Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: The World Of Hawaiidotdot
artworkThis is a very odd relatively budget 2-CD set. On the surface, it looks like a Hawaiian pop excursion, but it's more than that. Included are some surf instrumentals. That would be a great idea if they were island surf instros, like The Impacts' "Sea Horse," but virtually all of which are either of the surf-n-soul or Spanish variety, while many others are from exotica or lounge acts. The production is equally odd. The concept is actually very good, with songs cross-fading through the sounds of break water, which creates a genuine sense of program flow. Execution is again the oddity. Instead of using negative cue points that would leave the individual tracks intact, the "mix" was presumably recorded as one long track, and then segmented, resulting in individual tracks that start hard mid wave sound, meaning that the songs are not separable from the surf. A casual listen won't be a problem, but listening to a particular track is disappointing. So, as long as you are prepared for that, it's a great CD for a theme party. There are also plenty of spelling errors, artist credit errors, etc. All of the surf tracks have the Surf Crazy comp on GNP in common, and my guess is if you know the other material well, they are probably also from one or two comps, probably also on GNP. All around, a sloppy and amateur release.

I'm not reviewing all the non surf related stuff here, but the tracklist is long... here it is:

Arthur Lyman - "Baubles Bangles And Beads"
Billy Strange - "Hava Tequila"
Duke Kamoku - "Harbour Lights"
Sentinals - "Latin'ia"
Duke Kamoku - "Song Of The Islands"
Soul Kings - "Swingin Piper Soul"
Arthur Lyman - "Similau"
Duke Kamoku - "On The Beach At Waikiki"
Ventures - "The Lonely Surfer"
Arthur Lyman - "Song Of India"
Duke Kamoku - "Moon Of Manakoora"
Mel Peterson - "E Naughty Mai Nei"
Dick Dale and The Del-tones - "The Victor"
Jim Waller and The Deltas - "Intoxica"
Ventures - "Ventures Medley"
Lively Ones (listed as The Ventures) - "Surf Rider"
Arthur Lyman - "Cast Your Fate To The Wind"
B. Kaai - "Keep Your Eyes On Your Hands"
Trio - "Minoi Minoi E"
Arthur Lyman - "Poinciana"
Sentinals - "Tor-Chula"
Arthur Lyman - "Now Is The Hour"
Kalani Bright - "My Little Grass Shack In Kealakekua, Hawaii"
Duke Kamoku - "Sweet Lelani"
Arthur Lyman - "Off Shore"
Arthur Lyman - "Pearly Shells - Pupa O Ewa"
Duke Kamoku - "Lovely Hula Girl"
Tavares - "Maui Girl"
Duke Kamoku - "The Hills Of Honolulu"
Duke Kamoku - "Hawaii Nei"
Duke Kamoku - "Blue Hawaii"
Arthur Lyman - "Pu Pu Hino Hino"
Arthur Lyman - "Shangri-La"
Arthur Lyman - "Te Manu Pukarua"
Duke Kamoku - "Pagan Love Song"
Trio - "Hui Mawaho O Ka Waa - The Surfers Song"
Arthur Lyman - "Stranger In Paradise"
Duke Kamoku - "Untitled"
Arthur Lyman - "Waltz Latino"
Rhythm Kings - "Blue Soul"
Arthur Lyman - "Song Of Delilah"
Arthur Lyman - "Vini Vini"
Arthur Lyman - "Aloha Oe"
Trio - "He Ono La"
Andy Cummings - "Hapa Heole Hula Girl"
Billy Strange - "Walk, Don't Run '64"
Jim Waller And The Deltas - "Soul Beat Pt. II"
The Breakers - "Surf Bird"
The Surfaris - "Storm Surf"
Dave Myers Effect - "Speed International"
Brown Junior - "Surfin' And Swingin'"
Picks: Dick Dale and his Del-tones - The Victor, The Lively Ones - Surf Rider, The Rhythm Kings - Swingin' Piper Soul, Blue Soul, The Sentinals - Latin'ia, Tor-Chula, The Surfaris - Storm Surf, Jim Waller and the Deltas - Intoxica, Soul Beat Pt. II

Track by Track Review


The Breakers - Surf Bird dot
Surf (Vocal)

Ah yes - scary as they come, the Breakers do a doo-wop Hollywood syrup surf song for the teeny boppers. Oh boy! The backing band here is Jim Waller and the Deltas.

Les Brown Jr. - Surfin' And Swingin' dot
Big Band (Instrumental)

No amount of name recognition will change an average Big Band track is not a surf track. The absurd addition of studio fuzz guitar just mocks the thing. Some fuzz, ambiently captured drums, and horns... Big band goes to the beach, but doesn't get tan. If not for the fuzz, "Surfin' and Swingin'" would simply suck.

