Various Now We Are Ten

Since 1995, music archivist Jonny Trunk has been releasing alt-folk, lounge music oddities, B-grade and obscure film soundtracks, out-of-print jazz and other recorded weirdness on Trunk Records. Now We Are Ten is a 21-track compilation culled from Trunk’s obsessive unearthing and reissuing activities. But, as the title suggests, this is a diverse set of strange, beautiful and sometimes mediocre music. The beautiful starts with soundtrack composer Sven Libaek’s dreamy modal jazz cut "Dark World.” Underrated jazz composer Basil Kurchin contributes two mint tracks. "Start Counting” is whimsical soundtrack-based folk pop featuring an un-credited singer with a Nico meets Astrid Gilberto croon. And the pleasantly downbeat "Negative” showcases Kurchin’s ambient jazz side. The mediocre includes Herbie Hancock’s unreleased track "Kiddush,” which is initially a boppin’ samba that quickly degenerates into sub-par lounge jazz. Similarly, other lounge tracks here, like Paul Lewis’s "Waiting for Nina,” are tedious. The strange includes ultra-morose B-movie tracks and twee proto-freak folk. But two demented moments rounding out Now We Are Ten come via "The Ladies Bra” and "My Special Message from Dirty Fan Mail,” which are fetishistic sex crank letters created by Trunk and friends set to lute-powered medieval folk and skiffle pop. They are jarringly weird. (Trunk)