Thursday, 17 May 2018

🐣 JON HASSELL — PASTORALE VASSANT

This collage of sound comes from musicmaking veteran Jon Hassell, a collection of almost random knockings and thudding perucussion, striking bright piano feeling chords and twinklings, insectoid and creeping and with satisfactory edits to almost be venturing into the zippy world of breakcore. Tumbling soft chimes and bassy bell synths roly-poly throughout, helping with that sense of speed and motion. Background noise comes and goes, fizzing and whooshing as new and sharper chimes set in, this time real, organic, and which (sort of) give the track its title: 'Pastorale Vassant' (meaning 'Hillside Pastoral' in Catalan)—How though?

"I was staying in Deya, on the island of Mallorca," explains Hassell in the track's description on SoundCloud, "where flocks of goats roamed in the hills at night, each one with a slightly different neck bell. One balmy Summer midnight I stayed awake to record this floating, constantly-changing "gamelan" that enters in the distant background halfway into the piece."

You can hear in the track that nocturnal sound, the feel of mild still-awake night terrors, the what's-out-there wonder of the dark, and then the homely but lonely sound of these goats' bells, by themselves yet together, no other human around. All the other flighty noises of the night, the harsh abrasions of the ambient sound of the air like the esoteric recordings of a cryptozoologist, but above all the constant flutter of a mind churning and churning... And then: that blissful chord at the end, disparate to everything else that has come before, chimes into earshot rich and radiant, a dream of digital dimensions as the organic gives way to the synthetic, and sounding beautifully similar to the PS2 startup sound by Takafumi Fujisawa—that same full emptiness, empty fullness.


  • 🔔
  • 🔔 'Pastorale Vassant' is the second track to be taken from Jon Hassell's upcoming album Listening To Pictures (Pentimento Volume One), following the urgent, relentless glitter of 'Dreaming'. You may pre-order it on Bandcamp ahead of its 8th June release on Ndeya Records, Hassell's own newly launched label.


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Jon Hassell Internet Presence ☟
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