Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
This Spy Surfs - 525dotdot
artworkRelease number two continues in the solo home session pattern with some cool ideas that really need fleshing out with an actual band.
Picks: ISO, Walkaway Slowdown, Beach Patrol, Dig The City, Navarac Ashtar, Obvicate, Picarian Dewdrop, SOS, Spies Surf, Sunset Surfer, Tiny Stomp, Will Be I

Track by Track Review


ISO dotdotdot
Soft Surf (Instrumental)

"ISO" is a sort of flamenco surf thing with pick slides and bongos, and a slightly jazzy melody line. As a composition, it seems not quite gelled, but not unpleasant.

Walkaway Slowdown dotdotdot
Soft Surf (Instrumental)

The slow walking bass line and bongos create a fifties semi beatnik detective backing that compliments the slightly jazzy guitar lines. "Walkaway Slowdown" is a picturesque number raising images of street lights and moonlight.

Beach Patrol dotdotdot
Soft Surf (Instrumental)

Very spy like, "Beach Patrol" is a bit warbly, with bongos and thumping bass. As the bongos fly around the room, the guitar lines womp and squiggle most engagingly.

Dig The City dotdotdot
Soft Surf (Instrumental)

"Dig The City" is a soft and slowish number with a sultry sound. It's jazzy inclinations make it warm, but its melody doesn't really stay with you. Pretty but forgettable.

Navarac Ashtar dotdotdot
Soft Surf (Instrumental)

With a catchy rhythm, "Navarac Ashtar" gets you going instantly. Its warmth and country charm, along with its guitar slither are just fun.

Obvicate dotdotdot
Soft Surf (Instrumental)

The cycling bassline gives "Obvicate" a sense of relentless motion, while the guitar lays out a melody more like a Broadway dance number than a surf or spy instro. Fun and warm.

Picarian Dewdrop dotdotdot
Soft Surf (Instrumental)

Moving slowly across the western sky, "Picarian Dewdrop" slithers on bass and delicates on guitar. It's a very moody thing with a bit of the psychedelic about it that reminds me of Harvey Mandell's "Cristo Redentor" at times.

SOS dotdotdot
Soft Surf (Instrumental)

"SOS" is a lush harmonic-dependent number with a silky smooth, almost lurid emotional content, and light island edge. Very very nice.

Spies Surf dotdotdot
Soft Surf (Instrumental)

A tiny bit stompy, "Spies Surf" is also too unchanging, though the melody idea and structure are at an interesting starting point.

Sunset Surfer dotdotdot
Soft Surf (Instrumental)

Soft island lushness in a quiet lagoon sunset motif, with slow and easy lines. "Sunset Surfer" is much prettier than memorable. It's more like a rainy afternoon refrain than the title suggests.

Tiny Stomp dotdotdot
Soft Surf (Instrumental)

The bass line suggest "My Little Red Book" at first, but quickly wanders into a totally different groove, as does the guitar. "Tiny Stomp" is very repetitious, but the main idea is good.

Will Be I dotdotdot
Soft Surf (Instrumental)

This is an easy going number that might well fit in a surf film for one of those filler sequences. It's pleasant, but not really memorable.