Dick Dale and his Del-tones - The Victor dotdotdotdot
Not (Instrumental)

Not the great Capital session, but from the GNP sessions in '75. It's a fine version, but suffers from the same weakness they all had, little energy in the mix, but a good performance. The Capital session is a lot stronger. This track ranks as one of the great Middle Eastern surf epics. It sports a minimal melody, but has an intensity all it's own, which lead the Mermen to include it in their infamous "Middle Eastern medley." Power, Intensity, Grace... what more do you want? This version is both better and lesser, depending on what you are looking for. More chunk and clarity, less energy and panache.

The Lively Ones - Surf Rider dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is what happens when a real surf band 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." It is the short fade-out length version, and in mono.

This is listed as by The Ventures.

The Dave Myers Effect - Speed International dotdot
Organ Biker Fuzz (Instrumental)

Hot rod sounds, organ leads, it's all too Hollywood wanna be Jimmy Smith but can only muster Lawrence Welk. I'm a major Dave Myers fan. His Surftones work was killer. His work afterwards in Dave Myers & his Disciples was grand garage punk. So, when I heard that these tracks were finally surfacing, I was stoked. Upon hearing them, well, suffice it to say I'm bummed!

The Rhythm Kings - Swingin' Piper Soul dotdotdotdot
Soul Jazz (Instrumental)

"Swingin' Piper Soul" is a catchy poppy jazzy number that the Rhythm Kings issued on the Original Surfin' Hits album. Live, it's much less fluffy, with a very cool flute lead and saucy sound.

The Rhythm Kings - Blue Soul dotdotdotdot
Surf Latin East LA Pachuko Soul (Instrumental)

Slow shimmery vibrato guitar in fake stereo. Based on "Am I Blue," it's very beat-club cool. Vincent Bumatay had this knack for writing semi-sad, quasi ominous sax numbers that didn't rely on volume to produce power. What a marvelous slice of Mexican soul.

The Sentinals - 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.

The Sentinals - Tor-Chula dotdotdotdot
Soul Surf (Instrumental)

A Latin Laguna Luau party number from the minds of San Luis Obispo or Pismo Beach... I forget. One of their more ethnic numbers, very Latino and very wonderful. This Latin soul jazzy number has been one of my faves for a millennium (almost). It has a really cool soulful feel and great damped barely reverbed guitar. A brilliant arrangement.

Billy Strange - Hava Tequila dot
Ventures (Instrumental)

His name says it... strange. Studio cheese. If you wanted to rock, but were adrift in a sea of Annunzio Paolo Mantovani and worked for the government, then you got your fix on TV from the likes of Lawrence Welk's occasional "Pipeline" and Billy Strange albums. The only thing wilder you would have done was sneak a donut into the library.

Billy Strange - Walk, Don't Run '64 dotdot
Ventures (Instrumental)

Billy, Billy! When will we learn? The Ventures just barely get honorable mention in surf history, except as an influence. Covering their surfized classic with limp dry guitars is just wimpy.

The Surfaris - Storm Surf dotdotdotdotdot
Surf Folk (Instrumental)

Jim Pash told me "Storm Surf" was recorded in his mother's living room in '64 with Jim Fuller's lead guitar, Jim Pash on electric twelve string, Ken Forssi on bass, and an unknown drummer, maybe Don Murray. I'm not convinced that it isn't a Decca session, though it didn't show up in the vault purge for Varese Sarabande. In any event, Jim came across this tape in a shoe box in his mom's garage. The original name is lost in time. Jim said he did not recall ever playing it live. It was probably the last surf instro they wrote. It is a wonderful, though not entirely developed tune. Thank you GNP for getting this out for all us punters.

The Ventures - The Lonely Surfer dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Jack Nitzsche's super low-E studio surf classic, played correctly, but with even less flair than the original. It's sorta pretty, but uninspiring.

The Ventures - The Ventures Medley dot
Ventures (Instrumental)

The older they get, the older they sound. Dead, totally weak and tepid. These guys never were very energetic, but this is absolutely octogenarian.

Jim Waller and the Deltas - Intoxica dotdotdotdot
Jazz Surf (Instrumental)

This is a surf instro standard reworked in a club jazz vein. "Intoxica" do it all softly with a unique approach. Unlike the Sundazed CD, his tracks here are in stereo.

Jim Waller and the Deltas - Soul Beat Pt. II dotdotdotdot
Jazz Surf (Instrumental)

This is a sultry jazzy number with a very soulful groove. It drips liquid love and emotional well-being. So cool is that the Ray Beats covered it in a merger with Intoxica on their It's Only A Movie album.