jon hassell | atmospherics | aka-darbari-java / magic realism
Jon Hassell atmospherics | stories in words and pictures

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aka-darbari-java/magic realism

I | II | III

Aka-Darbari-Java / Magic Realism (1983) This record is the story of an intersection where Hollywood faux exotica (Scene: Memphis, the Fifties, me as a kid, sitting in the dark in the Normal (yes!) movie theater, Cobra Woman or the like reflecting off my eyeballs and seeping into my teenage libido) crosses paths with the real thing (me, 25 years later, sitting on the bank of the Ganges, listening to Pandit Pran Nath sing a centuries-old composition in the raga, 'Darbari', a composition never written down but passed on from voice to voice). And this is the story of my ongoing cultivation of that imaginary intersection where everything is shimmering and warm, jungle and city, sexy and funny and gracefully "spiritual" all at the same time.

And it's also the story of the CMI Fairlight, the first digital sampler with keyboard interface, which brought into focus the possibility of composing with little sound objects as the basis for new forms. And how all these things meet that Summer of '82 in Paris, living in a borrowed apartment in Pigalle with doglet Beeper, passing a secret note to that spicy Vietnamese secretary at the Polydor office (who was destined to decorate several years of my life and my imagination), and rehearsing with Abdou Mboup the great Senegalese drummer, for Peter Gabriel's first WOMAD Festival in Bath, UK. >>