Utopic Sounds

1 Mar

ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACKTo Ride a White Horse (Festival Records, 1966)

Sublimely stated, utterly gorgeous surf soundtrack by the uncrowned king of Australian jazz, Sven Libaek. Flute, vibes, and bossa nova rhythyms dominate in a way that sometimes gets me thinking a less-campy Nina Rota, but the whole shebang configures in a way few others – aside from fellow Aussie John Sangster, who, not coincidentally, plays on this here record – were able to make their own. Mod style is nicely enriched by jazz depth, and the subtle timelessness Sven brought to all his recordings is on display, ringing ancient and mysterious. And then, there is that waaaay cool, recurring theme: smooth, glassy, and clearly inspired by the hot instrumental surf music then on the wane Down Under. But this makes perfect sense, since Sven had been the A&R man who signed THE ATLANTICS to CBS in 1963, the group who went on to record the biggest Australian surf instro hit of them all, “Bombora”.

Never seen even a moment of this film, but this record gets me imagining all manner of longboard riders slowing turning across perfectly formed waves along the still-unspoilt Gold Coast of Australia, under the sweetest setting suns you could ever lay eyes on.

Thanks to Pecks Spet Rips for the cover pic


5 Responses to “Utopic Sounds”

  1. Jimmy March 3, 2011 at 11:50 pm #

    “the still-unspoilt Gold Coast of Australia”

    If only you could see it now. I doubt a bigger coastal shithole exists than the ‘Goldy’.

    But hey, that’s not the point of the post. I ought to track down the rekkid.

  2. mrowster March 4, 2011 at 7:28 am #

    Haha yes Australian friends here in the UK have told me all about how miserable it’s become. Still, it must’ve been an absolutely amazing place only a few decades ago.

  3. Brett March 5, 2011 at 2:17 pm #

    Great stuff, Michael. Refracted beach sun rays finally reach East Manchester

    • mrowster March 6, 2011 at 8:42 pm #

      The sun actually came out and stayed out today! First time in donkey’s years.

      Betcha DEAD SEA APES could give us an amazing surf soundtrack if only they put their minds to it :)

      • Brett March 11, 2011 at 12:23 am #

        Maybe one of vitrified beaches and toxic oceans, Michael.

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