Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Super Sonics - Incantaredotdotdotdot
artworkThis band reminds me of Australia's Gondwanaland Project (later to become Gondwanaland with a half dozen magical albums on Warner Brothers) in that it is a blending of cultural extremes. Where Gondwanaland Project created their graduate thesis on a radical blending of didgeridu and jazz and rock, the Super Sonics have created a blending of surf and classical and jazz in a whole new way. A real adventure in art and surf, and a most pleasant journey. This is not for the knuckledragger. It is sophisticated, well written, and very visual. The album was recorded live to tape, not remixed. The sound is somewhat demo like as a result, but the performances and music overcome the limitations. The talking computer intro to the album is pretty funny.
Picks: Prelude in C Minor, Quadraphonic, Subito Federica, Nocturne, Mother Ship, Arecibo, Singularity, Entropy, Technical Difficulties, Blue Abyss, Her, Untitled #1

Track by Track Review

Prelude in C Minor dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Prelude in C Minor" is a chorded piece over a surfy rhythm track. The melody sense is sorta fifties MOR. Tasty whammy and echoed theremin.

Quadraphonic dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Quadraphonic" is a tasty artful surf track, with a cool trumpet and ringing surf tones. The melody is very pleasing. Excellent guitar work, and interesting writing. The arrangement is solid, with contrast between the surf and the trumpet. Double picking and fluid ringing harmonics. The keyboard is even quite surfable with its percussive attack. Sophisticated surf.

Subito Federica dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Big surf with a classical feel and an art school approach. very sophisticated and fluid. In some ways, it reminds me of Pollo Del Mar, but less angular. You can almost see surfers in tux. Very dramatic. The horns provide an interesting contrast.

Nocturne dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Nocturne" is a mid tempo islandic feeling track, with a pretty melody line, hinting of "Adventures In Paradise" in feel. There's plenty of breezy vacant beach island imagery here. Very fluid and polished. Excellent writing and arranging.

Mother Ship dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Bordering on Mermen melody structure with almost jazzy intonation and a churchy organ, "Mother Ship" seems like a requiem for a lost surfer. It's quite sophisticated, intricately structured, and adventurous. It's not slow, but it has a gentle energy and a haunting ambiance. Beautiful.

Arecibo dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Liquid puddles of reverb, angular melody and structure, swimming whammy, and dramatic attack. It's a little too busy, yet it remains attractive. Unlike most of the other tracks here, "Arecibo" seems more cerebral than organic.

Singularity dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Singularity" displays a dramatic serious furrowed brow, with surf and Mediterranean flair. The melody line is like some of John Blair's slower pieces in places, with guitar choking and lots of watery feel. Very tasty.

Entropy dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Slow moody and gentle, "Entropy" presents a moderate afternoon as the rain hails the end of summer. There's a sadness to it. But wait, soon a real solid surf track emerges, decrying the seasonless nature of surfing. The stormy attack and the many changes dribble out rolling swells. Excellent.

Technical Difficulties dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

There are no "Technical Difficulties" here. It's a rolling surf piece with an angular feel and excellent whammy. The double picking is very nice, and the sophisticated delicate nature of the playing refreshing. Excellent!

Blue Abyss dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Tribal drums and whammy, exotic percussion and lagoon visions. Shimmering vibrato, excellent writing, and gorgeous tones. The imagery here is abundantly clear. It's a fine track with enduring appeal. Somewhat Spanish, somewhat Pacific island, and completely enjoyable. Even the churchy organ seems just right.

Her dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Her" is a slow peon to the femme fatale in all of our pasts. "Her" moves wistfully through the memory like a faded picture of love lost and best not retrieved. Sad and respectful. The melody and structure are very effective. The beauty of the sad memory drips off the guitar. Excellent.

Untitled #1 dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This track lies hidden beyond the end of track eleven. It shimmers in a slow and delicate delivery with beautiful bells and haunting sound. Much more than a surf song, it should find its way under the credits of a moody movie. Profound sadness and slightly overcast optimism.