Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Jungle Exotica Volume 2dotdotdot
artworkWhat a collection of Vegas weirdness and tribal bonkery. Many fine tracks and some "what the Hell" tracks. Twenty seven in all, making for more cheap safari thrills than you can shake a money maker at. Even some surf-based madness. I think the keyword is Osibisa - before they were even the slightest longing from the loins, there were a plethora of lesser acts churning out more primitive garage versions of the genre created by the likes of Les Baxter and Martin Denny.
Picks: Jungle, Dactari Ooh Ah, Taylor's Rock, Midnight Limbo, Mr. Custer Stomp, Congo Bounce, Hurricane, Camel Walk, Moon Madness, Jungle Call, Safari, The Lion Is Awake, Hey!, Yes Master, Ha Ha Bi Bi, Snake Charmer, La Bamba, Arabian Jerk, Snake Charmer, Night In Arabia, Cyclone, Ambush

Track by Track Review

Jungle dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

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.

Dactari Ooh Ah dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is an original tune, swimming in Spanish whammy, like Pintor with lake wake rippling at it's toes. Melodic, pretty, and very enjoyable. The imagery is quite strong, Castilian pictures of bulls and black lace, and sangria all around. Really nice, with ringing tones from the guitars.

Taylor's Rock dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Another original for the Nitros, this is fast and furious, sorta Mission Impossible-ish, with swank reverb. Chunky, thumpy, and shredding double picked leads in the break a la the Dickster.

Midnight Limbo dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

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.

Mr. Custer Stomp dotdotdot
Jungle Exotica (Instrumental)

This basic grodie track employs an overdriven guitar, playing a decent melody that could be surfed easily, over a slow bass line and whirling organ. The constant "Indian" chants give it an air of unforgiving gimmickry. It opens with a cavalry shout.

Congo Bounce dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A fast and pummellicious instro that reminds me of 409 melodically. The guitars are lock-syncked 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.

Hurricane dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A Billy Childish tune, churned out with ample grodie guitar tone. Mostly a progression, but interesting enough to hold your attention. Ample energy.

Camel Walk dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Snow Men (a.k.a. The Sunrays) cut this as a single on Challenge a millennia ago. The Nitros have cleaned it up, and given it more power. I've always liked the original, and it's nice to see that it can be really pumped out. fast, precise, tribal, and very infectious.

Moon Madness dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A Mickey Baker tune, slurried out with a grodie fifties instro sound. Progression driven, and frat energized.

Jungle Call dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

When the Lively Ones did this, they titled it Hotdoggen. They made it ring and roll. The Nitros keep the ringing tone, but add chunk. Clean, and very reverent.

Safari dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This country classic has been garaged into submission, twanged into twilight. Wish I could place the name of it, but it escapes me now. Anyway, it's a fun party kinda hoedown.

The Lion Is Awake dotdotdotdot
Euro Surf (Instrumental)

This is a very Shadows-like tune, glimmering with great tremolo, and an understated delivery. The sounds are beautiful. 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.

Hey! dotdotdotdotdot
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!

Yes Master dotdotdotdot
Euro Surf (Instrumental)

As one would expect from the title, it's in the grand tradition of the early Shadows, both in tone and melody style. It lies between Slaughter On Tenth Avenue sowed down, and Adventures In Paradise. Beautiful, and swimmingly liquid.

Ha Ha Bi Bi dotdotdotdotdot
Cowboy Surf (Instrumental)

Cowboys ridin' with chaps flapping and scarves flying in the breeze. This is just so wonderful. Is this in the Mermen's set these days? I think so. Rhythmic, infectious, brilliantly structured, playful, and artful. , Instantly creates a bond with your inner cowboy (or cowgirl). Yee-ha!

Snake Charmer dotdotdotdot
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.

La Bamba dotdotdotdot
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.

Arabian Jerk dotdotdotdot
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.

Snake Charmer dotdotdotdot
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.

Night In Arabia dotdotdot
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."

Cyclone dotdotdotdot
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.

Ambush dotdotdot
Jungle Exotica (Instrumental)

Horses whinny, and the thin guitar cries out for the waves, but finds only the cliffs overlooking the breakwater. "Indians" chant while dogs howl... weirdly odd.