Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Aqua Velvets - S/Tdotdotdotdot
artworkThis is the first album from the Aqua Velvets. It is a formative volume, hinting of their direction and talent, but not their live energy. I contains some well written music, and some delightful moments. As with all of their releases, it is self-produced and recorded at Michael Lindner's home. You'll find lounge and exotica before it was cool, and an exquisite sense of melody. It is a fine CD. On the cover is a little plastic surfer on a board floating in a swimming pool. It's too much.
Picks: Bravado, Spy In The House Of Love, Swampabilly Hop, Spanish Blue, Blue Rhumba, Night In Paamul, Gringo, Surf Boogie, Beauty And The Beach, Tango De Milo

Track by Track Review

Bravado dotdotdotdot
Exotic Surf (Instrumental)

This song has been a staple of the Aqua Velvets live sets for quite some time. It starts with a dramatic power chord wham, and then flies into a fine melody that creates images of courageous and daring moves on a glassy wall. It uses Miles Corbin's slithery double picked guitar sounds, bits of spy themery, and plenty of cool sounds. High powered, highly polished, and ringingly crisp.

Spy In The House Of Love dotdotdot
Exotic Surf (Instrumental)

Slow sinewy espionage rock, romantically picturing the softer side of the hidden world. The melody is delicate, simple, and flows very nicely.

Swampabilly Hop dotdotdotdot
Exotic Surf (Instrumental)

Ah, yes. This is one mother of a merger between swampabilly and surfadelic fantasy. This version is less piercing than their live version, especially with the organ added, but it has the charm and the mustard greens to make it all work. Chunky, back porch bayou fun.

Spanish Blue dotdotdotdot
Exotic Surf (Instrumental)

Slow, pre-lounge post-exotica Mexican verandah with a margarita music, flowing, pristine, and smooth. Very pretty melody, and an oh-so cheesy tourist bar ethic. Great track.

Blue Rhumba dotdotdotdot
Exotic Surf (Instrumental)

Melodic, energetic, exotic, fun, and loaded with picturesque rumba lessons at the tourist trap. The writing here is quite good, as is the interpretation.

Night In Paamul dotdotdotdot
Exotic Surf (Instrumental)

As the sun sets slowly in the West, the Paamulites drift down onto the pampas, where the drifting breezes cool and the sent of open air is strong and clean. It's a very picturesque piece, simple but effective, waiting for a film score to gather it up.

Gringo dotdotdotdot
Exotic Surf (Instrumental)

With Enio Morricone looking on, the Aqua Velvets deliver a startlingly strong spaghetti western epic worthy of the genre's name. You can just see scruffy bearded semi bad guys with stubby cigars romancing Mexican señoritas in the open range just outside of town on the night before the showdown. Very pretty, effective, and perfectly structured.

Surf Boogie dotdotdotdot
Exotic Surf (Instrumental)

A bluesy boogie with surf sensibilities, and a whining guitar line. Not fit for a longboard sequence, but just right for a boogie board run. Melodic, stingingly appointed, and infectious.

Beauty And The Beach dotdotdotdot
Exotic Surf (Instrumental)

An obvious title not previous used, and aptly applied to a pretty melody that implies a well filled bikini with long blond hair blowing in the warm summer breeze in silhouette from the sun behind. It is the perfect scene theme for the after-the-long-day-surfing scenes in those surf videos you love so much. Melodic, charming, and endearing.

Tango De Milo dotdotdotdot
Exotic Surf (Instrumental)

Tango is right, and the vision of a female form is so stark in the music, that it had to be Venus de Milo. Brilliant writing, sensuous playing, visually satisfying. A fine track.