Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Los Belkings - Solo Exitos de Colecciondotdotdotdot
artworkThis is a comprehensive two-disc all instrumental set from Lima, Peru's Los Belkings. Lots of cool stuff here, some pop rock tracks, and some of questionable origin as well. Quite nice to see all these tracks finally out. Most sound like they are from tape, though a few are clearly from vinyl sources. There are five tracks that are really The Ventures: "Journey To The Stars," "La Bamba," "Locomotion," "Hawaii Five-0," and "Secret Agent Man."
Picks: Tal Como Tu Eres, Okinawa 2000, La Playa, Negro es Negro, Septima Patrulla, Bolido De Fuego, Sentimentos, Te vi llorar, Virgenes del Sol, Siboney, Amor Indio, Toma mi Corazon, Perfidia, Condor Pasa, Cuando el Indio Llora, Llorando en la Noche, Empujando Furte, Pipa de Paz, Cuando el Indio Llora, Blanco es Blanco, Apache, Una Luz en el Alma, La Chica que Conoci, Gigante de Vidrio, Llora Como Un Bebe, Corazon De Bronce, Illusionate Chica, Play Boy, Quirofano, Condenado A Muerte

Track by Track Review

Tema Para Jovenes Enamorados dotdotdot
Pop (Instrumental)

This Brian Welch song from 1967 is more Euro than the rest here, showing off the influence the Shadows had in Peru. "Theme For Young Lovers" is much better to my ears here than ion the original form.

Amor Imposible dotdotdot
Easy Listening (Instrumental)

"Amor Imposible" is light pop with strings and an echoed lead guitar. While pretty, only the drums make in interesting.

Tal Como Tu Eres dotdotdot
Pop-Psych (Instrumental)

This is almost bouncy, with remnants of surf over a pulsing pop psych backtrack. Slightly reminiscent of "What Have I Got Of My Own," and featuring a female voice right out of the Star Trek generation. "Tal Como Tu Eres" adds wah wah guitar to the soup, finalizing the pop-psych dream.

Okinawa 2000 dotdotdot
Eleki (Instrumental)

Very much in the Ventures' mold, "Okinawa 2000" is from 1973 (not 2000). Almost eleki twang and great drums drive this catchy song. The break makes use of wah wah in a gimmicky way, but otherwise, this is a cool song, and bound to catch eleki or Ventures fans' ear.

Playa Para Dos dotdotdot
Easy Listening (Instrumental)

Strings and a very slow pace, with a so-so melody and little really going on. "Playa Para Dos" seems way too formula.

La Playa dotdotdotdot
Post Surf (Instrumental)

This is a very cool post surf instro with a coastal sound and very surfable melody riff that calls to a Mexican surfari, or maybe an island adventure via the bottleneck guitar lines. Quite nice!

Sendas de Amor dotdot
Pop Rock (Instrumental)

"Sendas de Amor" is a frothy pop rock instro with strings. It's pretty enough, but lacks any resemblance to the band's rock roots.

Negro es Negro dotdotdot
Surfadelic (Instrumental)

This is a rock instrumentalization of Los Bravos' "Black Is Black." It has fuzz, interesting percussion, and a sound that's part light and part heavy. It's much more interesting than I expected.

Septima Patrulla dotdotdotdot
Euro Garage Fuzz (Instrumental)

This is a much heavier track than others here, at least in parts. It sports a Euro lead guitar tone, and also uses heavy garage fuzz. The drums are splendid and the melody solid, with plenty of oomph in the delivery.

Hojas Muertas dotdotdot
Easy Listening (Instrumental)

Sensual drums and echoed guitar romance accented by Spanish acoustic. Easy and pretty.

Bolido De Fuego dotdotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

On the swirly side of the pop-psych aisle, with a melody that's like a blend of Paul Johnson's "Tally Ho," "Andele," and "Lanky Bones." While it doesn't sport a surf sound, or even the South Bay sound, it does nonetheless call to the curl. A splendid track!

La lluvia de tus ojos dotdotdot
Easy Listening (Instrumental)

"La lluvia de tus ojos" is a gentle easy listening track with lush strings and guitar. It's very pretty, and the guitar is very nicely played.

Sentimentos dotdotdotdot
Psych Fuzz (Instrumental)

Well now, this sure is cool! A subtle psychedelic warble fuzz guitar plays a decidedly 1969 line over the kind of track the Electric Prunes might have dallied with. If you like this genre at all, you'll find that "Sentimentos" grows on you. Towards the end, the vibes come in, just before the same psychedelic swirling keyboard they used in "Empujando Fuerte." Excellent!

