Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
RIAA - Sounds For The Sun-Set: 2005dotdotdot
artworkRIAA (Really Interesting Audio Adventures) has been a source of otherworldly adventures in sound for a long time. Born of the blend of incongruous audio sources and sequenced imaginings, they (he, she, it or them) have finally landed in surf's neighborhood. I must confess to being skeptical when I first followed a link that landed me at their site, but once I saw the titles of this release, I knew something was afoot. This is a reworking of earlier incarnations of this concept. Many very creative and every so demented mergers and aural assassinations are found within. Trad nazis beware: only those who neglected their to strap on their attitude bag are allowed to partake. Great fun inside!

Because of the highly unusual nature of this release, I chose to review the vocal hybrids as well as the instrumental madness.

Included with each track review are RIAA's own descriptions or source material.
Picks: Holiday Inn: Cambodia, Bop Don't Run, Tricky Wipeout, Sweet California Girl O' Mine, Rasta Bison Hustle Off Ill Ape Band, Popemobile, Sex On The Beaches, Lovers' Luau, Day-O Tripper, To The Beach!, SKAwaii Five-0, Can't Touch This Surfin' Safari, Summertime Samba, Girls Just Wanna Have Summer Fun, Red Hot Degrees, Cuz I Rock High, The Tonga Hut, Aloha Rock

Track by Track Review


Holiday Inn: Cambodia dotdotdot
Surf Hybrid (Vocal)

An AM radio echoed ad-like introduction with Martha and the Vandellas "Heatwave" vocally dubbed over the rhythm riff from the Dead Kennedys' ghostly "Holiday In Cambodia." It's not unlike what used to happen when listening at night to radio when two stations from other regions would meld together in a cross-faded pule, though in this case, it's also across the decades.

RIAA's description: Martha and the Vandellas "Heatwave" vs The Dead Kennedys "Holiday In Cambodia" and plenty of thrift-store record sound bytes.

Bop Don't Run dotdotdot
Surf Hybrid (Vocal)

A couple of glissandos spice up the Ramones' as they sing atop the Ventures' "Walk Don't Run" and "Walk Don't Run '64." It's quite an interesting contradiction!

RIAA's description: The Ramones "Blitzkrieg Bop" vs The Ventures "Walk Don't Run"

Tricky Wipeout dotdotdot
Surf Hybrid (Vocal)

My first though while listening to this was "what would Ron Wilson think?" Rhyme over thee drum standard hit. With rap's general lack of melody, it's interesting to see what happens when there's melody and real drums behind.

RIAA's description: Run-DMC "It's Tricky" vs The Surfaris "Wipeout"

Sweet California Girl O' Mine dotdotdot
Surf Hybrid (Vocal)

The girl's introductory poem from the Surf Coasters' "Sea Knows" (Surfside Village) brings forth a truly at-odds mixture of songs that seem to work on the can't look away from a train wreck principle.

RIAA's description: The Beach Boys "California Girls," The Beastie Boys "Brass Monkey," Guns n Roses: "Sweet Child O' Mine," intro-The Surf Coasters, beach movie bits

Rasta Bison Hustle Off Ill Ape Band dotdotdot
Surf Hybrid (Vocal)

I just can't imagine what dementia brought on the notion of intertwining Bob Marley's "Buffalo Soldier" with a kiddie show theme. Somehow, it works really well, but how?

RIAA's description: title is anagram of "Buffalo Soldier" (Bob Marley) and the name of a certain children's TV show...

Popemobile dotdotdotdot
Surf Hybrid (Vocal)

Hot rods wail to bring on Fatboy Slim's silly "Rockerfeller Skank" sung atop the Customs' "RPM" backtrack extracts. Very cool!

RIAA's description: The Customs "RPM," beats: Fatboy Slim "Rockerfeller Skank" vocals and lyrics: RIAA

Sex On The Beaches dotdot
Surf Hybrid (Vocal)

I imagine Jan and Dean were thinking about just this, but were obliged to sing of more "safe" visions. "Honolulu Lulu" provides the bed for some really overt sexual lyrics via ladies (loosely applied) on the blunt side of the dance floor.

RIAA's description: Peaches "Fuck the Pain Away," Jan and Dean "Honolulu Lulu," Fingers "Short Dick Man," Sex Club XXX "Big Dick Man"

Lovers' Luau dotdotdotdot
Surf Hybrid (Vocal)

What a fascinating blend. Perhaps the most artful here, "Lovers' Luau" blends some fine songs in a lovely wash of summer fun. Blondie's "The Tide Is High" remains a simply-fun fave, and provides a great foundation for Buddy Holly among others. I love this!

