Various Artists

Chairman of the Board: Surf Soundtracks '64 to '74

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Arguably no subgenre is more clearly defined, almost to the point of cliché, than surf rock, a virtual soundtrack to southern California beach culture that identifies itself within one or two notes of the reverb-soaked guitars of the Ventures and Dick Dale. But surf culture extends far beyond the California coast, and so too does surf music -- Harmless' superb Chairman of the Board: Surf Soundtracks '64 to '74 assembles highlights from the myriad independent surf films produced in the U.S. and Australia in the wake of director Bruce Brown's landmark The Endless Summer, capturing the music's evolution into heavier, more psychedelic sounds attuned to the mystical communion between man and wave. Fascinating, little-heard stuff far removed from "Pipeline" or "Walk, Don't Run" -- highlights include Farm's "Crumple Car," Ticket's "Dream Chant," and Tamam Shud's "Evolution."

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