My Life in the Bush of Ghosts Appreciation (
1981. This is a great album. Sonically it's a pretty diverse listen, and as can be expected of a collaboration of these dudes (and the cloud of talent that follws them in such endeavors) it's well-crafted. It's a milestone in the practice of sampling, and a great contribution to the ill-titled 'world fusion' genre. Bomb Squad cites this album as a huge influence, as I'm sure many other people do. For those who don't know, this album was highly influenced by Eno's collaborations/dialogue with trumpeter Jon Hassell (who played with LaMonte Young, and Terry Riley)*. Previous to this album Eno and Hassell had collaborated on Fourth World Possible Musics. The album used a lot of non-euro drumming, which was a first for Eno. Clearly there were others doing this, and doing it earlier in time, so they weren't the originators, but they were definitely innovators. Hassell had been in contact with Eno about his next album Dream Theory in Malaya (which happens to be a low tempo bliss out, think Affenstunde more organized and polished with Hassell's signature trumpet sounds). Hassell had told Eno that he was using lots of African drumming on the album, and mixing in vocal recordings. When My Life... came out Hassell was pissed. Another important facet of the album is its use of vocal samples. instead of getting people in the studio to sing on tracks they hijacked recordings from Middle Eastern radio and televsion broadcasts, as well as some American recordings. Again, this was not the first time that anyone did such a thing (as far as I know Holger Czukay's track Boat Woman Song from Canaxis is the first), but decontextualizing a recording, and reappropriating it into a composition is some pretty raw stuff.Really though, the albums are entirely different. My Life... has a very metered and strongly sequenced feel, whereas Dream Theory... draws from a more ambient motif. Meanwhile, neither of the two were really blazing new groundm they were just taking ideas from the extremes of the avant garde and making them more easily digestable.This track came on in shuffle mode this morning. The Carrier.*Certainly a unique case in the history of Euro-american brass techniques, Hassell had a distinct and well-tempered style for playing trumpet. He studied with the legendary vocalist Pandit Pran Nath--who also taught Riley, and Young. Through his studies he figured out a much 'breathier' technique for playing, that allowed him to slide from note to note. His trumpeting in this style is usually an amalgam of overdubs with sufficiaent reverb that makes for a truly unique sound.