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

This was Year Three since the impact of Possible Musics on the musical world and I began to hear certain musicians and critics speaking about how long ago they had actually been deeply interested in ethnic musics. True enough, perhaps, but just line up all the LP covers released during 1977–1980 and try to find evidence of that interest having been expressed musically. Then flash forward fifteen years and walk into that trendy restaurant in Soho or Paris or LA with arugula and Pellegrino in the air along with Deep Forest on the muzak. Caramba! What have the Yuppies done to the Pygmies...MY Pygmies!! Once they were part of my World Symphonies (my working title for this record) and now they're doing a cute Cirque du Soleil act. Is it any wonder that "world music" (the category not the music) has become slightly radioactive for me?

What to do except pull up the collar of my overcoat against the chill of the night air, light up a Gauloise with a world-weary shrug, and disappear among receding pools of yellow street light.

My days and nights in India—with Pran Nath showing me the holy caves and rivers and palaces where the art of raga unfolded—allowed me to time-travel back to an age of flickering candlelight, splashing water and laughter, with serpentine melodies unfurling in perfumed air. This pushed me further to think in terms of the imaginary world of beauty and sensuality that might have developed in our time if the "classical" model had been musics from warm climates instead of grey and cold northern Europe. The liner notes to this record, written in 1983, underline this idea while opening the window onto a field of new possibilities in the digital domain. >>