So chilled its cool.
'Collected Works' is definitely the right term for this album as even though there is an underlying theme to the album, and its one that offers a laid-back style, theres a lot of different styles featured here and you're not going to get bored that easy.
The term collected works is probably more synonymous in literature and is used to describe a body of work by a writer which shows great depth and variances in style and fashion. This collection from A Mountain Of One appears to live up to that idea and this album of their original 12" releases and a handful of new material pushes many buttons. The trio may have a history of techno and underground dance music but the pace on this record is far more sedate and comfortable although theres no doubt about the quality.
Opener 'Ride' has the charm and easy-going grace of one of Spiritualizeds more spiritual moments and as the horn section spirals upwards, the listener is almost compelled to punch the air such is the level of energy reaching upwards. The vocals have a relaxed air about them and as initial tracks go, it's a welcome introduction.
'Warping Of The Clock' has a strange 1990s Acid Jazz feel to it, perhaps it's the hushed spoken-style vocals or perhaps the Moog keyboard stabs combining with a funky horn addition, whatever, theres plenty of fusion of sounds at work here, although they blend better than what you expect from a compilation. 'Freefall' follows on effortlessly and the backing track alters but the vocal approach and delivery stays on the same course and it's a bit unusual. Its not far from The Streets method of telling a tale in every line but its more the mix of spoken word with melody that places it by itself. The stories told on this album are not earth-shattering but, given that the general music approach is relaxed, a different style of lyrics would jar so it has to be said the two disciplines blend well.
The beauty of the collection is that the listener may not like the whole album but there are sections that will appeal to them, for instance, the glitchy electro intro to 'Can't Be Serious' will stand out for dance fans but lovers of classic guitar pieces will adore the moments where the tracks sound inspired by the playing of Carlos Santana (Setanta, sultana...whatever.) And Mr. Santana isn't the only old-school artist that A Mountain Of One have been listening to, if this record is anything to go by. Strands of Pink Floyd, Love and Bob Dylan pepper this album, giving the listener a reason for a few repeated listens.
That said, its doubtful whether there is much longetivity on this record as it does show its hand rather and there are similarities as the album unfolds. Its all rather neat and tidy but perhaps if the vocals matched the music in pushing the boundaries, A Mountain of One could have had a classic on their hands. As it is, they've merely got a fine collection, which is no bad thing.