Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: DiaMondo Beatdotdotdot
artworkWhat a cool compilation. Mid sixties Japanese instro bands were mostly modeled on the Ventures. Bands features are Takeshi Terauchi (Terry) and his Bluejeans, Hiroshi Tsutsumi and his All Star Wagon, Blue Ace. The Van-Dogs, and The Fingers. All of these tracks were originally released between 1964 and 1967. This is a slab of a view of surf we don't often hear in the US.
Picks: Wild Week-End, Kickstand, Red Lanterns, Blue Jean Blues, Diamond Head, Karen, Mariner No. 4, Slaughter on 10th Avenue, Mrs. Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter, Caravan, Dizzy Miss Lizzy, I Go To Pieces, Apache, Bombora, Tragic Wind, Cryin' In A Storm, Tomoshiba, Toroika, Galaxy, Out Of Limits, Surf Party, Point Panic, 96 Tears, Mas Que Nada, Hanky Panky, Into Each Sadness, Zigeunerweisen, Al Ni Mukatte

Track by Track Review

Wild Week-End dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Takeshi Terauchi's lead guitar is very Ventures-ish, while the second guitar is damped and reverbed. Some verses are led by the organ. This version of the Rockin' Rebels' hit is pretty tame, but mostly because of the recording techniques of the day (play quiet please, this is a lab, not an alley).

Kickstand dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a spirited performance of the Ventures track, with way-too-cool grodie glissandoes added. It rocks and rolls with that Ventures go-go sound, but more reverb. Extra suave.

Red Lanterns dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a really cool bit of Japanese traditional melody and rock combo sound. Quaint and playful, and lots of fun. The guitar is thin, but the gentility of the track and the sadness of the melody line all work towards a tasty track.

Blue Jean Blues dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Blue Jean Blues" is like the title implies, a rockin' bluesy jam. The tone is very Ventures. Not very melodic, but high spirited. It's nice enough, but doesn't grab me.

Diamond Head dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Ventures' classic surf monster is done in a relatively straight fashion, though the guitars and organ are doing slightly morphed things in some parts. It's a very nice cover, with quite a bit of character and flair.

Karen dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Terry and the Blue Jeans take the Surfaris vocal idea "Karen" and do an instrumental rocker. "Karen" phonetically shouted and a chorus add a pop edge to this track. It's quite cool.

Mariner No. 4 dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This cover of the Ventures' track is a cross between spacy, b>Ventures and surf. The mix of tones is endearing, and the rhythmic midsection is very cool. The damped pluckery is quite tasty. A solid track.

Slaughter on 10th Avenue dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a pretty adventurous interpretation of the show tune. It's based on the Ventures arrangement of course, but the individuality of the session is adequate to keep it from being just a cover. Very nice.

Mrs. Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This version of the Herman's Hermits B-side is just too cheesy to pass up. There's nothing great about it, except for it's 5-star cheese rating. Dinky guitar, mall organ, and a too-cute sound. Ya gotta love it!

Caravan dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is the Ventures arrangement. It's dry and spunky, whammified and infectious. The performance is quite good, and the spirits are high. Some of the guitar work is quite surfy and exotic.

Dizzy Miss Lizzy dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is the Larry Williams tune the Beatles hit with early on. The tone is ultra thin, and the organ derived from a mall near you. Cheesy.

I Go To Pieces dotdotdot
Light Rock (Instrumental)

Patsy Cline really didn't mean this to happen. This is really quite nice, with echoed vibrato guitar and a nice backtrack. The whistling organ is sorta haunted. It's more than MOR, but less than rock.

Apache dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The guitar is OK, but the organ whistling out a calliope of arrow attacks keeps it from going over the top. It's energetic enough, but more cute than cool. The muted guitar stuff and the rhythmic rhythm, and the carnival sound is just so strange on this melody. Still, it's pretty unique.

Bombora dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

It's the Atlantics' international hit "Bombora" that's covered here. The arrangement is less spitfire and more rhythmic. The organ gives it an ethereal quality. The guitar tone is quite surfy. Tasty.

Tragic Wind dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Tragic Winds" is the Chantays' tune. The drama and the glissandoes are retained, and the surf feel as well, with some reverb and plenty of twang. It's maybe more disjointed than the original. The organ gives it an odd feel, but overall this works really well.

Cryin' In A Storm dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The twang gives this version of "Cryin' In A Storm" a smooth feel, and the organ even works fairly well, with a more garage and less calliope tone. Tasty construction and solid dramatic drums.

Tomoshiba dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a very surfy version of a Ventures cover of a Russian traditional tune I can't quite place the title of. The damped reverb second guitar is pure surf. It's poppy and smooth, and very fluid. Vintage cool.

Toroika dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Another surfy version of a Ventures cover of a Russian traditional tune I can't quite recall - Argh!. Smooth and delicate, with a sense of drama and sadness. The damped lead lines in the middle are really nice.

Galaxy dotdot
Light Space Rock (Instrumental)

Double picking and organ, heavy drums, and chorus. Perhaps inspired by the Tornados or the Shadows. Lots of spirit, but just too poppy for me.

Out Of Limits dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is actually a pretty decent cover of the Marketts' hit. It's reverby and very small combo suave. The warbling organ is cool, and adds an intimate edge to the arrangement.

Surf Party dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is an interesting interpretation of the Astronauts film theme. It's more rhythmic due to a generally dry sound, and the organ adds a strange twist as well. The glissandoes are well played and the arrangement works very well.

Point Panic dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Opening with the beginning shout and surf from the Surfaris' version, this is a very aggressive instro for Japanese surf. Very fast and accurate picking and lots of energy, missing only the loudness and reverb of American surf. A fine cover!

96 Tears dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

What a cheesy instrumentalization of the ? and the Mysterions anthem. Pumping organ and Ventures guitar tones.

Mas Que Nada dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

A weird whistling warbling organ carries the lead, while a chunky backtrack lies beneath the surface. The guitar in the break is pretty cool. This is a good choice for some surf band to cover.

Hanky Panky dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Small combo sound, even thinner than the Tommy James and the Shondells original. The organ carries the vocal line.

Into Each Sadness dotdotdot
MOR Surf (Instrumental)

A haunted reverby guitar plays in islandic tones. The melody line is sad, but also optimistic. The organ is quite carnival in tine, but does not detract from the piece, though it does move it a notch away from surf and into MOR.

Zigeunerweisen dotdotdotdot
Greek Surf (Instrumental)

Cool double picked Russian or Greek guitar, delicately dribbling notes, moody bass. But wait, that's just the 55 second intro. After that, the guitar flies and the almost polka backtrack drag you grinning into the surf. Very cool!

Al Ni Mukatte dotdotdot
Greek Surf (Instrumental)

"Al Ni Mukatte" eerily fades in with a slow and sultry melody. The guitar is surf, the organ is churchy, and the arrangement effective. Pretty cool, though also pretty fluffy. Where's my balalaika?