Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Aqua Velvets - Cool and Waydown at the Park Chaletdotdotdotdot
artworkThis is a nicely recorded ambient live set from one of the most liquid-cool bands around. Not surf as you know it, but amazingly attractive.
Picks: Guateque Campesino, Drume Negrito / Summer At Dream Point, Smoking Panatelas on the Blue Mediterranean, Torquay, Frozen, Coconut Syrup Daydream Skies / In A Silent Way, Tomorrow Never Knows, Midnight Cowboy, Mysterious Mambo, Surf Rider

Track by Track Review


Guateque Campesino dotdotdot
Exotic Surf Jazz (Instrumental)

This is a lovely and gentle song that calls to the tropics where warm breezes caress the barely clad locals. Simply pretty and soothing.

Drume Negrito / Summer At Dream Point dotdotdotdot
Exotic Surf Jazz (Instrumental)

"Drume Negrito" is a softly rhythmic number, while "Summer At Dreampoint" displays laid back hot summer daze in a near djapana state. Very attractive!

Smoking Panatelas on the Blue Mediterranean dotdotdotdot
Thirties Bar Scene Surf (Instrumental)

"Smoking Panatelas on the Blue Mediterranean" has a thirties film exotic bar scene feel about it, with just the right rhythm.

Torquay dotdotdotdot
Exotic Surf Jazz (Instrumental)

This classic Fireballs song is completely morphed into an exotica slither. The percussion undulates around the bass, and the melody seems to just pour from the guitar. It's quite a transformation.

Frozen dotdotdotdotdot
Exotic Surf Jazz (Instrumental)

"Frozen" is a soft and gently double picked song with a moody melody that hints of the Mermen on vacation. Beautiful playing and writing, and a genuine liquid feel. The haunting guitar work is quite compelling!

Coconut Syrup Daydream Skies / In A Silent Way dotdotdotdot
Exotic Surf Jazz (Instrumental)

"Coconut Syrup Daydream Skies" features crisp chords that ring in the wistful imaginary shapes in the puffy clouds over the water at sunset. It's a slow and delicate piece with a real romantic feel. I have a feeling that this was written with Grace in mind. "In A Silent Way" is a more jazzy piece with more of a jam ethic.

Tomorrow Never Knows dotdotdotdotdot
Exotic Surf Jazz (Instrumental)

It's always hard to not get sucked into a version of "Tomorrow Never Knows." Ever since I heard 801's brilliant cover I've expected some surf band to "get it" and recreate it in an aqueous way. While not surf, the Aqua Velvets sure have done a nice job with it. "TNK" rules!

Midnight Cowboy dotdotdotdot
Exotic Surf Jazz (Instrumental)

Slow and emotional, "Midnight Cowboy" is reinvented into a very cool song, almost as if it was supposed to be done this way all along.

Mysterious Mambo dotdotdotdot
Exotic Surf Jazz (Instrumental)

Silky chords, plunky percussion, shimmering guitar tones, immediate images of an island mystery. A backdrop for a little hanky panky. Very pretty track.

Surf Rider dotdotdotdot
Exotic Surf Jazz (Instrumental)

Nokie Edwards's classic "Surf Rider" is easily adapted to exotic percussion. The liquid guitar work makes this song a natural for this soft emotional presentation.