Te vi llorar dotdotdot
Easy Rock (Instrumental)

A little gentle fuzz, some liquid guitar, some trembling string bending, and a very pretty melody. It's just edgy enough to stay in the rock arena. Slow and sultry, "Te vi llorar" is the sort of track that they often overdubbed with strings, but wit that not happening, it's really quite nice.

Sinfonia Para Una Manana dotdotdot
Pop (Instrumental)

"Sinfonia Para Una Manana" is lite-pop with exotic percussion, vibes and piano, and long psych fuzz guitar gently floating above the fray.

El amor es triste dotdotdot
Easy Rock (Instrumental)

"El amor es triste" is "Love Is Blue." It's very poppy, with chorus and an easy gate. Nice, but not memorable.

Virgenes del Sol dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a pumping bluesy number with lovely shimmering guitar and some glissandos delivered by the rhythm guitar. It's a very unusual song from an arrangement viewpoint. The muted break is cool too.

Siboney dotdotdot
Surfadelic (Instrumental)

I can't say I've heard Ernesto Lacuona's "Siboney" done quite like this. The surf guitar lead over console organ is interesting and the pace is faster than most. The organ lead middle is goofy, but the track still rocks.

Rimsky dotdot
Surfadelic (Instrumental)

The gentle melody flows out from guitar against organ, with crudely recorded drums behind. This sounds more like a demo than a release. There are poor transitions and faltering notes.

Amor Indio dotdotdot
Surfadelic (Instrumental)

This is a very interesting track, with an unusual beat and haunting melody. My guess is that this is either an outtake or demo. The mix is very rough at best, with too much drums and lead guitar buried in the rear. Production values aside, "Amor Indio" has a superb melody and infectious energy, even while the organ whirls out front.

Toma mi Corazon dotdotdot
Surfadelic (Instrumental)

"Toma mi Corazon" is an easy rock instro with a splendid melody and nonintrusive sound. It's not mixed very well, much like a demo, with guitar too low, almost across the street sounding. The double picked guitar lines are very cool, and some lines are muted for more subtle surf influence.

Perfidia dotdotdot
Surfadelic (Instrumental)

Alberto Dominguez's "Perfidia" has a different rhythm pattern, and with the rhythm guitar in front of the lead, it takes on an easier sound than I expect was intended by the band. Perhaps this is a bad left-right blend from stereo?

Condor Pasa dotdotdot
Surfadelic (Instrumental)

Agaiun the mix destroys what's probably a pretty cool cover of Daniel Alomias Robles' "El Condor Pasa." The arrangement is entirely unique for this song, and the surf guitar is begging to be heard, but the rhythm is overbearing.

Cuando el Indio Llora dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

On the faster side, with tinny drums and cruddy organ, yet fanciful and engaging. Sounding a bit rushed, or perhaps like a demo, "Cuando el Indio Llora" is nonetheless kinda catchy.

Carnavalito Boliviano dotdot
Surfadelic (Instrumental)

"Carnavalito Boliviano" is a playful light rock instro with a carnival organ sound. It's not particularly melodic.

Llorando en la Noche dotdotdot
Surfadelic (Instrumental)

"Crying At Night" has a very cool melody, and despite the relatively light treatment, it has significant charm and edge. The tremolo guitar shimmers while the drums, percussion, and bass rock. Very cool!

Empujando Furte dotdotdotdot
Surf Punk Rock (Instrumental)

Wow, this is a really cool thing. It's the Seeds' "Pushin' Too Hard" played with weird surf madness. Double picked, shortboard attack, and very cool keyboards right out of Jan Savage's backyard.

El Sonido del Silencio dotdot
Surfadelic (Instrumental)

"The Sound Of Silence" is a very soft and smooth track delivered in echoed guitar. This is way too easy rock for me.

Pipa de Paz dotdotdot
Surfadelic (Instrumental)

The Shadows' "Peace Pipe" is interesting, if only for the use of bongos and the quaint charm of innocence in this recording. The muted guitar parts are kinda cool.

Cuando el Indio Llora dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

On the faster side, with tinny drums and cruddy organ, yet fanciful and engaging. Sounding a bit rushed, or perhaps like a demo, "Cuando el Indio Llora" is nonetheless kinda catchy.

