In October 2008 I attended a gig, a Club Fandango three day city festival event in a bar I cannot even recall now, and I saw the most amazing thing that had graced my tiny mind to that date. The event went by the name of Tim Ten Yen, and his method of wonder was a performance of sorts, of his own musical styling. He is in fact a one man band, but the performance is so much a part of his art that it cannot go without being mentioned. Awkward thrusting arms and funky leg-kicks make him seem less than comfortable in the limelight, but his stage presence refuses to let him depart from it. Even on the street, there is a spotlight following this awkward lord of the dance.
I duly bought his album ‘Everything Beautiful Reminds Me Of You’, which came out the following week, and have never looked back. Mr. Ten Yen harnesses a wealth of Divine Comedy style croonings, reggae based 80’s synth pop, the occasional thrum of the steel drum, and the odd stealthy guitar solo to create a heady base of joy, which frolics unchecked with his wonderfully naïve and creatively deep lyrics. This album, which slipped by unnoticed in 2008, and indeed latterly, is quite simply a cult classic. Confusing though his style is there are songs like ‘Radio Nowhere’ which forms the perfect basis for an electro re-mix, whilst the acute rhythmic step and subtle production of ‘Move with the Wildpalms’ was made for radio play. A coveted favourite at the minute is ‘Sea Anemone’, which wouldn’t sound out of place in a collection of nursery rhymes, an bears the lyrics ‘the kind of enemy, that gets hold of me, and gently lets me go with an apology’, along with the extremely sage line ‘if I ever had complete control of my life, would I ever keep hold of what I have?’. Pure genius! This is one for you all ladies and gents. Disregard your particular ‘tastes’, because this defies genre, and your expectations.