Jon Hassell can hear your embarrassing school photos, announces first album in nine years on Ndeya

Jon Hassell can hear your embarrassing school photos, announces first album in nine years on Ndeya
Photo: Roman Koval

Ever consider the shape of the music to which you’re listening? The geometrical inspirations are obvious when you consider bands like A Perfect Circle and labels like Tri-Angle, but it’s about time that artists start addressing a problem endemic to music of all genres going back centuries: it’s just too horizontal, like an anaconda that stretches internationally and serves as an unintended speed bump for vehicular traffic around the globe!

Influential musician and composer Jon Hassell wants to make things vertical, like a rendition of Jack’s beanstalk that actually leads to a sky land filled with rainbows and clouds that taste like blue cotton candy! What that actually equates to in Hassell’s mind is something he’s dubbed “vertical listening,” which is a concern in the listener’s mind not with what’s about to happen (anticipating the song’s progression), but a focus on what’s happening now — the shapes that form as you “let your inner ears scan up and down the sonic spectrum,” according to a press release.

Vertical listening was partially the inspiration for Hassell’s newest album (and his first in nine years), Listening To Pictures (Pentimento Volume One), out June 8 on his just-established Ndeya label. The other infused concept stems from that word in the title, “pentimento,” which is a painting term that describes hints of earlier work reappearing in newer or updated versions. That notion was in Hassell’s mind as he worked in the studio, and it theoretically helps toward that whole vertical listening endeavor.

But enough flat, horizontal talk already! Pre-order the “towering” Listening To Pictures (Pentimento Volume One) right here, and listen to the track “Dreaming” below.

Listening To Pictures (Pentimento Volume One) tracklisting:

01. Dreaming
02. Picnic
03. Slipstream
04. Al Kongo Udu
05. Pastorale Vassant
06. Manga Scene
07. Her First Rain
08. Ndeya

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