This LA band straddles the boundary between surf and tiki. Surf sounds, spy and exotica by these superb musicians. Elenor Bigsby deftly combines Pipeline, Penetration and the Beatles song. Very cool!
Ken Field (Birdsongs of the Mesozoic and other projects) plays sax, overlaying and processing the six tracks on this solo effort. Very atmospheric and beautiful, sometimes mysterious and occasionally experimental. The instrument is recognizable at times, but also morphs into a very different sound as it loops and echoes. A pleasure to hear!
In 2017, surf band Stories from Shamehill visited the United States including a live mic in the KFJC Pit. This EP was recorded in Los Angeles and celebrates that trip with two fine instrumentals. Limited edition from this 3-piece band from the Netherlands.
The Surfrajettes is an all girl surf band from Toronto. Party Line is fun with phone sounds. The cover of Toxic (Britney Spears) is really good – who’d have thought it would sound so great as an instrumental?
Members of East Bay surf bands The Deadbeats and The TomorrowMen veered off in a new direction to form Combo Tezeta to play instrumental music inspired by Peruvian cumbias and chichas. Gorgeous playing with a tropical feel.
This collaboration between Mexican cumbia band Perro Agradecido (Grateful Dog) and Southern California instrumental surf band Par Avion happened in Mexico City in March of 2020. Great energy, wonderful Latin influence, excellent guitar and terrific percussion. Like track four says – cero miedo (no fear)!
Phillip Greenlief recorded one track, then improvised with it again and again – using the multi-tracked approach in making himself a trio. Track one is a contrast of outbursts and continuations. Track two is quieter. Track three is more of a watery flow. Very experimental in sound – not for the timid.
This terrific Orange County surf band’s 1999 recording takes its place on the shelf of the KFJC library! Some covers such as the great High Wall, some originals – excellent playing and energy.
PGM: Track 14 Blood and Sand ends at 4:40, then silence, then a hidden track starting at 6:40 – a ripping live rendition of Jack the Ripper.
Brand new album from this Southern California band that will justify the eager anticipation of surf music fans. Lots of variety with nods to Horror, Spaghetti Western, traditional surf, and exotica. All originals by the band with the exception of a bitchin’ cover of Dick Dale’s Night Rider. Fine playing with great energy and momentum.
Italian pianist Agnese Toniutti explores the possibilities of sound from piano, timbre piano, and toy piano in the her compositions and those of Lucia Dlugoszewski, Tan Dun, Phillip Corner. Tinkly, booming, comedic, and thought provoking.
PGM: Some tracks go quiet quite a few seconds before they end.
A waterphone (invented by Richard Waters) consists of a steel resonator bowl with steel rods around the perimeter. Sometimes it is used with water to create an ethereal effect. Hiaroka is known for his horror film soundtracks. This album’s cuts are minimal, repetitve, and shimmering that result in a very pleasant and soothing sound. The metallic and echoing tracks are very mysterious.
As explained in the album insert, Lewis Bailey was involved with a number of instrumental surf bands after leaving the Woggles. This limited edition album includes the bands Stingray International, The Surf Kings, and The Novarays. Extremely well played and arranged surf standards and originals. Bailey has relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area from Florida, much to the delight of the local surf music community.
Santo and Johnny are of course known for their classic Sleepwalk. This 1961 album featuring many Hawaiian cornball tunes is saved by their fine steel guitar work. The Hutch Davie Orchestra and Chorus add some campy harp glissando and vocals that are almost too much, but there is a sweetness here that will take you to a different time and place. I especially liked the tracks written by Santo and Johnny – Sea Shells, Reflections and Isle of Dreams. A fine way to cool off on a summer day or warm up in the winter.
This terrific album is welcome news from this (mostly) instrumental band from Denmark that is held in high regard by the surf music community. Lots of variety in these tunes, just check the liner notes to see the long list of instruments, especially keyboards. “Vocals” are occasional syllables and words. Heavy sound, lots of bass, sort of scary. Fuzz on track 15, the whistling on track 16, have fun exploring.
This Bay Area surf music trio has hit one out of the park with this album. In addition to an original by drummer Glen Campbell, the selection of surf songs (see composer origins on the album cover) is truly unique, representing great tunes that are rarely covered. Playing is solid, energy is good, the overall feeling is sweet.
Local Bay Area teen trio takes surf music standards and an original and makes them their own. Fine playing, great attention to surf drumming and reverb fundamentals. Positive energy. The future of surf music is in good hands!
This Sextet working from the AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians) recorded these tracks in 1966. It skronks, plunks, and shrieks and is not for the faint hearted. But it is lightened with flashes of grace and humor (harmonica on track 2!) that show its humanity.
A gang of Bay Area sound artists offers us this noise smorgasbord of non-language vocals, cymbals, gongs, reeds, deflating balloons, scraping metal, and more with electronic static and tones. Not exactly pleasant, but fun and smile inducing.
A fine four-piece surf band from Ann Arbor, Michigan gives us 8 tracks of rocking instrumentals. Good arrangements, original compositions, some leaning toward lo-fi punk. (By the way, vicissitude is defined as “a change of circumstances or fortune, typically one that is unwelcome or unpleasant“.)
The Astronauts were a band from Colorado who were active in the 1960’s. Their records sold especially well in Japan and their version of Baja and other Lee Hazelwood tunes are legendary. Surf bands today still cover their music and greatly respect their musicianship. This album is an homage from two European surf bands – the Kilaueas from Germany and Surfer Joe from Italy. The tunes are faithfully rendered but with a modern European twist. Very fine playing and arrangements, this LP is very, very special.
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