Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Instro Mania Volume 2dotdotdotdot
artworkGee Dee Records of Germany has issued the second volume in this series. More cool pix and liner notes. I think this is a better package, more rock oriented, and more solid tracks. A good bet for rock instros, though not much surf.
Picks: Mark Evans - Rolling Like A Stone, Jeff Jackson and his Explorers - Black River Jump, Ave Maria Mexicana, The Electronics - On A Persian Market, Hay Quien Dice de Jean, The Starfighters - Starfighters Theme, The Blue Rhythms - The Third Man Theme, La Danza De Zorba, Spanish Gypsy Dance, The Scotch, La Mamma, The Moon Riders - Moon Beat, Moon Fever, Il Mondo, Tea, The Rascals - Walk, Don't Run, Ein Schiff Wird Kommen

Track by Track Review


Mark Evans - Rolling Like A Stone dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a quirky sorta spy-at-the-lounge tune, fitting for a mermaid or a shoe salesman in Des Moines. Playful, strait from the yellow fin heart. Inebriating.

Jeff Jackson and his Explorers - Black River Jump dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Link Wray's most covered composition. This is a fairly strait cover of the album version, with big guitar ringing edge, and a slightly fast performance. Cut's concrete without a blade. Boss intense performance, thick twin guitar attack, and great.

Jeff Jackson and his Explorers - Ave Maria Mexicana dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dick Dale's first surf-named tune, churned out with all the chunk and pump required. The grindy damped guitars give this a unique sound, and keep it from being just another cover. Thick, layered surf grind.

Jeff Jackson and his Explorers - Melancholie dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Like the Shadows drifting moody sounds, well done but not a standout.

The Electronics - On A Persian Market dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a cool track, double picked over a screaming femme vox, and quite dramatic. Not as melodic as I'd like, but intensely delivered. Slightly middle eastern, largely scary. The contrast between the Bedouin ethic and the edgy guitar is interesting.

The Electronics - Hay Quien Dice de Jean dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Like a toned down "99th Wave" (Surf Trio), this seems to fly about, grinding out a nightmare ride at Sewer Peak. It's not quite as melodic or powerful as "99th Wave," but it sure is swell. High energy knife edge wave ride sounds.

The Starfighters - Starfighters Theme dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Named for Dick Dale's offspring lad Jimmy, this is a very tribal surf beat chunkmeister. Double picked, aggressive, slightly melodic, and backed by whoops and hollers from the bandmates. Solid track.

The Blue Rhythms - The Third Man Theme dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Opening with the sort of postmodern drama that The Mallards' "Tsunami" used, this is a fine composite of twang, mad cow disease, and a Dick Dale roller coaster ride. It's dissonant, edgy, and shredzzzz with mean power.

The Electronics - La Danza De Zorba dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The almost silly scream opener quickly yields to a nearly discordant performance, reminiscent of the Not Moving version from the Strange Doll ep. A similarly uncomfortable soundscape, with demented tension. Who can overcome Ron Wilson's magnificent drums?

The Blue Rhythms - Spanish Gypsy Dance dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Flamenco twango, "Malegueña" flourishes, and enticing sound. This is one fine track, entertaining and engaging. More dramatic than the Trashmen, and much more delicate. Hot stuff.

The Blue Rhythms - The Scotch dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a fine slow evil Henry Mancini power trip, dark, moody, and relentlessly cool. It lumbers along, like an alien slime flowing through the underworld on it's way to your house. In a word, it's BIG!

Jeff Jackson and his Explorers - La Mamma dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Chimes of time running out, imminent danger, thick brooding scowls, and an industrial swamp. It's all about tone and sound, not melody. It's also quite strong. Mid-tune, there's a narrative about how awful it is to run out of tonic. Pretty funny.

The Moon Riders - Moon Beat dotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

The Moon Riders were from Hessen, Germany. Their name comes from guitarist Christian Monstein's name, Moonstone in English. This is plucky cool. Using some mighty high notes and reverb, maybe even some behind the bridge playing. The damped super-high notes a la the Citations' "Moon Race" are splendid. It's a silly little thing, with a magnetic playful melody and delightful arrangement.

The Moon Riders - Moon Fever dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Sumptuous atmospheric reverb, a semi industrial guitar tone, a bovine feel, and a long droning groan. There are parts that hint of the Chocolate Watchband's "One Step Beyond." Pretty nifty.

The Electronics - Il Mondo dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Employing an overused bass-rhythm guitar riff, a bunch of surf whammy, and a jam structure, this is a mean track, in the spirit of the Novas' "The Crusher," but slower and more menacing. The nasty sax break is classic rock growl.

The Blue Rhythms - Tea dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Double picked guitar, thundering drums, moody minor key riffs, and a weird swirling organ behind a sorta middle eastern melody. The contrast between the mall organ and the surf growl is quite odd, like Bruno & the Gladiators to the n'th degree.

The Moon Riders - Moon Dance dotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

Cheesy organ and super fuzz bass, and who knows what else. It seems to be a parody of club R&B instro filler, a la the Bill Black Combo.

The Moon Riders - Moon Riders dotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

This instro el cheapo is just a 1965 style club jam, with future Jefferson Airplane drummer Joey Covington letting loose with some pretty lame drums and a bunch of "ahh" and "ooh" utterances. lame is too kind. He'll do better next time, 'cuz he couldn't do much worse.

The Rascals - Walk, Don't Run dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This Mummies cover has been thoroughly taken over by the ladies of the cannery. Their boss interpretation removes all the gauze, exposing the reverb wrapped within all these millennia. melodic, slightly Polynesian, and a bit shaped by "Stephanie Miller Has Sand Crabs." Spiffy.

The Rascals - Ein Schiff Wird Kommen dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Surfaris follow up single to "Wipe Out," with loving excuses to Ron Wilson, and a nod to Jim Fuller. A bunch of spirit, a mess of tom toms, and some really fine warm surf twang. Nearly all the notes are there, and riot girl screams replace those that were accidentally left at home. 'Taint no better interpretation than one that says "this is MINE," as we hear here. Scrumptious.