Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA Collection: 60s Jungle Garage Teen Beat
|There is a broad cross section of jungle exotica of the Las Vegas variety here. Some is not well restored, others are OK, and none are from original masters - likely a bootleg.|
Picks: The Cherokees - Uprising, The Dantes - Dragon Walk, Jan Davis - Watusi Zombie, Snow Surfin' Matador, Diablito - The Jungle, The Emanons - Calypso Bop, The Fabulous Cyclones - Cyclone, Gabriel and his Angels - Hey!, The Individuals - La Bamba, Kookie Joe - Kookie Limbo, Mad Man Jones - Snake Charmer, The Merits - Arabian Jerk, The Nite Cats - Jungle, Pasquale and the Lunar-Tiks - Moon Madness, The Pastels - Jungle Run, The Puddle Jumpers - Snake Charmer, Red Rogers - Congo Bounce, Sammy and the Five Notes - The Lion Is Awake, The Saxons - Camel Walk, Les Scouts - Mr. Custer Stomp, The Tides - Midnight Limbo
Track by Track Review
Jungle Exotica (Instrumental)
Fluted whistling desert riffs, cool middle eastern scenery, but then this dreadful Korla Pandit organ (you know the kind, you've heard it in the mall piano and organ stores, a former shoe salesman in a tie sequencing notes with faux drama and too much Leslie). The line that comes to mind is from Jagger-Richard, "Give me shelter."
Pure runway grind, with nasty sax and a walking bass line, plus bumping drums and jammin' guitar.
Vegas Tribal Runway (Instrumental)
This tom tom driven thing is mighty infectious. It sports great drums, and cool vibrato guitar behind a sensibly restrained sax. The interspersed cries of "umgawa" and other nonsensical "African" words place this squarely in the pre political correctness era. It's a fine instro with a mighty friendly hook.
Daktari Ooh Ah
Jungle beat and goofy utterances. No melody, just a beat, hand claps, and distant horns.
Late fifties war party whoopin' rock, full of edge and hand claps, and mean guitar. Lots of stereotypical Indian elements here, but it rocks mightily!
Polynesian Rock (Vocal)
Fifties trash with Polynesian vocals. Entirely silly. You can see the tourists at the bar on Waikiki ordering another mai tai while the locals play their variation on rock 'n' roll. Totally bonkers.
"Hurricane" is not melodic. It is a relentless exotic cadence with drums and bongos, with organ chops and jamming. Just fuller.
Jungle Fever Surf (Instrumental)
Echoed like Dick Dale's "Jungle Fever," "Dragon Walk" has the same kinda charm and tone. It's a fine instro on the edge of surf.
This is just churning funky riffola with a Leslie organ and honky sax.
Mean jungle guitar and mighty percussion, noisy and gutsy. Tribal from the get-go, with no shortage of spirit. "Watusi Zombie" is just a riff, but is quite infectious. Really trashy and cool too! Dig the drums and shouts!
Near Surf (Instrumental)
This is an odd combination of Spanish influences, from castanets to a wailing female voice, to guitar licks and a great beat. Nearly surf at times, almost gimmicky to a fault, yet gutsy and very credible. It's a very strange song with an attractive arrangement on the most unusual list. Beduin wailing, castanets, Annie Haslam Arabic "ya ya" chorus, and some pretty cool guitar riffs. No melody, no surf, but some pretty catchy arranging.
This is a rather disturbed use of Edvard Grieg's "Hall Of The Mountain King." Raucous drums and bongos, almost surfy and fuzzy guitar and pumping bass. Lots of dumb laughing narrative. Gimmicky, but very high spirited.
Caribbean Flavored (Instrumental)
This is a decent guitar instro, with echoed lead lines, and a fun riff. The sax is a raw and sometimes too loud, but the track is fun and listenable.
Jungle Exotica (Instrumental)
Bass thunder, sax growls, cool guitar chords, and a damn nifty melody-riff. Exotic, surf aimed, evil tropical sway, and no room for the faint-hearted. This should be a part of some enterprising surf band's set.
King Of Hawaii Surf (Instrumental)
High spirited, almost King of Hawaii like in melody structure and pacing. This is a spectacular track. It is infectious, pristine, melodic, and very fun. It has a kinder-gentler Cruel Sea break, a divine friendliness, and a full round sound. The whammy dips are cool, and any would proud to have created this. Absolutely great!
