Thursday, August 30, 2007

Various artists
Now We Are Ten
(Trunk Records)

Trunk Records’ slogan is Music, Sex and Nostalgia. You’ll find all those pleasures here and much more to boot on this delectable celebration of Jonny Trunk’s diligent decade of unearthing and bringing to a wider audience all manner of aural exotica and fruity musical fare.

The ignoramuses out there (and, boy, there are loads of you walking around Brighton like some fuck-witted, Chelsea booted extra from Austin Powers) might use the dreaded adjective or, heaven for-fucking-bid, the NOUN “kitsch” when speaking about the plethora of musak Mr Trunk has spent a long time lovingly excavating cardboard mould encrusted record boutiques for. Sure, Mike Sammes’ Timex advert included here (It’s a gift/It’s a Timex!) might sound decidedly, er, ‘swinging’ but there’s a sophistication about the music that typifies this wonderful collection. Listen to that bass, those vibes, close your eyes at the start when the train station ambience kicks things off and the Timex advert (yes, an advert for a watch) could almost be an out take from Pet Sounds! Advertising executives don’t make music to make you buy shit like that any more.

It’s as genuine and as damn ‘authentic’ as Mr Wilson’s ode to long haired girls and getting married young and that’s why the collection works so well – don’t let the kitsch crowd tell you any different. What else is on offer? John Cameron’s Kes soundtrack…words fail me. This is perhaps the most sublime piece of music put to film, to listen to it is to remember all the innocence, anger and enquiring naivety of early adolescence - bucolic and beautiful: here be the human condition in all its confounding complexity and it makes me weep; the British jazz of Michael Garrick’s Trio and their smoky, late night lament, Sketches of Israel; Sammes again on the harp assisted, sleepy-time Sandman groove, Sweet Young Fumbles; Mark Wilkinson’s Blood on Satan’s Claw soundtrack outtake and the ubiquitous presence of stern faced hard-body, Delia Derbyshire, gift us some sublime and eerie primitive electronica; the staccato, strident drum fills that underpin the gorgeous chord progressions of Sven Libaek’s melancholic Moog music film score before it erupts into this peculiar, bittersweet horn crescendo to signal the song’s end; the warm and fuzzy folk of Orriel Smith – like Vasthi Bunyan with candy rotted dentures…so much, there’s so much to dive into. Did I mention the Herbie Hancock rarity?

On paper it sounds like God’s own stuck elevator music compilation….now that’s what I call musical purgatory 235! But it all sits together as a coherent and sublimely accessible album. Quite a feat and more than reason for you to investigate. There’s a whole world of this out there…

Rich Hanscomb

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