Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
101 Strings - Astro-Sounds From Beyond The Year 2000dotdotdotdot
artworkThis is one of those great wonderments. If you know anything about 101 Strings 101 strings, you know that they recorded a billion Muzak versions of pop songs for the masses who wanted to be hip, but didn't want to be offended, distracted, or stimulated. Then, they did this!

It was bootlegged a while back, but Scamp issued it from the session tapes under license. It also has 3 bonus tracks not on the original album from Animated Egg, the studio session band, originally dubbed Egg & Strings, that actually recorded al of these sides for Alshire in 1968. If you're looking for a surf link, Jerry Cole is the lead guitarist. All in all, this is a long overdue reissue of a lost psychedelic era detour. Amazing!
Picks: Flameout, Re-entry To Mog, Space Odyssey, Astral Freakout, Orbit Fantasy, Barrier X-69, A Disappointed Love With A Desensitized Robot, Where Were You In 1982?, Trippin' On Lunar 07, A Bad Trip Back To '69, Karma Sitar, Whiplash, Instant Nirvana

Track by Track Review

Flameout dotdotdotdotdot
Psychedelic Space (Instrumental)

"Flameout" is a vibrato distorto wonderama, a real deluxe psych find. It's thick and ultra edgy, hypnotic and nerve rendering. The whistling Moog adds to the uneasy soundscape that is "Flameout."

Re-entry To Mog dot
Pop-O-Jazz (Instrumental)

"Re-entry To Mog" is a bizarre pop-o-jazz number that is, well, not untypical of 101 Strings in character... forced and shallow.

Space Odyssey dotdotdot
Orchestral Near Surf (Instrumental)

"Space Odyssey" is likewise an obvious concoction of the sixties British movie ilk. The melody is very surfable, but the arrangement is pretty sappy. Still, it's got the feel of just near the beach.

Astral Freakout dotdot
Faux Psych (Instrumental)

Thin ultra fuzz guitar a la Jeff Simmons (Easy Chair, Indian Puddin' and Pipe) and cheesy console organ portray a jam session at a Laundromat on some distant shore. Some phasing adds to the drugged experience, but "Astral Freakout" is pretty non melodic.

Orbit Fantasy dotdotdot
Berkeley Psych (Instrumental)

"Orbit Fantasy" sounds like Frumious Bandersnatch's "Cheshire" without the vocals, and with major phasing. There's just a dab of reverb on the guitar. Somewhat slow and plodding, it's riff is too repetitious. Still, it's strangely interesting.

Barrier X-69 dotdotdot
Hollywood Psych (Instrumental)

"Barrier X-69" sports a phased keyboard. It's very flowery, and as a backdrop to a drug party scene in a B-movie, it's very effective. Still, it's got the times down pat, at least as pop culture saw it.

A Disappointed Love With A Desensitized Robot dotdotdot
British Pop Psych (Instrumental)

"A Disappointed Love With A Desensitized Robot" is a driven British psych feel number over that would have no life at all if not for the "Gimme Some Lovin' "riff. Liberal borrowing is an understatement.

Where Were You In 1982? dotdot
Psychsploitation (Instrumental)

"Where Were You In 1982?" smacks of movie music for a Hollywood psychsploitation flick, lacking only the concerned narrator waxing sadly of the road to ruin.

Trippin' On Lunar 07 dotdotdot
Psychsploitation (Instrumental)

Feedback laden discordant phase-shifted happy acid trip fluff. "Trippin' On Lunar 07" is interesting as a capsule of how the middle class saw the hippies through the nightly news.

A Bad Trip Back To '69 dotdotdot
TV Psych (Instrumental)

Completely dismissible studio psych-funk drek... it goes on and on without ever developing a melody. Just phasing and fuzz for the washed out generation. You can almost hear this behind Goldie Hawn's dancing on Laugh In.

Karma Sitar dotdotdotdot
Sitar Psychedelic Surf (Instrumental)

"Karma Sitar" is very interesting. It's Indian themes are obvious, but it's melody lends itself to surf very well. The lead is played on a sitar effected guitar, and the orchestration is sometimes too thick. Still, this is quite cool.

Whiplash dotdot
Movie Cheese (Instrumental)

Orchestral fields of green and a female's orgasmic grunts run under "Whiplash," which is an incidental movie music kinda track with really clean guitar. Just cheesy.

Instant Nirvana dotdotdot
Post Surf Orgasm (Instrumental)

As you might expect, "Instant Nirvana" is a Beatles-ish movie psych number. It's also a reinterpretation of "The Rise and Fall Of Flingel Bunt." It's orchestral and psycho dazed. There's those female moans again too. very strange.