RIAA's description: Blondie "The Tide Is High," Beach Boys "Surf's Up," Buddy Holly "Words Of Love," "Ramones "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend," Petty Booka "I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend."

Day-O Tripper dotdotdot
Surf Hybrid (Vocal)

Yikes! Harry Belafonte's classic cheesy "Day-O" rides oddly above borrowed riffs and hooks for a surreal adventure on the banana plantation. Totally bizarre, not unlike the possession scene in Beetle Juice.

RIAA's description: Harry Belefonte "Day-O," The Monkees "Mary Mary" and the Run-DMC remake, and The Beatles "Day Tripper"

To The Beach! dotdotdotdot
Surf Hybrid (Vocal)

A big glissando and New Order rock the boat on the way to the beach. Like a scary industrial sandscape, "To The Beach!" is simply strange, yet somehow almost as if Aretha really could fit in that bikini.

RIAA's description: New Order "Blue Monday," Aretha Franklin "Dr Feelgood, Lloyd Thaxton "Image of a Surfer," and James Brown thought he told you to "LOVE" him, as he walked down...

SKAwaii Five-0 dotdotdotdot
Surf Hybrid (Vocal)

The road to "SKAwaii Five-0" was paved by the unlikely duo of Roland Alfonso and Annette Funicello. Yes, brothers and sisters, ska and surf and beach parties coexisted early on, and actually did cross paths in unexpected ways, though surely not quite like this. Too cool!

RIAA's description: Toots and the Maytalls "Dog War," The Ventures "Hawaii Five-," Desmond Dekkar " Shantytown," Sol KRIAA, Bright's Hollywaiians "Hawaiian Cowboy," RIAA, beats

Can't Touch This Surfin' Safari dotdotdotdot
Surf Hybrid (Vocal)

Aside from somewhat uncomfortable transitions between the Beach Boys and MC Hammer, this is an intriguing mixture of things. The use of "Baja" and stage announcements from the GNP LP Surf Battle add a strange credibility.

RIAA's description: The Beach Boys: "Surfin' Safari," MC Hammer "Can't Touch This," The Astronauts "Baja"

Summertime Samba dotdotdot
Surf Hybrid (Vocal)

What'd'ya think? Did George Gershwin really mean this? No, of course not, nor is this his in any way. Still, "Summertime Samba" seems almost as if this is a wholly original production.

RIAA's description: Los Amigos Invisibles "La Playa Azul" ("The Blue Beach") vs DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince "Summertime," RIAA on the beatz

Girls Just Wanna Have Summer Fun dotdotdot
Surf Hybrid (Vocal)

Holy cow, can it be that the distance between the Fantastic Baggies and Cyndi Lauper is less than the two decades that intervened? Could it be that they were cut in adjoining studios and the sound leaked? Maybe!

RIAA's description: Cyndi Lauper, The Fantastic Baggys "Summer Means Fun," Beach Boys "Surfin'."

Red Hot Degrees dotdot
Surf Hybrid (Vocal)

I think "Red Hot Degrees" doesn't work as well as most here, but still is a truly haunting juxtaposition of incongruities.

RIAA's description: Jan and Dean "Ride the Wild Surf," Public Enemy "Public Enemy #"

Cuz I Rock High dotdotdot
Surf Hybrid (Vocal)

What a peculiar combination. There's something compelling about placing Johnny and The Hurricanes in a minimal wash of boom and street corner rhymes. Yikes!

RIAA's description: Jeff Spicolli, Afroman "Cuz I Got High" vs Johnny and The Hurricanes "Red River Rock"

The Tonga Hut dotdotdot
Surf Hybrid (Vocal)

Exotic tribal beats, tweaky samples, and a pulsing that implies strobes and sweat. I'm sure that there was no such notion on the table when exotica was born.

RIAA's description: obscure Africana: Chief Bey and his Royal Household "Congo Percussion," Barrister "More Fuji Garbage"

Aloha Rock dotdotdotdot
Surf Hybrid (Instrumental)

Too amazing! The Chantays' very cool "Move It" amped up with Polynesian drums and more. The melody could easily have been written for just such an arrangement. Entirely too cool!

RIAA's description: Polynesian drumming, The Chantays "Move It," Hawaiian travel record, beatz