Ten is a Leeds based artist and musician who created this album after a two week trek across Alaska, It was also inspired by Jon Krakauser book ‘Into The Wild’, a true and tragic story of the late Chris McCandless who in 1992 traveled alone into the Alaskan wild and was later turned into a bloody good film.
So what does music sound like when it is inspired by such vastness? Well it sounds..er well vast. The thing is with albums like this, is you have to pay attention, you have to take time out, clear some room in your timetable and listen. This is the kind of music that will nourish your brain because it requires you to soak up the the album in its entirety,which is something I think people do less these days. We may grab our latest release from our favourite act and excitedly place it on the turntable, but then we often stare into our phones or we start to do the washing up, or make the kids tea, that’s life and it’s exactly what I did on my first listen. However, halfway through the first track I knew that I was going need some time to truly absorb this album.
The album is a lush and rich blend of soundscapes that create a real sense of isolation, almost as if the cold Alaskan nights embrace can be felt. Each track builds with slow burning intensity. The seemingly constant drones are used to great effect sometimes they seem distant leaving room for an array of instruments and effects to set the scene, sometimes they crash over you leaving you almost breathless. Despite all of these electronic sounds the album retains a very organic feel.
It would be frivolous of me to make grandiose claims that this is a genre defining album, because it is a genre I know little of. However, I will say this, for me this has been one of the most pleasurable and rewarding albums I have heard this year. With echos of The Black Heart Procession, Swans, Mogwai, John Cale and I even a bit of Crippled Black Phoenix, whats not to like?