Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Spy-Fi - Black Tie Spydotdotdot
artworkSpy-Fi continues to be inventive with instrumental rock and jazz. Black Tie Spy, while pretty consistent thematically, also meanders quite a bit. Some pretty fun stuff here.
Picks: Black Tie Spy, Perry Mason, Spies In Space, So What's Up, Then Play Down, Bass Case, Fast Indian, Rumble, Two Miles, Memory Burn, Anitra's Dance, Apache, Eldorado, Illya's Theme, Then Play Down II, To J.B., La Tavola Da Surf, Soul Booker, Wave, Sunset Beach

Track by Track Review


Black Tie Spy dotdotdot
Dinner Jazz (Instrumental)

"Black Tie Spy" is a lush and petty instro with smooth near surf guitar and orchestral strings. The melody is quite nice, and the guitar tone very rich.

Perry Mason dotdotdot
Dinner Jazz (Instrumental)

"Perry Mason" is seriously cheesy. It's as if Spy-Fi means it, but then again, they do. In places, it's a very jazzy cover.

Spies In Space dotdotdot
Dinner Jazz (Instrumental)

Angular and brooding, "Spies In Space" starts with a dark mono signal born of haunting keys and reverb guitar. It's under a minute, but very cool.

So What's Up dotdotdot
Dinner Jazz (Instrumental)

This is a jazzy number with a sad feeling and late night blue edge. "So What's Up" is lush in the way many fifties jazz instros were. Dinner jazz with a grin.

Then Play Down dotdotdot
Dinner Jazz (Instrumental)

Lush with ambient reverb, the guitars gently play fluid lines with moody imagery. This is a delicate and bluesy number, bluesy in the sense of late night smoky jazz club.

Bass Case dotdotdot
Dinner Jazz (Instrumental)

"Bass Case" reminds me a little of Johnny Smith's Kaleidoscope, or perhaps Kenny Burrell on CTI. Synthesizer swirly and exotic, with plenty of mood and a bit of flair.

Fast Indian dotdotdot
Dinner Jazz (Instrumental)

With a distant sound, "Fast Indian" seems mysterious and misty. The melody line is cool, but the track is just a minute long.

Rumble dotdotdotdot
Dinner Jazz (Instrumental)

Spy-Fi is so non-Link Wray, that I didn't know what to expect. Well, big, thick, distortion-drenched guitar and long sustain. This is a very traditional cover of an absolute classic. Quite solid, and gritty as required.

Two Miles dotdotdot
Dinner Jazz (Instrumental)

Tweaky keys, lightly squonky horn, and moody cycling electro spy on the waterfront. Not very flexible, yet very much like film score material.

Memory Burn dotdotdotdot
Dark Glasses Surf (Instrumental)

Imagine Roy Orbison playing surf guitar. That's what "Memory Burn" is like. This is a very cool instro, with an original melody line and roots structure. many guitar parts fill out the aural span.

Anitra's Dance dotdotdot
Dinner Jazz (Instrumental)

"Anitra's Dance" is a soft dinner jazz number with a pleasant melody and easy jazzy gate. It's also but a half minute long.

Apache dotdotdot
Dinner Surf (Instrumental)

This is an unusual version of The Shadows' "Apache," with some variables and moody percussion and bass. The wah wah guitar connects it to The Seebach Band, but it sure isn't cheesy like Tommy Seebach's seventies gusher.

Eldorado dotdotdot
Dinner Rock (Instrumental)

"Eldorado" almost rocks, with spunk and a fluid guitar line. The guitars are modern rock all the way, but it's interesting how they work with the right melody.

Illya's Theme dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Illya's Theme" is a mid tempo number with a pretty melody and arrangement that connects with you. At first, it didn't catch my attention much, but a second listen got me into it. Nice track.

Then Play Down II dotdotdot
Dinner Jazz (Instrumental)

Rising slowly in a fade in, "Then Play Down II" is a mono rock psychedelic lurker amidst an inland sea housebound in a large hall. The guitars soar, and the sound is very different from the rest here.

To J.B. dotdotdot
Afternoon Rock (Instrumental)

A narrative introduces this moody number, which has bluesy, jazzy roots. The drums are rock, while the rest of the song is a peaceful paean to a rainy afternoon.

La Tavola Da Surf dotdotdotdotdot
Dinner Jazz (Instrumental)

Cool summery surfish drums and guitar play an infectious song. "La Tavola Da Surf" is a wonderful track that's just itching to take you down 101 in search of surf. The beat is solid traditional surf, the melody very happy, and the sound all summer! Very cool track!

Soul Booker dotdotdot
Memphis Soul (Instrumental)

I wondered if this would be Booker T. and the MG's like, and it is. Soulful and groovy in a near Stax-Volt way.

Wave dotdotdot
Dinner Jazz (Instrumental)

With one eye on Charles Lloyd, another on Percy Faith, and the third on the waiter while you wait for dinner, "Wave" seems an unlikely title. The song is fluid and easy, with a circulating melody line and delicate jazz delivery.

Sunset Beach dotdotdot
Dinner Jazz (Instrumental)

"Sunset Beach" floats gently like a sunset scene in an island holiday romance film. Pretty and gentle as it rolls across your imagination. I was all set for an interpretation of The Sentinals' "Sunset Beach," but alas tis is completely unrelated. Abut half way through, it transforms into s soaring rock anthem instro that's pretty cool.