Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Angelo Santoro - Pacific Sunsetdotdotdot
artworkThis 1990 CD represents a kind of middle period for Angelo Santoro. While most are played against automated rhythm tracks, the degree to which he develops multiple guitar parts and layers the sound seems to render that irrelevant.
Picks: Baracuda 1, Pipeline, Pacific Sunset, Wonderful Land, African Dream, Play With Fire, The Conqueror, The Rumble, Baracuda 2, Limbo Rock, Theme From ?, Wonderful Land, Pacific Medley, Danservice, Theme From ?, Scarlet O'Hara, Arroz Cubano, The "In" Crowd

Track by Track Review


Baracuda 1 dotdotdotdot
Swirling Surf (Instrumental)

"Baracuda 1" is a splendid instrumental with surf and European sensibilities. A truly unique sounding song with a very fluid melody and warmth. Thoroughly cool!

Pipeline dotdotdotdot
Swirling Surf (Instrumental)

This is an interesting treatment of Brian Carmen and Bob Spickard's classic surf epic. Gentle and sporting very low guitar lines like a six-string bass might produce. Rhythmic and atmospheric, with a lush floating Euro influence.

Pacific Sunset dotdotdot
Island Surf (Instrumental)

"Pacific Sunset" takes the holiday sounds of the islands with an echoed and effected guitar playing an upbeat, almost flighty guitar line. It's a little like "Tequila" and Don Ho mixed and reconstituted. Quite fun!

Wonderful Land dotdotdot
Shadows (Instrumental)

Jerry Lordan's often covered song is very lush, and the stereo guitar gives it a spatial sense. The syn-drum gibes away it's period, but it's still very pretty.

African Dream dotdotdotdotdot
Swirling Surf (Instrumental)

"African Dream" is quite an intriguing track. This Angelo Noce Santoro original has a very cool melody, and its rhythm-melody interplay are superb. It's a circulate song with a celebratory grin and great warmth. Lovely and infectious.

Play With Fire dotdotdot
Swirling Surf (Instrumental)

With a grin and nod to 1965, Angelo Santoro presents a liquefied vision of the Rolling Stones' wonderful "Play With Fire." The glissandos and the low lines create a wholly unique interpretation. Very nice.

The Conqueror dotdotdot
Swirling Surf (Instrumental)

This is a very nice song. Its mid-tempo pace and melody constructs an image of a relaxed and atmospheric journey.

The Rumble dotdotdot
Swirling Surf (Instrumental)

This is easily the most unusual cover of Link Wray's "Rumble" I've heard in quite a while. It's gentle, non-threatening, and moody. It's titled "The Rumble" on the CD, but is not the Shadows' tune.

Baracuda 2 dotdotdotdot
Swirling Surf (Instrumental)

"Baracuda 2" is different, with a more rhythmic and rock-boogie feel. It still sports surf and European sensibilities, and a very fluid melody and warmth. It's hard to choose between the two, but I think this version has a slight edge.

Limbo Rock dotdotdot
Swirling Surf (Instrumental)

Billy Strange's "Second Line Limbo" became "Limbo Rock." Angelo Santoro completely reinvented it. A thoroughly different sound and energy permeates the track. Infinitely more gentle, and softly smooth, with just a bit of a groove.

Theme From ? dotdotdot
Swirling Surf (Instrumental)

The title is not because it's of an unknown origin. Angelo Santoro wrote it. It's just that it has that thematic feeling, yet is playful and almost tweaky. Quite nice.

Wonderful Land dotdotdot
Swirling Surf (Instrumental)

This take on "Wonderful Land" is more homey and traditional, and perhaps more orchestral. While it's very soothing, I think the other version is much cooler.

Pacific Medley dotdotdot
Swirling Surf (Instrumental)

"Pacific Medley" is just that - a medley of Pacific sounding melodies that flow from one to another, with a variety of stylistic sources, ranging from blues to rock to surf.

Danservice dotdotdot
Swirling Surf (Instrumental)

"Danservice" is a Jorgen Ingmann song. Angelo Santoro blends surf guitar, the sounds of Jet Harris and Tony Meehan, the easy flow of Mediterranean Europe, and gentle imagery. Quite pretty.

Theme From ? dotdotdot
Swirling Surf (Instrumental)

This 1979 rendering of Angelo Noce Santoro is much more funky, with a kind of circular jazzy edge, stereo guitars, effects, and a more adventurous arrangement. It's also over a minute longer.

Scarlet O'Hara dotdotdot
Swirling Surf (Instrumental)

This sounds like it's likely a very early track. It's virtually mono and a little muddy, yet is a very enjoyable toying with the Jet Harris and Tony Meehan hit. Light hearted and fun. The real drums are a very nice addition.

Arroz Cubano dotdotdot
Swirling Surf (Instrumental)

"Arroz Cubano" is sort of a fanciful nod to Cuban rhythms, with an laughing melody and a bit of an edge too.

The "In" Crowd dotdotdot
Swirling Surf (Instrumental)

Dobie Grey's hit "The In Crowd" is softened and made a lot more fluid. The melody seems to circulate above the moody rhythm track.