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Display Artist
Jon Hassell
The Living City (Live at The Winter Garden 17 September 1989)
Catalogue Number
Release Date
February 17, 2023

Instant WAV / FLAC download with all Vinyl / Vinyl purchases.


Bringing the fourth world to our physical domain, Jon Hassell and Brian Eno teamed up for an elaborate and explorative set of performances at the World Financial Center Winter Garden in 1989. Amidst Eno’s “tropical rainforest sound installation” of recordings from Colombia and Japan (inspired by the Aka people of Cameroon) were Hassell and his band, imparting three nights of entrancing, “futuristic sci-fi funk” jams. Such a convergence of musical innovators and ideas must have been a real treasure to witness; now the magic can be rediscovered on this reissue of The Living City.

A shimmering wall of chirping crickets, distant birds squabbling, and the array of musical fauna played by the band sets the scene. Described as “music made to float [to]”, these performances ride a deep, enchanting groove, depicting rituals under the cloak of night with the whizzing sighs of Hassell’s shapeshifting trumpetry guiding us through the haze. Deft bass plucks drive the instrumentals, and Eno’s live mixing of cut and paste voices and sonic transformations add to the ethereal atmosphere.

‘Alchemistry’ continues the mystical vibes with attention grabbing trills, flitting sounds, and watery thunks of tabla, while the ephemeral structures of ‘Mashujaa’ (meaning “heroes” in Swahili) zip and spiral into a dense smokiness. Sauntering organ-like bass drones loom throughout ‘Nightsky’, chimes twinkling like the births of stars, and trumpet howling like hyenas or gushing air currents. It’s a celestial soundbath so immersive that you could easily mistake the audience’s cheers for the sonic creatures scurrying throughout the performance.

Seemingly existing outside of time and space, The Living City remains totally timeless and transportive over thirty years after its recording.

Digital Tracklist

Jon Hassell

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Jon Hassell



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Ambient and Modern Classical

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Electronic and Electronica

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