Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Space Agency - Kaleidoscopic Soundsdotdotdotdot
artworkAs always, I'm very glad to get a new release from Simon Jones. This new disc is perhaps more consistent than previous releases, yet equally adventurous. Some wonderful sounds here. If you a vintage purist, this is not for you, but if an imaginative blend of surf and psych and eleki sounds interesting, the Space Agency will be up your alley.
Picks: Kaleidoscope, Catch The Spy, Diamond Head, Yellow Brownie, Yosakoi Bushi, Space Age Express, Miserlou, Flashback Guitar, Sakura No Ame, Paradise A Go-Go, The Fifth Dimension, Kaleidoscopic Reprise, A Run For Life, Bonus Track 1, Bonus Track 2, Bonus Track 3

Track by Track Review


Kaleidoscope dotdotdot
Psychedelic Surf (Instrumental)

A brilliant melody with a bit of an Oriental flavor is plucked with extreme pulsing vibrato that gives it an almost calliope sound. A fuzz guitar adds to the mix to create an eerie and relentless psychedelic warble.

Catch The Spy dotdotdotdot
Psychedelic Surf (Instrumental)

The second guitar is muted surf reverb deluxe with reverb crashes, while the lead throbs with with rapidly pulsing vibrato. "Catch The Spy"is an adventure in strangeness and surf delight. ON the dark side, but more demented than evil. Very psycho-acoustic.

Diamond Head dotdotdotdotdot
Psychedelic Surf (Instrumental)

Well now, is this an intriguing way to cover Danny Hamilton's "Diamond Head?" Glad you asked! Mainly straight surf, but warped by unusual use of panoramic placement and a gentleness that's also kind of intense. This is a wash of mind excursion surf.

Yellow Brownie dotdotdot
Psychedelic Surf (Instrumental)

If cowboys ate too many funny brownies, they might sound like this. Playful and eerie in a chemical imbalance sort of way.

Yosakoi Bushi dotdotdotdot
Psychedelic Surf (Instrumental)

This is a stunningly cool track with serious Oriental roots and psychedelic production. Many delicate elements combine to create an original reinvention of eleki. It's a splendid recreation of a track from Galactic Vibrations.

Space Age Express dotdotdotdot
Psychedelic Surf (Instrumental)

"Space Age Express" dances on the odd numbered synapses only, with disturbed and irrational sounds synergized into an eerie soundscape. A great melody line and perfectly strange sounds.

Miserlou dotdotdotdotdot
Psychedelic Surf (Instrumental)

Never has Nicolas Roubanis' signature song sounded as strange as this. A blend of chemically etched surf born of Japanese heritage and tubular nightmares. It is both brilliant and devilish, sounding not only strange, but compelling. A truly original arrangement.

Flashback Guitar dotdotdotdot
Psychedelic Surf (Instrumental)

Vibrato throb, extreme high frequency fuzz, bumping bass, wonderfully played drums... and of course plenty of psych and surf blended as only the Space Agency can. The lead sometimes pans across the monitors, extending the impact into even more disturbing territory.

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.

Space Blues dotdotdot
Psychedelic Surf (Instrumental)

Psychedelic echo and distant sound on the solo guitar make you think you're in the back room at some bar in the outer most reaches of a distant galaxy.

Paradise A Go-Go dotdotdotdot
Psychedelic Surf (Instrumental)

Active panoramics circulate the guitar across your sound space to create a swirl of brain-warped beauty. "Paradise A Go-Go" is a fine piece of writing, and when strained through the mental floss of psych strangeness, it erupts into a journey with undefined boundaries and no particular destination. Let it take you where it will.

The Fifth Dimension dotdotdotdotdot
Psychedelic Surf (Instrumental)

There's something very familiar about the root of this melody I can't place, but that aside, "The Fifth Dimension" is a fluid surf number with a light and airy sound. Phase shifted and very late sixties, yet surf. Splendid.

Kaleidoscopic Reprise dotdotdotdot
Psychedelic Surf (Instrumental)

A completely different arrangement of "Kaleidoscope" that's more engaging and more endearing. Very much psyched out and swirly, and thoroughly cool.

A Run For Life dotdotdot
Psychedelic Surf (Instrumental)

Based strongly on the early Dick Dale and his Del-tones' arrangement of a song that became "The Wedge," this is perhaps the least surf-divergent of all the tracks here. It also sounds demo-ambient. Very well played.

Magic Colours dotdotdot
Psychedelic Surf (Instrumental)

Distant memories wash across the recesses of your mind, backwards and forwards. Much more of a deja vu than a song, an experience in the unknown familiar.

Bonus Track 1 dotdotdotdot
Psychedelic Surf (Instrumental)

This untitled track is really quite something. Throbbing with distant vibrato and psychedelic swirl, with a melody line that haunts and grates on your nerves at times, and rolls out glissandos at others. Way cool!

Bonus Track 2 dotdotdot
Psychedelic Surf (Instrumental)

Wholly disturbing, like an exotic journey through Bedouin lands while drugged by some foreign agent. You give up nothing, but fear the worst.

Bonus Track 3 dotdotdotdot
Psychedelic Surf (Instrumental)

This is wonderful. While it's a little primitive, it's also very friendly and mysterious. Surf, Psych, Eleki, and imaginative sound.