Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Aqua Velvets - Tiki Beatdotdotdotdotdot
artworkTremolo drenched spatial ecstasy! Miles Corbin's amazing writing and arranging are on display in this wonderful set. It's gentle, charming, romantic, exotic, and extremely well played. Fans of The Aqua Velvets will love this, and if you are not aware of them, let this drift into your fancy. Magnificent tiki surf!
Picks: Tiki Beat, Palm Shadows, Big Island Romp, Napili Nocturne, Femme fatale, They Drive By Night, Sunlight Dances Upon Her Hair, Surf Noir Kings Ride Again, Tiki Noir, Tiki Beat (radio edit)

Track by Track Review


Tiki Beat dotdotdotdotdot
Tiki Surf (Instrumental)

"Tiki Beat" is very engaging, with a "Pipeline"-esq rhythm at times, and very cool pulsing tremolo. The haunting tone and arrangement, along with the long chords, create a spatial image. This is one sultry, sensual track with an undeniable surf connection linked tightly to the tiki gods of the curl. Superb!

Palm Shadows dotdotdotdot
Tiki Surf (Instrumental)

"Palm Shadows" has a mysterious detective in paradise sound, with lots of ghostly guitar work. The melody is fluid and romantic in a desolate island kind of way. The two guitars work together very well.

Big Island Romp dotdotdotdotdot
Tiki Surf (Instrumental)

"Big Island Romp" is spooky and spatial, with intriguing energy and a modest pace. Pulsing tremolo creates a sense of foggy coves and rocky caves. The very unusual stereo guitar treatment is almost frightening, in a hair standing up on the back of your neck kind of way.

Napili Nocturne dotdotdotdot
Tiki Surf (Instrumental)

Easy flowing tremolo chords and gentle chords paint a picture of an evening of reflection and subtle optimism. The lingering sadness of the melody and moodiness are obvious and engaging. There are long spaces between melody lines sometimes, which heighten the tension of the image.

Femme fatale dotdotdotdotdot
Tiki Surf (Instrumental)

Longing, imagination, and synthetic romance about to become real ooze from this track. The lush layers of panned delay and reverb add to the two guitar parts, creating depth and surrounding context. Is this ever emotional. The senses of symmetry and ensemble are very strong.

They Drive By Night dotdotdotdotdot
Tiki Surf (Instrumental)

Lovely island gorgeous guitar and spooky tremolo throb work extremely well against each other, creating tension and unity. Rich tone and a fine melody line, with moody keys and bass. "They Drive By Night" is perfect for a late night drive along a moonlit shore.

Sunlight Dances Upon Her Hair dotdotdotdotdot
Tiki Surf (Instrumental)

This gentle track has a lovely melody line and superbly moody tone. It's almost wispy, but is never in the background. Close your eyes and hear The Grateful Dead as a surfband. "Sunlight Dances Upon Her Hair" is beautiful, psychedelic, and fluid. You can smell the incense and peppermints drifting across the lagoon.

Surf Noir Kings Ride Again dotdotdotdot
Tiki Surf (Instrumental)

pointing gently at The Aqua Velvets of a decade ago, but with tone squarely in the present, "Surf Noir Kings Ride Again" haunts and spirals and wanders. The harmonica is an interesting extra that creates a bluesy feeling. Excellent!

Tiki Noir dotdotdotdotdot
Tiki Surf (Instrumental)

Echoed lushness, sinewy spatial sound, and gentle long sustain give this guitar solo a beautiful sound that accentuates the exquisite playing. Miles Corbin's liquid phrasing has always been very attractive to me. Perhaps more than any song except "Green Sunshine," this glorious track shows off his talent.

Tiki Beat (radio edit) dotdotdotdotdot
Tiki Surf (Instrumental)

This remix is maybe even more engaging. Its "Pipeline"-esq rhythm is more obvious, and it's pulsing tremolo a bit more edgy. It retains the haunting tone and arrangement, but is a little less spatial. I love this!