Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Flying Guitar - The Flying Guitardotdotdot
artworkOn the surface, The Flying Guitar looks like a hippy folk rock album, but it lies somewhere in the vast desert between easy listening, studio psych, and surf. There are some really cool tracks here, but nothing you'd actually call surf. It's a side trip in instro land with some aural connections to the lighter side of surf and Davie Allan.

The album provides virtually no credits, but a search on a Belgian sixties rock site provided the following (paraphrased) information:

Ex-Cousins guitarist Andre Meerschaut and producer Roland Kluger of Palette Records conspired to make this LP still. They added only a drummer and bassist, with Andre playing all guitar parts. released 1969 under the title The Flying Guitar, the album's 11 instrumental tracks included 3 originals.
Picks: Barabajagal, Tabu, Muskrat, Take Five, Tranquility Beach, Caravan

Track by Track Review

Barabajagal dotdotdot
Psychedelic Surf (Instrumental)

Donovan's "Barabajagal" is played in a pleasant fashion with slightly reverbed guitar. The bass and drums are basic and effective, with just a touch of processing on the drums to create a psych edge. Otherwise, with the exception of the jam section, this is Euro near-surf. Quite nice.

Tabu dotdotdotdot
Psychedelic Fuzz (Instrumental)

Margarita Lecuona and Bob Russell's exotica classic "Tabu" is very nicely converted to the flowing studio psych genre. The solo fuzz guitar is played in a restrained, but very effective manner. The break is pretty darn psychedelic, occasionally hinting at Davie Allan.

I Started A joke dotdotdot
Psychedelic Surf (Instrumental)

This is a slow, floating rendering of The Bee Gees' "I Started A joke." The guitar tone is gently reverbed to create a haunting sound. The playing is beautiful.

Electronics dotdotdot
Psychedelic (Instrumental)

There's not really much here beyond the aural wash. Light tremolo and heavily echo are intended to create a psychedelic haze, and in the Hollywood sense, that's what happens. In the break, the drums and bass are very psych jam cool, and the guitars go bonkers, even succumbing active panning. In the end, "Electronics" is little more than a how-can-I-get-weird studio creation.

It's Getting Better dotdot
Psychedelic Pop (Instrumental)

While "It's Getting Better" is ably played, it never rises above the level of psychedelic pop fluff, and at that, it's really quite unremarkable.

Muskrat dotdotdotdot
Psychedelic (Instrumental)

"Muskrat" has a cool beat and bass line, and the fuzz lead romps amply, with some passages very dirty. There are plenty of Davie Allan references, as well as American garage.

Take Five dotdotdotdot
Psychedelic Surf (Instrumental)

Well, if you stay n the pop side of the tracks, imagine Quicksilver Messenger Service's version ("Silver And Gold"), and sprinkle bits of upper Midwest early sixties instro sounds, you might hear this in your head. "Take Five" is a really nice track. The tone is clean, only slightly reverbed, and it's not surf, but it's also not to far from parts of the genre.

Jeux Interdits dotdotdot
Easy Listening (Instrumental)

"Jeux Interdits" moves really slowly in a sad gentle sound. The guitar is simply lovely, and the song very pleasant. You can see a rainy afternoon as you listen.

Happy Jack dotdotdot
Easy Rock (Instrumental)

I expected this to be a cover of The Who's "Happy Jack," but it's not at all. It's a fun and almost interactive song in the mold of many a studio guitar wizard. It displays excellent guitar artistry. While extremely fun, it might not bring you back.

Tranquility Beach dotdotdot
Psychedelic Surf (Instrumental)

"Tranquility Beach" is a gently and easy song with a melody slightly inspired by "Besame Mucho." The song has a Mediterranean sadness and drama, and an almost demented carnival air. It's pretty interesting at times, and seems well suited for a film sound track.

Caravan dotdotdotdot
Psychedelic Surf (Instrumental)

Duke Ellington's "Caravan" is haunting and exotic, with nearly surf guitar tone induced by long sustain echo. The percussion is exotic, and the bass pretty darn jazzy. On the surface, this seems pretty tame, but it is really quite compelling.