Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Space Agency - The Space Agencydotdotdotdotdot
artworkThe Space Agency is Simon Jones' new band. I've been in awe of his sounds since his days with the amazing British band Vibrasonic. This album displays more wonderful experimental surf. While this is not for the purist, you simply must hear "Hawaiian Surf Ride."
Picks: Galactic Guitars, Hawaiian Surf Ride, Sakura No Ame, High Tension, Candy Coloured Dreams, 1213 North Highland Ave, Tube Caddy, Kaminari, Minnie's Theme, Let's Go Eleki!, You Make Me Nervous, Boss Drag, Musume Dojojoi, Bumble Bee Twist, The Twilight Zone, Untitled

Track by Track Review


Galactic Guitars dotdotdot
MOR Rock (Instrumental)

Rising howls and disturbed bass with eerie, heavily echoed aural meandering. "Galactic Guitars" is very spacy in the early sixties way that term applies, but is also psychedelicized and synapse challenging. It's much more of an aural soundscape than a song.

You Make Me Nervous Twist dotdotdot
MOR Rock (Instrumental)

haunting eastern European downer solitude in a pretty format. Very pleasing, and quite fluid, but not particularly memorable.

Hawaiian Surf Ride dotdotdotdotdot
MOR Rock (Instrumental)

"Hawaiian Surf Ride" is one of my favorite Space Agency instrumentals. It's gritty edge, deluxe glissando charm, and warm melody are a perfect vehicle for the psychedelic sounds and diversions. It oozes surf and daydream danger. Simply superb! One of a couple of mixes - both of which rule!

Cyclone dotdotdot
MOR Rock (Instrumental)

Previously surfed up by Archie and the V-2's, "Karelia" is much prettier and softer here. Fluid, but for the retirement porch.

Sakura No Ame dotdotdotdot
Psychedelic Surf (Instrumental)

"Sakura No Ame" is a splendid track with a great melody and fine blend of Japanese and Ventures sounds, like Eleki with a hangover. Wonderfully inventive and rich.

High Tension dotdotdotdot
MOR Rock (Instrumental)

Softish, but fuzzy and dangerous. "High Tension" is moody and perhaps more like mid sixties go-g- riff rockers structurally, but with a stronger melody line. Very cool!

Candy Coloured Dreams dotdotdotdot
Psychedelic Surf (Instrumental)

In a departure from the rest of this album, "Candy Coloured Dreams" is a fluid song in a moderately romantic theme. The mix disturbs the tranquility that the oriental melody portrays. the contrast between the beauty of the melody and the beast of the backtrack creates tension and intrigue.

1213 North Highland Ave dotdotdotdot
Psychedelic Surf (Instrumental)

With a rhythm track much like a blend of Dick Dale's "Hodad Machine" and "Motion," and a surf jam lead, "1213 North Highland Ave" is really quite 1963! The drums play a traditional surf beat, and the sound is like at the back of the Rendezvous Ballroom. Great!

Tube Caddy dotdotdotdotdot
Psychedelic Surf (Instrumental)

Very cool damped rhythms ride a heavy surf chunk beneath a fine melody line that's sometimes vibratoed, sometimes not. This is one fine instro with a disturbed and attractive sound. The melody is fine, and the arrangement intriguing and disquieting at the same time. Awesome!

Honky Tonk Hula dotdotdot
Psychedelic Surf (Instrumental)

"Honky Tonk Hula" is very Polynesian mono disturbed by a subtle stereo delayed mono drum track. It give this a daydream nightmare quality, like a vacation in the tropics sullied by being slipped a Micky.

Kaminari dotdotdotdot
Psychedelic Surf (Instrumental)

"Kaminari" is almost tormented in its strangeness, yet remains attractive, like a psycho-scene you can't look away from. Extreme whammy is very psychedelic in its application. There are a few chord progressions from "Walk Don't Run," which only serve to further disturb your sleep. Yikes, this is cool!

Minnie's Theme dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is scary - a blend of Memphis soul horns, standard melody riffs, jazzy combo improvs, and what is surely one of the most wigged out (read bananas) arrangements ever. I can only ask "what was he thinking?"

Let's Go Eleki! dotdotdotdot
Eleki Surf (Instrumental)

Reverbed and string-bendy like many an eleki masterpiece, "Let's Go Eleki!" is a fitting tribute to the Japanese art form. More twang and warble than melody, but entirely cool. The break is pure surf.

You Make Me Nervous dotdotdotdot
Psychedelic Surf (Instrumental)

Swirly psychedelic surf in the tradition of Vibrasonic, though perhaps more playful. "You Make Me Nervous" is a wash of sounds and reverb in a form that will make you nervous. Very cool!

Boss Drag dotdotdotdot
Psychedelic Surf (Instrumental)

Engines scream as dragster leave the Christmas tree lights in a wash on smoke. "Boss Drag" a little like a vibratoed mental floss version of a Johnny Fortune song. Completely cool, yet somewhat uneasy, like an early sixties surf single strained through a late sixties drugged out biker flick.

Musume Dojojoi dotdotdotdotdot
Psychedelic Surf (Instrumental)

With a beat like "Bonanza" gone bonkers, a melody like an eleki popster, and a choppy rhythm like "Bumble Bee Twist," this song grows on you from the start. Lots of elements to capture your interest, and a serious nod to the eleki genre.

Bumble Bee Twist dotdotdotdot
Psychedelic Surf (Instrumental)

Big fuzz a la Davie Allan and the Arrows, major aggression, trashy abandon... an amazing transformation for this song!

The Twilight Zone dotdotdotdot
Psychedelic Surf (Instrumental)

Shimmering weirdness abounds in this Ventures song. Barely recognizable, yet at once familiar, "The Twilight Zone" is spooky and eerie, like taking the V-Boys into an even cheesier place, then scaring them straight with psycho-endangered production.

Untitled dotdotdotdot
Psychedelic Surf (Instrumental)

This song is not listed on the sleeve. It's a short playful piece of music with a guitar that's so heavily effected, it could pass for a calliope of a nut house. Really scary!