHOW ALERT: following Explorers Room tonight, Mary Wing will be filling in for Cool Blue Flame

Avatar 9:49pm Flash Strap:

I'd like to get more familiar actually. That's something that might happen one day, after I educate myself a little more
Avatar 9:49pm geezerette:

Evan and Melinda, :)
Explorers Room often feels like a salon,it's really wonderful.
Avatar 9:55pm hyde:

i love ""In C". i dig the Acid Mothers Temple version too.
Avatar 9:58pm geezerette:

Thanks for a stellar show Evan!
Avatar 9:58pm Mary Wing:

I'm here!
Avatar 9:58pm Flash Strap:

Thanks to all of you! Hello Mary!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 9:59pm GIVE THE DRUMMER RADIO:

100% Whatever playlist: wfmu.org... !!
  9:59pm JtotheK:

Great show - thanks Flash!
Avatar 10:00pm coelacanth∅:

Superb program tonight, as usual. Evan Thank you!
Avatar 10:00pm hyde:

thanks Flash!
Avatar 10:01pm Flash Strap:

Thanks C., G., Hyde, J-K! Much love and good night
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