Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
GT Stringer - Space Outdotdotdotdotdot
artworkAustralia's GT Stringer once again hits the mark with a brilliant new CD. They're highly distinctive blend of surf and jazz are now accented with theremin. It's been too long, but when an album like this results from the wait, well, all is forgiven. Adventurous nontraditional surf based music, richly mixed and very well arranged, with plenty of changes and embellishments. Simply amazing.
Picks: Launch Sequence, Sputnik, Captain Clutch Wanger's Space Suit Wedgie, The Mooner, Satin Safari, Man From Probus, Interstellar Woodie, Meltdown, Astro Gringo, Space Ranger

Track by Track Review

Launch Sequence dotdotdotdot
Space (Instrumental)

This cool countdown precedes "Sputnik" with a great blend of sound effects not of rocket launches yet simulating the sound... amazing.

Sputnik dotdotdotdot
Space Surf (Instrumental)

What a thoroughly delightful track, with organ and theremin consorting in a rich riff until the guitar joins in. The sax honks on demand, and the whole thing develops a total chemistry. There are some similarities with the Hypnomen "Watusi 99" CD, except bolder. Very rich sound.

Captain Clutch Wanger's Space Suit Wedgie dotdotdotdotdot
Space Surf (Instrumental)

Wow, this is one amazing track. The surf second guitar under the sax-guitar duet, and the whammy dipping guitar, and the totally unique and rhythmic riff... a sparkling adventure in uncharted territory. Lots of surf, and the theremin weirdness of old time radio band dx detuning excursions. Brilliant!

The Mooner dotdotdotdotdot
Space Surf (Instrumental)

This quaint guitar number sports a rich guitar tone and a solid supporting "Hammond B3" melodies. The break is lush, with ringing chords and a saucy sax. Towards the end of the break, Jimmy Redgate's guitar goes into double picked duty on a fluid progression while the band gradually builds behind him... a very fine track.

Satin Safari dotdotdotdot
Jazz Surf (Instrumental)

With a structure hearkening back a few years in the GT Stringer annals, this spunky little number floats between a jazzy sound and a smooth rock flow. "Satin Safari" is both adventurous and suave, with solid tribal drums and a real sense of not knowing what's around the next bend in the river. It lives up to its title.

Man From Probus dotdotdotdotdot
Space Surf (Instrumental)

Rich guitar floats on a sea of strangers and outlanders, with a semi-spy feel and a surf liquidity. The melody is slightly sad. The track is a rich blend of sounds and flowing rhythm. Gentle and powerful, somewhat dramatic and a little ominous, yet warm and infectious. Excellent!

Interstellar Woodie dotdotdotdotdot
Space Surf (Instrumental)

The vision of a Saturn V with varnished wood paneling is irresistible... "Interstellar Woodie" is and edgy little surf number with just enough unnerving intonation to demand your attention. The melody is very fluid, and the sound quite rich. Chunky and surfy, slightly loungy, rhythmic and just plain cool.

Meltdown dotdotdotdot
Space Surf (Instrumental)

Right from the feedback groan of the intro, you know that "Meltdown" is going to be cool. It's a guitar song with a great melody riff and a solid infectious rhythm... modern and edgy guitar bordering on Davie Allan territory, with Trevor Ramsay's great gnarly sax. O honkin' good track. At about two minutes in, it appears to be melting down... Then a burst of jammin' excitement for another 45 seconds or so, culminating in a definite meltdown.

Astro Gringo dotdotdotdot
Space Surf (Instrumental)

Bouncy and Spanish flavored, "Astro Gringo" segues right outta "Meltdown" is a natural transition. This is a right cool tune, with a Mexican village feel and a rich tone. very fun, and even sporting some shimmering vibrato. The thundering drums under the transition into the break are very powerful. They yield to a misty Hammond run with spy overtones. Quite a cool tune.

Space Ranger dotdotdotdotdot
Space Surf (Instrumental)

"Space Ranger" is a gentle fluid track with a precise and slow meter, and sporting rich harmonic chords and a beautiful island melody played on surf guitar. It would be easy to make comparisons to the Aqua Velvets here, because the writing has similar exotic beauty and structure, but the sound is not similar. The distant theremin gives it an eerie feel, and the jazzy club break makes it a perfect film score track to run under credits... very cool!