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Thursday, Jul 25 2013 | 09:30
Image: 1581117 The music of Tokyo-based Englishman Max Essa is like a fine wine, it can be only stored in the finest oak barrels, it can only be aged correctly and it can only be drunk when completely ready. Max's approach is far from conventional, emotional content plays a major part in his works and now we find him on his third Bearfunk long player 'Won Ton Sunrise'.

'Won Ton Sunrise' is another step forward in Max's development as a producer / singer / songwriter. Tracks like the opener 'Asleep At The Wheel' offer a slightly more melancholic take to his usual sound, with a touch of Americana amidst his usual disco chops. Tracks like 'Unstoppble' & 'Back To Blue' on the other hand reference seedy twilight dancefloors, offering a darker, rum-fuelled turn for his fans. This contrast is present throughout the album.

On the flip, we're lead in with the sombre 'Take My Hand.' Bongos ebb and flow like the gentle bob of a moored yacht, sultry guitar lines enter the fray and stuff starts getting smokey. Another highlight, 'Last Chance For Love' hints at the influences of Americana once again, with twanging finger-plucking and Essa's dead-pan vocal delivery. The record comes to a close with the fantastic 'Fifth Of The Eighth', a crisp, technical instrumental with propulsive rhythms and a real sense of partying away from home.

1. Asleep At The Wheel
2. Back To Blue
3. Won Ton Sunrise
4. Unstoppable
5. Cactus Time Frame
6. Take My Hand
7. Trust The Wind
8. Last Chance For Love
9. Stupid Smile
10. Fifth of The Eighth Available from 05.07.2013
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