Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Wild Surfdotdotdotdot
artworkDel-Fi just spewed of it's latest batch of comps. This one's really cool, because it contains some previously RARE stuff on CD from master tapes for the first time. The liner notes are quite good, penned in part with flair & historical accuracy by Phantom Surfer Johnny Bartlett.
Picks: Surf Rider, Wipe Out, Misirlou, Surf Beat, Exodus, Surfin' At Mazatlan, Bullwinkle Part II, Body Surfin', Church Key, Moment Of Truth, Latin'ia, Latin Soul, Big Surf, Exotic, The Pipe, Blue Surf, Impact, Paradise Cove, Ghost Hop, Bombora, Surfari, Pintor, Rhythm Surfer, Church Key

Track by Track Review


Surf Rider dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is what happens when a real surfband covers a Nokie Edwards (Ventures) tune that had no relation to surf as written. In fact, it started life as a Potato concept song called "Spudnik." This is the grand and beautiful song that runs under the ending credits of Pulp Fiction. This is the full length version, not the single edit.

Wipe Out dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This required repertoire number has been covered and covered, and then covered some more. No one does it like Ron Wilson. Still, this is a serviceable rendition.

Misirlou dotdotdotdot
Spy Surf (Instrumental)

No match for the Dick Dale version, but a damn fine rendition anyway. This has something magnetic about it, even though it is in some ways light weight.

Surf Beat dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A less gutty sound than the Dick Dale original, but a cool track anyway.

Exodus dotdotdotdot
Soundtrack Tango Surf (Instrumental)

A Tango backtrack, major whammy stingers in the intro and outro, and the infectiousness of a familiar hit melody reworked into a fiery and piercing track!

Surfin' At Mazatlan dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Surfin' At Mazatlan" is one of their faster more upbeat tracks. It's Spanish influences are obvious, though somewhat mechanical. Bitchin' vintage mean surf.

Bullwinkle Part II dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This unusual track was featured prominently in the cult film Pulp Fiction, which thrust this otherwise little know band into the frontal lobes of the American conscience. The track is oddly structured, and very cool. I like the rawness of the original better, but the sense of ensemble here leaves this to be the over all fave.

Body Surfin' dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Minimal two chord double picked mean guitar surf grind. Edge and energetic. Not melodic, but powerful none the less.

Church Key dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dave produced a unique arrangement of a song that was recorded by a bazillion instro bands, making it his own. I like it better than the original Revels version because of Dave's great double picking throughout matched exactly by his marvelous drummer. One of the better covers of the Revel's classic, and certainly the most surfy under it's original name.

Moment Of Truth dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dave's interpretation of the Original Surfaris masterpiece "Moment Of Truth" is nothing short of essential listening. What Dave does with it transforms it from a stomp on demand surf obscuro to a melodic rolling almost entirely new song. The melody has been embellished, and the whole sense of rhythm has been replaced with something so infectious that it is irresistible. The use of tenor sax gives it a near-jazz element that adds to the mystery. This remains among my all-time favorite surf tracks.

Latin'ia dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Easily one of the most beautiful Latin surf instros ever recorded. Tommy Nunes' writing and guitar wizardry were unsurpassed. I'd sure like to hear what he's doing now. This song shimmers. It's been on my top ten surf instro list for 33 years.

Latin Soul dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Easily the best version of this song, and by far the most infectious Latin rhythm rave of the original surf period. Totally infectious, and very powerful. Tommy Nunes' guitar wizardry is unsurpassed, as always.

Big Surf dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Great tracks come in many flavors. Here, the Sentinals create an amazingly interesting tune from a few sparse notes and chords, and the imagery of big stormy threatening waves in unmistakable. What a killer track.

Exotic dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is easily one of the hottest surf instro tracks that doesn't rely totally on double picking, not that there isn't a major slab of it, but the bridges are chorded dramatic power chords before there was such a thing. Completely different than the original Mariachi arrangement, with the horns replaced by the guitar in the lead role. This is among my all time faves. Super powerful, hot playing, fast paced, and wonderful! Tommy Nuñes' work here is beyond reproach.

The Pipe dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

In many ways, this is a sequel to their "Exotic," with the intense double picking and almost cha cha backtrack. It is a little less melodic, for sure, but it is really fiery and powerful.

Blue Surf dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Slow (very slow), melodic, moody and enjoyable. Not terribly remarkable, but worth having in your library. It is in many ways very similar to the Surfaris song of the same name from a year later.

Impact dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Cool tom-tom action, low down sax, and a simple progression on the guitar - sounds like an R&B number with reverb. Quite alluring.

Paradise Cove dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Surf Men's rendering of "Paradise Cove" was the second recording for them. As the Expressos, they had recorded it as Wandering with Aki Aleong producing. They had renamed it "Extasy," but changed it to "Paradise Cove" to relate to the rising surf phenomenon. It's more basic than the familiar Lively Ones version, and truly primal and significant in it's seminal creation of the Polynesian rhythm cool lagoon variety of Surf. This is a must-have track for any collector.

Ghost Hop dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Ghost Hop" sports a great melody riff played on low-E surf guitar, with classic piano tinkling and great drums. The nasty sax in the break is a fine offset. Powerful and infectious.

Bombora dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Original Surfaris' "Bombora" is one of the great surf pounders, with it's heavy tom tom action and low-E lead growling away. A great and essential track.

Surfari dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Original Surfaris' "Surfari" is a really cool high energy number that has been only narrowly circulated and covered even more rarely. It has a bunch of energy, great low-E double picked leads and a solid helping of hooks. Great track

Pintor dotdotdotdot
Spanish Surf (Instrumental)

The Pharos are a total mystery. No one seems to know who they were. A few quirky tracks exist, "Pintor" among them. It's a rare, pleasant listening, Latin surf track. It has a certain quaintness, an infectious melody, and well placed whammies. Their other tracks are on various Del-Fi compilations and elsewhere.

Rhythm Surfer dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Another pleasant listening excursion into the obscure and not particularly great. It just doesn't stand up to the caliber of "Pintor." the piano carries the lead while the rhythm guitar plays a damped by unreverbed line. Mostly a jam.

Church Key dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is like a lo-fi track of the Centurions doing the Revels' "Church Key." It's nasty and primitive, over reverbed and very low-E.