Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Surfin Knots Vol 1dotdotdotdot
artworkVolume one of a 5 disc set from Sandgropers Surfspot, available as a free download. I have to wonder if any of these bands agreed to this. A solid cross-section of material.
Picks: The Breeze and I, Malaguena, The Headhunter, Eyes Of The Sea, Spy Lounge, Krakatoa, Exotica Fever, Eel, Kashmir Sweater, Caravan, Bamboo Control In The Quiet Village, Moon Over Catalina, El Conquistador, Last Ride, Adelante Muertos, Margaya

Track by Track Review


The Breeze and I dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Most often done in a slow and lush arrangement, the Bitch Boys carry on instead with what Jim Messina and the Jesters did with it. Very fast, high powered, and brutally surf. A splendid and high spirited version that is nonetheless very pretty.

Malaguena dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Very Spanish, heavy weight power, and twanged on big whammy chords. Boris Mohoric's trumpet adds much to this performance of Ernesto Lecuona's "Malaguena." The arrangement is based on the Trashmen's monster, but is also significantly different. Very powerful and oh-so satisfying!

The Headhunter dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This mid tempo track throbs with intense vibrato and dangerous dissonance. Purely ominous and well defined, "The Headhunter" is out to get you. Your days are numbered now!

Eyes Of The Sea dotdotdot
Post Metal Surf (Instrumental)

With a nod to some of the reverb free sixties studio surf recordings, the rhythm track here clicks and chops beneath an eighties guitar lead. The contrast is effective and interesting, despite its distance from the genre.

Spy Lounge dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A big of a loungy-spy melody, maybe inspired by Henry Mancini, and some beautiful shallow whammy on the chords. While understated, this is actually quite powerful, with a subtle edge and haunting attraction.

Krakatoa dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Exotic birds and eerie keys over a tribal urban beat moodily create an image of tropical rains in the hood. It's quite an interesting contrast.

Exotica Fever dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This Mexican flavored fantasy plays with laughter the way "Pipeline" plays with the motion of the waves. It is a fast paced, delightfully infectious track with solid drive and magnetic tone.

Eel dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a minimalist take of "Eel," a song that the Berzerkers have been playing since just after morphing from Da Monz. This is a KFJC session.

Kashmir Sweater dotdotdotdot
Illusional Surf (Instrumental)

Ringing chords, haunting sounds, intense sensitivity, and extreme endearment. This is a hard track to describe, except to say that it is magnetic and illusional.

Caravan dotdotdotdot
Tribal Country Surf (Instrumental)

With reverence to Duke Ellington's "Caravan" amid country and the tropics, Ape make this venerable classic their own with a fresh arrangement full of vitality and catchy rhythms. Excellent!

Bamboo Control In The Quiet Village dotdot
Lounge (Instrumental)

This seems to me to be a really pretentious exotica imitation. It's slow and plodding and hippy like. The melody and mood could be interesting in a much faster setting. It moves so slowly here, it just seems to be very intentional and not at all fluid.

Moon Over Catalina dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A lot of "Blue Moon" comes to mind when I listen to this track. Not that it is a clone or anything, just that it has a certain feeling and a couple of hints that bring it to mind. Nice, vibrato backdrop.

El Conquistador dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"El Conquistador" is a mid tempo number with a real sense of the romanticized Spanish adventure in the Americas. It's a stunning piece of music, fit for a film score. Warm, somewhat sad, exotic, fluid, and great listening.

Last Ride dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Powerful tom toms drive this excellent track. Melody plus tribal drums and fluid bass equals a powerful and durable surf track. The Supertones' "Last Ride" is wonderfully infectious in a cool vein. Splash and a great beat. The added loungy lap steel gives this an amazing liquid island coolness!

Adelante Muertos dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Adelante Muertos" is a moody number with a beat that rises from a riff rocker with reverb to more than that despite it's repetitious nature. The muted verses is the coolest one. The rising energy and splashability keep it rolling.

Margaya dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Fender IV's ultra intense "Mar Gaya" retains the relentless chords, sports distant reverb lead guitar, and a dark, almost syrupy reverb. Eerie and off the beaten path.