Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Blazing Longboards [Soundtrack]dotdotdot
artworkMesa Bluemoon landed the soundtrack for this surf film, and asked the Mermen and the Aqua Velvets to submit tracks, which lead them to signing both of those bands. The rest of this CD is acoustic jazz and/or ethnic folk used to set the mood for various scenes. The Aqua Velvets tracks are from their first CD The Aqua Velvets, and the Mermen tracks are from Food For Other Fish. The CD is filled out with three vocals.
Picks: Bravado, Honeybomb, Hole Diggin', Spanish Blue, Tarantula, Be My Noir, Beyond The Dunes, Sweet Meanderings, Ida Y Vuelta, Calypso Facto, Ocean Beach, Swampabilly Hop, Bahia de Banderas

Track by Track Review

Bravado dotdotdotdot
Exotic Surf (Instrumental)

This song has been a staple of the Aqua Velvets live sets for quite some time. It starts with a dramatic power chord wham, and then flies into a fine melody that creates images of courageous and daring moves on a glassy wall. It uses Miles Corbin's slithery double picked guitar sounds, bits of spy themery, and plenty of cool sounds. High powered, highly polished, and ringingly crisp.

Honeybomb dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is surf... at least one of the futures of surf, mixed with psychedelia and jazz and whatever else fits. They have a huge sound. "Honeybomb" was recorded live at KFJC on my show, and I'm honored to see it here in this collection. They are a must-see band. Check out their CD's too.

Hole Diggin' dotdotdot
Jazz Surf (Instrumental)

Django goes to the outhouse with Chris Shahin, drives the Cow with Martyn Jones and Allen Whitman, and screams with Carlos Santana. Mostly a jam, but what pumped energy and drive. Very cool. From the "Dog Party" album.

Spanish Blue dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Aqua Velvets are another SF band on the move, with two CD's on Mesa Bluemoon / Atlantic and a new one on the way from BMG (RCA's parent). They are seasoned musicians. They focus on relaxed spaghetti western spy theme Spanish motif music destined for film scores. "Spanish Blue" is from their first album. They are pushing the envelope of what surf music is, adding new elements and experimenting with influences that shouldn't work but do. Great band. It's not often that Surf musicians are so accomplished that they relax on stage and completely captivate their audience with the shear beauty of their playing. I'm amazed at how they can capture the full attention of a whole room playing gentle melodic and perfect tunes. Highly recommended. Check out the CD's, and watch for their new album due shortly.

Tarantula dotdotdotdot
Jazz Surf (Instrumental)

What an interesting track. This highly rhythmic number has little bearing on surf, but it is both disjointedly melodic and edgie without volume or effects. Very good listening for those that enjoy the outskirts of the genre and aren't afraid to delve into the neighbors of surf.

Be My Noir dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a highly melodic and emotional song, with dramatic changes,and grand harmonics. It owns you when you listen.

Beyond The Dunes dotdotdot
Jazz Surf (Instrumental)

Delicately picked guitar and moody production combine to create an air of mystical undeveloped places. Very pretty.

Sweet Meanderings dotdotdot
Jazz Surf (Instrumental)

Slighty exotic percussion, long floating bass notes, and a flute like violin lead. Moody and romantic, and soothing.

Ida Y Vuelta dotdotdot
Jazz Surf (Instrumental)

Latin percussion, acoustic guitar, and floating excursionary progressions. Very pretty.

Calypso Facto dotdot
Jazz Surf (Instrumental)

Great title, but the song doesn't live up to the name. Not very calypso, and not much more than noodling in an exotic theme.

Ocean Beach dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This early version of the Mermen's modern surf classic, by it's very juxtaposition against the most traditional tracks here, demonstrates the surf basis for the band's originals. It is not a huge step from here to their more prog oriented tracks, nor is it distant from their profoundly powerful covers of trad tunes either. Melodic, striking, and infectious. This tune has been covered by other surf bands, testifying to its power.

Swampabilly Hop dotdotdotdot
Swamp Surf (Instrumental)

Ah, yes. This is one mother of a merger between swampabilly and surfadelic fantasy. This version is less piercing than their live version, especially with the organ added, but it has the charm and the mustard greens to make it all work. Chunky, back porch bayou fun.

Bahia de Banderas dotdot
Swamp Surf (Instrumental)

Smooth and sensual, moody and airy. Pretty, but not really memorable.