Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Valerij Prikazchikov - Surfdotdotdot
artworkValerij Prikazchikov was a principal member of Elektron, later called Novyi Elektron. These tracks are dated to 1965 on the release, but the release date on the original vinyl releases are reported to be from 1967-1969. I don't know which is correct, but the covers are all pre-1965.
Picks: Vernis, Melodiya Iz Filma Bum, Solnechnye Chasy, Chetyre Orbity, Sherburgskie Zontiki, Posmotri, Dom Voshodyaschego, Kolybel'naya Svetlane, Grezy, Shagi V Nochi, Bystree Zvuka, Vechnoe Dvizhenie

Track by Track Review

Vernis dotdotdot
Russian Pre-Surf (Instrumental)

"Vernis" is actually a cover of Alberto Dominguez' "Perfidia," likely based on jazz guitar versions. This is a smooth rendering with none of the spunk of The Ventures, but it's pretty cool nonetheless. A few semi-military drum fills add an unusual sense to it.

Melodiya Iz Filma Bum dotdotdot
Russian Pre-Surf (Instrumental)

The String-A-Longs' "Wheels" is covered in a surprisingly solid fashion, despite being somewhat Buddy Merrill-ish. Less rock than the original, and with some minor melody variations, the track is nonetheless an intriguing look into totalitarian rock'n'roll. Very interesting.

Solnechnye Chasy dotdotdot
Russian Pre-Surf (Instrumental)

"Solnechnye Chasy" is an odd track that seems to imply Dick Dale's rhythm to "Don't Stop Now," which he morphed from "A Swingin' Affair." No, it's not really tonally like that, but there's something in its character that connects in the same way. Pretty cool!

Veselye Turisty dotdotdot
Russian Pre-Surf (Instrumental)

Like a cross between The Ventures and Buddy Merrell, "Veselye Turisty" can't decide if it want to be a rocker of an easy listening wizard.

Chetyre Orbity dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Chetyre Orbity" aka "Four Turns" is a really goofy number with go-go organ and saucy echoed string swipes. It's gutsy and playful and gimmicky and fun. There's something very innocent about this track.

Vechernie Teni dotdot
Russian Pre-Surf (Instrumental)

This is a very light weight number with a samba kinda rhythm. Quite unimpressive.

Sherburgskie Zontiki dotdotdot
Russian Pre-Surf (Instrumental)

"Sherburgskie Zontiki" is a slow song with a delicate and pretty melody. Totally easy, with tremolo lead guitar. It's haunting like some of the trembling Ventures tracks from their In Space period.

Posmotri dotdotdot
Russian Pre-Surf (Instrumental)

While fairly restrained, the guitar lines here are very engaging and the pace spunky. You can imagine this at some real volume being pretty darn cool.

Dom Voshodyaschego dotdotdot
Russian Pre-Surf (Instrumental)

"Dom Voshodyaschego" is a cover of "House Of The Rising Sun." It's moody and low key. There are some stinging whammy chords, though their pretty buried in the background, almost as if the engineer was afraid of them.

Novyi Tanets dotdot
Russian Pre-Surf (Instrumental)

This is totally goofy, almost like game show music.

Kolybel'naya Svetlane dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A soft spy melody and "Fear" (Ventures) organ, "Kolybel'naya Svetlane" moves slowly and sadly through the night. It verges on rocking in a small club combo way. Pretty fun.

Vatussi dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A classic rock bass line and shuffle beat support echoed guitar plucking like so many AOR instros did. "Vatussi" is a borrowed melody I can't put a name on.

Grezy dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

With a guitar approaching Buddy Merrill meets Les Paul with whammy, "Grezy" oddly approaches a sort of island surf mentality, though it's dry. The groovy bass lines and rhythm track are pretty decent. It's like a minor Ventures variation.

Shagi V Nochi dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A bit on the funky side of the Ventures' envelope, "Shagi V Nochi" is engaging and liberated, at least for the period and the place of origin. There are nearly rocking passages, and you can almost see the look of worry on the engineer's face as they played this louder than they should.

Bystree Zvuka dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Very cool drums and a bit of '66 style Ventures guitar tone and syndrum dates this to at least 1969. You can imagine low energy Ventures. "Bystree Zvuka" has a lot of pizzaz for "state rock."

Ten Tvoei Ulybki dot
Surf (Instrumental)

Like "Yesterday," "Ten Tvoei Ulybki" is light weight and simple. The poppy melody is all easy listening, except for the mall organ.

Solnechnyj Zajchik dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Banjo-like guitar licks and easy Buddy Merrill-ish arranging fits the Communist formula rock well. "Solnechnyi Zaichik" is spunky, but way too limp for rock 'n' roll.

Vechnoe Dvizhenie dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

With a rhythm track inspired by "26 Miles" and Les Paul-ish guitar, Novyi Elektron prance around in playful ways, using stinging whammy and semi goofy arranging. Fun, and almost childlike.