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Maarifa Street: Magic Realism 2

6 customer reviews

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Maarifa Street
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Audio CD, May 17, 2005
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Maarifa Street: Magic Realism 2 + Last Night the Moon Came Dropping Its Clothes in the Street + Dream Theory in Malaya: Fourth World, Vol. 2
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This is a unique blend of free jazz and electronica. Beginning with three live concerts, each recorded in four instrumental layers, some performances (notably the trumpet) were left intact, other layers were either re-performed or invented anew. Some layers migrated from one performance to another. Other completely new layers were made by canibalizing parts from previous works and reshaping them. This collection is an interesting blend of live concert recordings and studio mixes which makes for a haunting and ethereal soundscape.

In an era of world fusions and unlikely global collaborations, Jon Hassell continues reformulating the alchemy of his Fourth World music in fascinating and original ways. Maarifa Street is his first electric album in some time, and it's a deliriously seductive brew of Miles Davis-meets-dub stuttered through sampled groove fractures. Drawn from live recordings made over the last few years, the album illustrates Hassell's gift for carving soundscapes in real time, laying his breathy, harmonized trumpet lines across an interior panorama of ambient voodoo jazz. Playing mostly with guitar mutant Rick Cox over deep dub bass lines from Peter Freeman, Hassell's music is fractal in its constant reinvention. The deeper you go, the more varied it becomes, as self-similar patterns are spun and shaped into ever more complex designs. Tunisian singer Dhafer Youssef adds his desert cries to Hassell's verdant mix on tracks like "Divine S.O.S." and "Open Secret." Although Maarifa Street's source material is live, the sound is studio-designed, with performances mixed, matched, and collaged in a fashion not unlike the cover by Abdul Mati Klarwein (who did Santana's Abraxas and Miles Davis's Bitches Brew). With an extreme stereo mix, instruments appear, shift, morph, and swirl, as if on a slo-mo carousel plopped into a global bazaar of the imagination. The subtitle of the album is Magic Realism 2, marking it as a sequel to Aka-Darbari-Java, Hassell's 1983 album of mosaic-like designs. But Maarifa Street is easier to grab onto, and the throbbing bass, programmed pulse fragments, and his innately melodic trumpet carry you through this strange world. --John Diliberto

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Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
  1. Divine S.O.S. 7:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. Maarifa Street 7:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Warm Shift 4:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Open Secret (Paris)11:47Album Only
  5. New Gods 7:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Darbari Bridge11:42Album Only
  7. Open Secret (Milano)11:44Album Only

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 17, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nyen
  • ASIN: B0007N4J84
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,101 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By P. King on October 10, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
What a way to mix the new and newer-not a retrospective, but it could certainly serve as such. Perhaps also a way to introduce Jon Hassell to the unititiated. As can be said of all his work, Maarifa Street: Magic Realism, Vol. 2 is highly recommended.

After 30 years and just a handful of recordings, this man is a giant of modern music and still a secret at the same time. Unless one hears a soundtrack or some theme music, his sound never reaches the ears of the greater public. One wonders why he has spawned no other composers or bands who are directly influenced by his work. Perhaps it is time...
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Doug Craft on September 15, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have been a fan of Jon Hassell since the 70s and think he is one of the most creative musical voices our country has produced. He plays trumpet - but in a trance-inducing style that combines elements of Indian classical music, third-world percussion, electronic signal processing, and looping - to create a totally unique style. This music is for anyone who loves creative and unique music that is well crafted and contemplative. However, if you prefer pop or vocal music, this album is probably not your cup of tea.

I love this album and have listened to it many times - so it has "legs" and bears repeated listening - like all of Hassell's catalog. It has similarities to his previous work with Bluescreen, "Dressing for Pleasure" and his earlier trance and magic realism albums. I think it ranks with Hassell's best work and represents an interesting approach that augments and morphs live performances into new compositions. If you are looking for a creative music that touches the soul, you should definitely give Jon Hassell a listen.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Marco Bortoletto on August 28, 2005
Format: Audio CD
In his long career Hassell has created a very personal sound, not only with his trumpet but with all his ensembles that he bring in the direction he likes. Maybe this is not one of his best CD but in few seconds you can easily recognize his music that is different from any other musician. While other similar artists like Eno are making musical flops (listen to Another Day...) Hassell continues his artistic journey with no compromises and we are grateful to him.
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