There's always been something decidedly Balearic about the productions of Tokyo-based Brit abroad Max Essa, but on this fifth full-length for Stevie Kotey's Bear Funk label he's really pushed the boat out (presumably into the Mediterranean Sea). Beginning with the silly, sun-kissed, Hong Kong Syndikat-ish Balearic-pop of "Asleep at the Wheel", Won Ton Sunrise offers a wide-eyed saunter through hazy, sun-kissed, slightly eccentric pastures. Along the way, he turns his hand to Vangelis-ish dreaminess (the excellent title track), eccentric, offbeat new wave ("Take My Hand"), stylized Italo-pop ("Stupid Smile") and piano-laden instrumental pop ("Back To Blue"). The album's finest moment, "Cactus Time Frame", even has echoes of Mandy Smith's Balearic classic, "I Just Can't Wait".
DJ-friendly full length tracks