Secret Agent Man dotdot
Surfadelic (Instrumental)

If this isn't really The Ventures... ripped right outta their hands, or maybe even off their tapes. Damn close, if not exact, right down to the chorus.

Musica Para Las Flores dotdotdot
Lite Rock (Instrumental)

Echoed guitar a la the Classics IV with strings. "Musica Para Las Flores" is a light rock song that's kinda cool, yet not really memorable.

Only You dot
Surfadelic (Instrumental)

This is an instrumental treatment of The Platters' "Only You," with wah wah guitar and mall organ. Not very interesting at all.

Blanco es Blanco dotdotdot
Surfadelic (Instrumental)

This is kind of like an inversion of "Black Is Black" made through the filter of Travis Wammack. While it's very derivative, it's also very nicely done. Great drums and cool fuzz!

Apache dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Jerry Lordan's "Apache" is done based on the Jorgen Ingmann arrangement. It's a little garagier, but no less cool. Perhaps low on chemistry, but not credibility. Very nice!

Una Luz en el Alma dotdotdot
Easy Rock (Instrumental)

Dramatic drums open, but after that, only gentle tones and low energy are emoted. "Una Luz en el Alma" is very Shadows like, and the strings don't really add. There are some transitional guitar lines that are quite intense, but otherwise, it's a fairly tame track.

Hawaii 5-0 dotdot
Surfadelic (Instrumental)

The Ventures TV theme... literally! Lifted without apology.

La Chica que Conoci dotdotdotdot
Surfadelic (Instrumental)

Lush chords and a flowing melody line. "La Chica que Conoci" is a fine instrumental treatment of Steppenwolf's "A Girl I Knew." Part garage, part pop, and all fuzz. Mars Bonfire's writing was always very melodic.

Sellado Con un Beso dotdotdot
Surfadelic (Instrumental)

Brian Hyland's "Sealed With A Kiss" is done in last dance mode, with whirling organ and an easy sound. Not particularly engaging, but not dismissible either.

Gigante de Vidrio dotdotdot
Easy Rock (Instrumental)

Dirty fuzz and thumping bass. Some double picked lines that are light and delicate alternate between the fuzz verses. The contrast is interesting.

Debo Buscar un Mundo en Donde ser Feliz dotdot
Surfadelic (Instrumental)

Strings and an easy gate in a Paul McCartney sort of structure. relatively forgettable.

Llora Como Un Bebe dotdotdotdot
Pop-Psych (Instrumental)

With a bit of faux sitar guitar effects and a slightly swirly psychedelic sound, "Llora Como Un Bebe" is a compelling semi-soft instro with a durable riff and drama. It's 1968 after all!

Corazon De Bronce dotdotdotdot
Pop-Fuzz (Instrumental)

Experimenting with pop fuzz, Los Belkings create an interesting track with a simple and somewhat heavy guitar line. "Corazon De Bronce" almost lumbers like off the beaten path psych instros did back in '69.

Locomotion dot
Surfadelic (Instrumental)

Cheesy vocal chorus in sync with guitar... sounds like The Ventures to me.

Illusionate Chica dotdotdotdot
Post Surf (Instrumental)

With echoed guitar a la the Shadows and a surfable almost tango melody, "Illusionate Chica" is not far from the On The Move album sound of the Challengers. It's a very serviceable song with surfable credentials and a catchy melody that rides above an almost military beat.

La Bamba dotdot
Surfadelic (Instrumental)

Again, this is The Ventures track... has to be. Dont'cha hate those evil bastards at the labels that licensed out recordings under false names!

Play Boy dotdotdotdotdot
Easy Listening (Instrumental)

Easy and almost whining, with slithery rhythm guitar and strings. "Play Boy" is more pretty than it is memorable.

Quirofano dotdotdot
Surfadelic (Instrumental)

A heartbeat thumps, then a soul strut plays out. Part fuzz, part Ventures, and part cool.

Journey To The Stars dotdot
Surfadelic (Instrumental)

Uh... yeah. This is The Ventures' recording. Why-oh-why?

Condenado A Muerte dotdotdotdot
Spaghetti (Instrumental)

A touch of the spaghetti western mystic and melody sadness, bumped with a little fuzz and great drums. "Condenado A Muerte" is a very cool track that deserves a full surf treatment. The melody is compelling, and the backtrack on the heavy side.