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Various Artists Now We Are Ten Review

Compilation. Released 2007.  

BBC Review

One suspects the only one who’ll really be able to love it will be Jonny Trunk himself.

Robert Jackman 2007

After ten years of scouring charity shops and thrashing out copyright negotiations, Now We Are Ten comes as a timely progress report from Trunk Records – purveyors of the eccentric and the long forgotten. But, if you’re looking for an afternoon’s listening, it’s a dangerously inconsistent record.

Of course, Jonny Trunk – the man behind the madness – has never been known for consistency. Since 1997, Trunk’s label has committed itself to releasing iconic film scores, the lost works of maverick composers and, most famously, a collection of fan letters received by his porn star sister.

Trunk’s releases are many things – zany, intriguing, perhaps even perverted – but, as mentioned, they’re far from consistent. And, admittedly, Now We Are Ten doesn’t pretend otherwise, preferring to style itself as a ‘decade’ of strange and beautiful music rather than pretending to be a ‘collection’.

But, upon hearing the estranged works of Herbie Hancock give way to the bittersweet opening score from Ken Loach’s Kes, there are few who won’t complain that this album feels disjointed. And even those with different expectations – Trunk’s culty acolytes, for instance – will bemoan the absence of the Dawn Of The Dead and Deep Throat soundtracks – both of which are now the proud property of Trunk Records.

On the whole, there’s plenty of endearing stuff here – Vernon Elliot’s theme from The Clangers and the rabid elevator music of Sven Libaek, to name but two – and most will find Now We Are Ten charmingly twisted. But, with each offering seemingly unrelated to the last, one suspects the only one who’ll really be able to love it will be Jonny Trunk himself.

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