Charm (over "Burundi Cloud")

by Brian Eno and Jon Hassell

John Baez

September 26, 2005

Jon Hassell and Brian Eno, Charm (over "Burundi Cloud"), from Possible Musics.

This whole album sounds like a fever-dream odyssey into exotic tropical landscapes, thanks to Eno's echoed, spacious production of Hassell's electronically treated, Malaysian-influenced, eerily breathy trumpet melodies. But the most dreamlike piece of all, Charm, fills the entire long second side of this album (back when it was a record). Nana Vasconcelos and Ayibe Dieng play unhectic, seemingly repetitious yet subtly shifting rhythms on ghatam and gongas. Atop this, Hassell spins long raga-like trumpet improvisations - and a simple synthesizer loop floats past now and then, like a cloud. Since Hassell really knows his stuff, he's not just noodling around: the melody builds to powerful climaxes, then subsides, then builds up again....

After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music. - Aldous Huxley
© 2005 John Baez

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