Mall Cheese (Instrumental)
Just grunts, percussion, and a bass line, with some console organ like you never heard in the mall. Sheesh.
Mystical Surf (Instrumental)
Slow and sinewy, reminding me of Jade Warrior's "Snow Queen," with it's metered artful melody line and oriental flair. It has a quiet drama, and a sense of well being slightly overshadowed by a passing sadness. This is simply stunning.
Pool Party Limbo (Instrumental)
Like "Mary Ann with the shaky hand," dippin' under the limbo bar. Party stuff for the back yard pool gathering.
Euro Surf (Instrumental)
Wow, this is nice. It's sad, but optimistic, and like a post mortem on Slaughter On Tenth Avenue. Similar structure, hints of the melody, but not at all derivative. The string bending is so smooth, it runs off the guitar like water off of a duck's back. Fine performance.
Euro Country Surf (Instrumental)
Precisely delicate, countrified classical, twangoed western adventures in the saddle. It has fifties samba break that is too fun, and makes you move your body. Very nice track.
"Harem Orgy" is all about the drums. They are wild and pounding, with vocal calls and choruses simulating the middle east. While fiery and tribal, it's also not particularly catchy.
This Thom Starr & the Galaxies tune is most familiar from the Challengers sessions. It's faster here, and more infectious, with an amply modernized Paul Johnson swirly guitar sound. Solid and fun.
A Mickey Baker tune, slurried out with a grode fifties instro sound. Progression driven, and frat energized.
Jungle Pre Surf (Instrumental)
Riff driven, vibrato throbbed guitar, surf bits, and tribal ambiance. Pretty cool. It's another Los Straitjackets possibility. Vibrato and bird calls, with tribal percussion. Great stuff!
Fifties Riff Rock (Instrumental)
"Firewater" is a fifties riff rock progression, with no melody and muddy sound. It does have plenty of spunk, but it's so repetitious that the utterances of Firewater don't really help. Not particularly cool.
Tuxedo Surf (Instrumental)
This is a mighty pretty tune, with haunted keys, and a formal air, like a sophisticated upper crust afternooner on the South lawn, a minuet for the great outdoors. Very visual, and very pretty.
A fast and pummellicious instro that reminds me of 409 melodically. The guitars are lock-synced with the drums in a cool rolling cadence, with a restrained but effective energy. Really nice arrangement. Tribal toms, chunky delivery, and too much fun. The feet, they just keep a-moving.
Sammy and the Five Notes recorded this really neat jungle number. The title is an obvious reference to the Tokens' hit "The Lion Sleeps Tonight." It's a tune that should be surfed up by some enterprising band. This arrangement is tom-tom laden, full of howls and animal noises galore. It's the garage exotica arrangement that makes this so cool! The sounds are beautiful, glimmering with great tremolo, and an understated delivery. The fluid melody line is more than friendly, with lush romantic flows, and a lilting innocence that drops your guard and makes instant friends. Very satisfying.
This is the legendary original track covered by Teisco Del Rey and others. Juiced up with low-key utterances of "ca-mel meat-o" and "voi-tro pek," this is one tribal seductive monster. The tribal toms undulate relentlessly, the sax sleazes with strip joint runway jive, and the rhythms are downright pelvic. It's too simple, but so effective! This is a necessary recording for any collection.
Big stompin drums, cool bass lines, and a serviceable guitar progression. The guitar sound borders on surf, as does the progression. Over the top are too-funny Indian war cries.
Ya Ha Bi Bi
Echoed bongos to a conga line kinda beat, with organ playing distant runs and claps filling the void. Not much to take in.
Thrashing chords and piano with stomping bass and drums. Not a melody in sight, but a rockin' progression in thrashy b-side style. It does have a readily identifiable sound, but it's very repetitious and jammy.
This original is from the pen of guest guitarist Mike Sobieski. The style is quite Euro-instro, like a surfified Shadows. A melodic, twangy, and very enjoyable mid tempo number.
Very much like the backtrack to "Stranded In The Jungle," with some jungle animal calls. Kinda saucy and fun.
Don't Wanna Leave The Congo
Vegas Tribal (Instrumental)
This dreadful record has little going for it. It's a blend of bird calls, R&B piano jive, Tarzan cries, and moronic jungle silliness. Thumpy and spirited, but otherwise, just trash rock.