Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Surf Champlers - Champloo A Go Godotdotdotdotdot
artworkThis is an astounding release! A blend of island romance, traditional sanshin, slack key, slide guitar, surf, ska, and exotic electro percussion, Champloo A Go Go presents a never before heard surf based sound that's inventive, intriguing, and infectious. You can't have your trad hat on too tight, but you can not miss the surf roots either.

Kenji Yano plays guitars, ukulele, sanshin, bass, and keyboards. Sachiko Shima provides some traditional Japanese voice accompaniment, and Tomoko-Ayano-Yoji Yano adds Hawaiian slack key guitar.
Picks: Toshin Doi / Spectrum Brilliance / Rappa Bushi / Maple Spirit / Hiyamikachi Bushi / Slide Into Supro / Nanta Hama / Speak In A Mu-Tron Voice / James Bond Theme / Return To Nature, Toshin Doi, Rappa Bushi, Hiyamikachi Bushi, Nanta Hama, James Bond Theme

Track by Track Review


Toshin Doi / Spectrum Brilliance / Rappa Bushi / Maple Spirit / Hiyamikachi Bushi / Slide Into Supro / Nanta Hama / Speak In A Mu-Tron Voice / James Bond Theme / Return To Nature dotdotdotdotdot
Sanshin Electro Surf (Instrumental)

This first track is a continuous version of the other five tracks with transitional pieces that are songs in their own right. It includes "Toshin Doi" "Spectrum Brilliance," "Rappa Bushi," "Maple Spirit," "Hiyamikachi Bushi," "Slide Into Supro," "Nanta Hama," "Speak In A Mu-Tron Voice," "James Bond Theme," "Return To Nature." The main five songs are reviewed below. The transitional works are as follows:

"Spectrum Brilliance" is a floaty tropical number with island beauty dripping from every liquid note. A beautiful track with a very simple and pleasing melody line written by Kenji Yano.

"Maple Spirit" flows across a sunset lagoon like a great heron. More a scene than a song, this beautiful piece warms and rests the soul.

"Slide Into Supro" haunts a distant luau like the ghost of coconut past, with long slide notes echoes and reverbed in a way not totally unlike some of Tiki Tiki Bamboooos loungier tracks. Very cool!

"Speak In A Mu-Tron Voice" features voice-like effected guitars and wobble board like percussion over gentle break. Like a robot chant from a mechanized jungle.

"Return To Nature" floats out across the bay into the sunset, ending an astounding journey. As a suite, this work transforms the warm evening into an adventure not to be missed.

Toshin Doi dotdotdotdotdot
Sanshin Electro Surf (Instrumental)

Glissandoes and great percussion run thorough "Toshin Doi" like ponies on the open plane. This traditional melody is most amazing in this electro surf 'n' koto arrangement. You can't imagine this without hearing it. None of the usual boundaries of surf apply, and like the Surf Coasters, the Surf Champlers brazenly experiment. Man-o-man, this is one interesting track!

Rappa Bushi dotdotdotdot
Traditional Electro Surf (Instrumental)

Hawaiian Slack Key guitar presents tropical islands via a wistful traditional melody dueted by guitar and voice, over unusual percussion. "Rappa Bushi" is a very pretty piece.

Hiyamikachi Bushi dotdotdotdotdot
Sanshin Ska Electro Surf (Instrumental)

Blending modern guitar tone, experimental percussion, electro weirdness, and a funky beat, "Hiyamikachi Bushi" becomes a captivating song. It's both angular and fluid, and with the Dick Dale glissando rage that introduces an almost Glenn Ross Campbell (Goldtones, Misunderstood, Juicy Lucy, Dirty Blues Band) intense blues guitar and glissando assault... well... it just rips with a grin and a completely original sound.

Nanta Hama dotdotdot
Sanshin Ska Electro Surf (Instrumental)

Slack key, ukulele, and a soft beat bring an image of a relaxed island getaway. Very pretty, a little sad, and warm with palm swaying breezes. Lagoons full of electric colored fish and the smell of poi. Quite nice!

James Bond Theme dotdotdotdotdot
Sanshin Ska Electro Surf (Instrumental)

The Surf Champlers play havoc on the head of the spies of Europe. Ska rhythms, keys, tweaky bass, glissandoes, and lead sanshin. "James Bond Theme" is an adventure in the most original sound envelope I've heard in a long time. There aren't enough stars for this little gem! Completely cool!