(Vocus) June 30, 2010
Optigan.com’s Surf Rock isn’t just you’re same old same old surf disc. Surf Rock employs the talents of two well-known surf music enthusiasts: guitarist Matt Quilter and drummer Lee Kix. Quilter is one-half of the guitar assault from the award-winning Reventlos,. Kix has recorded with world famous instrumental guitar gods, The Ventures. Together their talent gels and congeals to recreate the milieu that rocked Zuma, Huntington, Redondo, Santa Monica, and so many other SoCal beaches.
Surf Rock discs work exclusively with the world-famous Optigan, a futuristic instrument that plays like a symphony, bluegrass banjo, rock band, or whatever else you can put into it. The Optigan looks like a 1970s-era family organ—complete with the cheesy wood paneling, and buttons that play chords on the left-hand side. But instead of producing electronically simulated sounds, it spins clear, ultra-thin LP-sized discs, optically encoded with looped recordings of real instruments. The melody is played with the right hand on the 37-note keyboard.
Because of its technology, the music going into the Optigan must be of utmost quality. For his session, Quilter chose a Fender Stratocaster played through a blond Fender Tremolux and Reverb unit, both from 1963. Kix used vintage 1960’s Oaklawn Camco drums, 20×14 bass drum and 14×5.5 metal snare, along with 12×8 and 14×10 Camco toms. You can see Quilter and Kix record and mix their boss sounds at the ultimate optigan website, optigan.com
Lest you think the optigan is a quirky, toy instrument that had no credibility with “real” musicians, think again. World-renown artists Steve Hackett, Elvis Costello, Jon Brion, Blur, Fiona Apple, Michael Penn, and Tom Waits have all felt the joy of the Optigan. Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo used it to mix in parts of the "Banjo Sing-Along" disc on a remix of Devo's 1981 single, "Beautiful World."
So stand, groove back to the 60s, in a way that the beach guys and gals never could imagine, with Surf Rock for the Optigan. Just go to optigan.com and click on “shoptigan."
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