Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Baja - MP3 Demos 2004dotdotdot
artworkDrum machines and guitars. Mostly very well done, but occasionally cheesy. If you're looking for something soothing and romantic, Baja delivers the goods.
Picks: Apache, Baja, Fadeaway, Johnny Guitar, Last Date, The Lonely Bull, Misirlou, North Wind Ride, Pacifica, Penetration, Perfidia, Pipeline, Sleep Walk

Track by Track Review

Apache dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Pulsing stereo vibrato makes Jerry Lordan's signature song shimmer with a mysterious ambiance. Bongos, liquid guitar, aural space, and a lush richness make this a very unique interpretation. Moody, and eerie.

Baja dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Aside from being softly lush, this is a relatively straight interpretation of Lee Hazelwood's "Baja." The vibrato rhythm guitar edges against the lush lead. Very nice!

Fadeaway dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Laika and the Cosmonauts' slushy and romantic "Fadeaway" is very nicely done here. Simply pretty.

Johnny Guitar dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Lush and smooth, this interpretation is both soothing and pretty, and slightly sedate. Bongos and percussion, a soft sound, and excellent guitar work. Surprisingly written by Victor Young and Peggy Lee, "Johnny Guitar" is a very pretty guitar instro that has seen a lot of cover action in the UK and Europe, but little attention here.

Last Date dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Floyd Cramer's most famous work is very pretty at the hands of Baja. It is translated nicely to guitars and reverb. Slow and silky with a straw.

The Lonely Bull dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Sol Lake's gorgeous song "The Lonely Bull" is sow and so silky, like a more moody and liquid version of the way the Dream Syndicate did it in the eighties. The shimmer of vibrato and the delicate pace work very well together.

Misirlou dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Based on Dick Dale's arrangement, and perhaps the Challengers, this is gutsy without being commanding or intrusive. It has a thick sound, while also being delicate. An interesting contrast.

North Wind Ride dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This original is haunting and very beautiful. It has a lonely fell and sad sound, with lots of atmosphere and mood. A very pretty song, with an inviting sound for just the right moment.

Pacifica dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Los Straitjackets' picturesque "Pacifica" is very nicely covered. Very true to the original, but somewhat more lush and less intense.

Penetration dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Steve Leonard's song, morphed from the Ventures version into a cheesy interpretation with goofy keys. It's funny, this should suck, but despite all, I ended up liking it.

Perfidia dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A billion years ago, Alberto Dominguez wrote "Perfidia," which saw numerous releases across decades. Then, the Ventures covered it, and suddenly, it had a new signature sound. Baja cover their version, but in a much softer and easier performance. Quite nice.

Pipeline dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Drums aside, this is actually very pleasant. It's low key, yet conveys some of the power of the breaking curl.

Sleep Walk dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a pedestrian version of "Sleep Walk," set more into a sock hop arena than the original Santo and Johnny hit. Pretty, but nothing special.