Title: Ten Thousand Things
Label: Subatomic UK
Released: 1st July
The album commences with the title track which begins very much akin to a melodic music box and after a minute or so into the track a melancholic piece of piano is introduced. The result of this combination is a beautiful and intricate piece of ambient music that provides a perfect soundtrack for relaxation. Although I thoroughly enjoyed the track I was a little surprised it was the title track as I expected something perhaps a trifle more upbeat and vocal to be the sales pitch of the album. Following on is 'Tonto' a stereo-typical dubby lounge affair with lovely splashes of jazzy piano keys that you might expect on a Normal-ites (a side project with Chris Coco) release. The guitar is introduced in 'Monkey Butter' which maintains the tried and tested Balearic chill of the Cafe Del Mar compilations.
There's a slight bit of Latin percussion added to 'La Torre' amongst the indistinct monologue and guitar strings and a touch of 303 towards the tail end. This next track puts the brakes on with more of a jazzy lounge feel, trip-hop style beat and ethnic vocal on 'Tuvan'. At this point the album changes with the introduction of singers the first 'Sunburn' with Joel Edwards which is a bit wishy-washy for my taste and has somewhat of a Wham feel about it. This is followed by 'Res Freq' a slowed down slice of cosmic Balearica with summery guitar licks and lovely mellow piano keys.
Next up is the second vocal track of the album 'Love Alters' with Coppe which is an improvement I can't quite place who it reminds me of vocally but it's a mid to late 90's trip-hop act and there's a touch of Sueno Latino in the background. The album swings back to the instrumental appearing to dive back in time with a jazzy 70's feel on 'The Piano at the End of the Universe' before the closing track 'People' a beat-less track with deep reverbing piano and indistinct monologue that to me really conjures up the feel of sunbathing on the beach with your eyes closed and life going on around you. Where as in reality Steve composed this to reflect the joy and dismay he feels that people's actions bring to the world.
Overall I really liked this album it's a well thought out and created piece of ambience that still retains the Ibiza stamp in many of the tracks. In places it's perhaps a little more introspective in comparison to the 'Speck of Gold' release (considered by many as a Balearic classic) initially I felt it missed vocalists such as Cathy Battistessa and Danni Minogue. However, when the vocalists were introduced even though I quite liked the Coppe track they felt a little dis-jointed to the rest of the album.
Reviewed by Woodzee