Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Mods - Present Folk Instrumentals of Pakistandotdotdot
artworkIt's hard to imagine surf reaching all the way into Pakistan in the sixties, but here it is! Probably from 1967 or '68, this four song ep on EMI-Columbia was a serious surprise when it popped onto my radar. While not in the class of the great surf instros per say, it features genuine surf reverb and tone, with occasional augmentation from tremolo or wah-wah, and the organ sound that only The Grateful Dead, Southwest F.O.B., Country Joe & The Fish, and Pearls Before Swine really used effectively. Through that lead combination, traditional Pakistani melodies are reinvented with some very inventive drums and bass lines.

This is the sort of obscuro that an enterprising surfband could really make shine!
Picks: Pushto (Spring Dance), Gujrati (Garba Dance), Punjabi (Mahia), Bengali (Bondure)

Track by Track Review


Pushto (Spring Dance) dotdotdotdot
Surfadelic (Instrumental)

Some very cool double picked lines in near liquid reverb cohabit with Pigpen-like organ melodies. A great beat and bass line complete a superb picture. "Pushto" has a very cool melody and is a very surfable instro. With an interesting blend of surf and early psychedelic organ, this track illustrates well how the genre shifts of the sixties were not as clean as many tend to think of them.

Gujrati (Garba Dance) dotdotdot
Surfadelic (Instrumental)

"Gujrati" has pure surf guitar and psychedelic organ trading verse leadership with a delightful circling melody. The conflict between rhythm and melody is captivating, with the net result being very original. The tremble of the organ's tremolo creates an interesting contrast to the spring reverb guitar.

Punjabi (Mahia) dotdotdot
Surfadelic (Instrumental)

The melody here is fluid and poppy, while being traditional. The surf guitar is mostly relegated a distant support role behind the Pigpen organ, though it takes control of some verses. "Punjabi" also sports some shallow wah-wah affecting the surf guitar, which is the only time I recall hearing this particular combination.

Bengali (Bondure) dotdotdot
Surfadelic (Instrumental)

Starting with a slow line that makes you expect "A Taste Of Honey," the song quickly turns into s shimmering psychedelic surf swirl with tremolo shimmered reverb guitar and swooning organ. "Bengali" is amazingly engaging.