Now, he returns with his first solo album in nine years, to be released on his own new imprint Ndeya. This label will publish new material as well as selected archival releases. So perhaps 'Listening To Pictures', a sweet blend of ambient, electronic music and jazz can be seen as a new start in solo recording.
"Pentimento" means: Alteration in a painting, evidenced by traces of previous work, showing that the artist has changed his or her mind as to the composition during the process of painting. Musicians face something similar. Compositions can alter, change and evolve over time with only vague traces of the initial composition still present. Ambient and jazz have always been compared to (landscape) painting and with good reason. They share many similarities, which explains people's often ecstatic reaction to either a song or a piece of art. Somehow it feels like that is exactly what Jon Hassell has been doing on this album, changing, altering, reworking.
There are eight tracks on this album, each on with its own identity and speciality. Perhaps it's not surprise then that different acts and artists come to mind with each tune. Opener 'Dreaming' has a similar feels as many Biosphere tracks. 'Picnic' throw that sound into an Autechre branded blender and goes wild on the glitches. 'Slipstream' takes me to the reals of acts like Zoviet France and O Yuki Conjugate. I love the percussion in this track. So far in this album, 'Slipstream' is my favorite, even when the jazz influences come shining through. 'Al Kongo Udu' is another favorite, an exotic and adventurous ambient tune.
On 'Pastorale Vassant' we go all jazzy with the nervous percussion and the free floating soundscapes. Perhaps this is one of the most experimental sounding tracks on this album, definitely not the most radio friendly but it still is an interesting entity to have floating through the room. 'Manga Scene' is what would have happened if Autechre and Dale Cooper did a jamsession, or Sknail of course. Glitch jazz is almost always awesome. 'Her First Rain' gently follows that example. And yups, I've turned this thing into a song-by-song thing. Well, in that case, 'Ndeya' is up to you to discover. All I'm going to say is that it's definitely worth it and that counts for this entire album.