Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Yuzo Kayama and Hyper Launchers - The Sea Bream 2 You Takedotdotdotdot
artworkThis 2001 release from Japanese legend Yuzo Kayama, backed by his current band Hyper Launchers, features 14 instrumentals that range from great surf through Ventures style eleki to easy listening guitar ballads. Vocals are "Teddy Bear" and "Hawaiian Wedding Song"
Picks: Caravan, Monkey Cray Gee, Secret Agent Man, Driving Guitars, Let's Go, Miserlou, Violet Sky, Paradise A Go-Go, Guitar Of Tear (Crying Guitar), Pavement Of Drizzle, Blue Star, Sleep Walk, Midnight Cruising, Traveler

Track by Track Review

Caravan dotdotdotdot
Eleki (Instrumental)

A great tribal romp through the Juan Tizol / Duke Ellington classic generally in the Ventures' mold. Lots of spunk and drum reverence for the big band original.

Monkey Cray Gee dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

What a great surf instro! Heavy muted staccato rhythm and glissandos, and a splendid melody power drive the song. Totally excellent!

Secret Agent Man dotdotdot
Eleki (Instrumental)

This is a pretty standard take on Phil Sloane's spy theme made famous by Johnny Rivers and covered by every guitar band at one time or another. Quite nicely done.

Driving Guitars dotdotdotdot
Eleki (Instrumental)

This is a very reverent take on the Ventures' "Driving Guitars." It's much as they did it originally, and as Yuzo Kayama and Launchers covered it as well. An excellent listen.

Let's Go dotdotdot
Eleki (Instrumental)

The Routers' cheer leader cheesy "Let's Go" is done with period fun, right down to the girls leading the cheer. Excellent fun.

Miserlou dotdotdotdot
Eleki (Instrumental)

This is a rich version of "Miserlou" with delicate picking and eleki styling. US bands tend to really drive this hard, but Yuzo Kayama goes for precision. Thoroughly cool, even sophisticated.

Violet Sky dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The gentility of this updated version of "Violet Sky" is really quite fluid. Using a rhythm pattern like "Shakin' All Over," it gradually builds to an oriental theme with exquisite muted guitar. The Ventures influence is clear, but so are the original ideas and carefully crafted recording.

Paradise A Go-Go dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is really nice. Subtle, beautiful, surf-laden, and very endearing. "Paradise A Go-Go" is a cover of the way the Ventures covered "Adventures In paradise" under the title "Ten Seconds To Heaven."

Guitar Of Tear (Crying Guitar) dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a fun track with a nicely written melody and solid eleki basis. A simple pleasure with organ supporting guitar, and bass and drums rocking out. A few glissandos make is very surfable.

Pavement Of Drizzle dotdotdot
Eleki (Instrumental)

This is a lovely tune in the Eastern European mold. Fluid and well executed, "Pavement Of Drizzle" has a rainy day feeling and a bit of the blues. Quite nice.

Blue Star dotdotdot
Eleki (Instrumental)

"Blue Star" was the theme to the TV show Medic way back when. Many bands played it. This is less silky and more richly textured than most.

Sleep Walk dotdotdot
Eleki (Instrumental)

Yuzo Kayama and Hyper Launchers do a lovely and nontraditional version of Santo and Johnny's ultra sinewy "Sleep Walk." It's a pleasure to hear a guitarist do it right without using slide or steel.

Midnight Cruising dotdotdot
Eleki (Instrumental)

"Midnight Cruising" is a soft slightly jazzy number with an easy gate and gentle sound. Very pretty.

Traveler dotdotdot
Eleki (Instrumental)

"Traveler" is a softly flowing track with a very easy to like sound. Soft and round, and full of rich layered loveliness.