Various Artists: Now We Are Ten

[6 January 2008]

By D.M. Edwards

The ten year celebration of one-man label Trunk contains some of the prettiest, funniest, and strangest sounds you will ever hear: cult television, oddities from the dawn of advertising, groovy jazz, lost horror soundtracks, music made from explicit letters sent to a porn star, library music, and more. This sampler is a great way to explore a refreshing and exotic world far from rock and roll.

There are many unearthed treasures here, including Basil Kirchin who was one of Brian Eno’s chief influences. Kirchin’s “I Start Counting” is shockingly exquisite. Mike Sammes’ fabulous jingle for “Timex” sweeps us back to the pre-decimal era. The atmosphere of John Cameron’s flute-driven music for the beloved film Kes is balanced perfectly between breezy and threatening. Much of this collection evokes the adolescent thrill of sitting in a darkened cinema for the first time, glimpsing a cute usherette, and being enveloped in new sounds, visions and possibilities. The fact that most of the selections have never been heard before, or have been forgotten, gives them a startling freshness and fragile innocence that is complimented by the sheer amount of space in the music: there is so little clutter.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/various-artists-now-we-are-ten/