My brain still hurts from trying to read the subtitle on the, ahem, mind expanding album cover – someone get me my 3-D glasses! Past & Present continue their ferocious release schedule of pouring out another psychedelic 60s comp seemingly every two weeks, and herein you’ll find 17 instro-mental (sic) tracks “In Search Of The Exstatic Kinetic Bombastic Freaked Up Outer Spacial Groove,’ a mouthful that I wouldn’t even try saying three times fast until I’ve listened to this disk about a half dozen times. Inside you’ll find a collection of groovy instros from all walks of life: classical (“Walkin’ In The Bach’s World,” The Stradivarius’ wigged-out rendition of Bach’s “Stacatta and Fuge” – I shit you not!), fuzzed out guitars-cum-porno soundtrack (The Flying Guitars’ heavy-breathing blues psych, “Electronics” and Bauer Productions’ gushing, sitar-driven “High Life”), stringladen sitar interpretations of The Beatles (The Soulful Strings’ “Within You Without You” marries Bollywood to Blaxploitation funk and drowns it all in sitar swashes!), and electronic noodlings (Mr. Acker Bilk – of “Stranger on The Shore” fame diddling around with Shocking Blue’s sitar classic, “Acka Raga” – only with a flute instead of the sitar, and The Dynatones’ “The Fife Piper,” an insane jam on what sounds like a toy electric piano leading into the titular groove courtesy band leader, Ray Figlar. This was originally released on cartoon giant Hanna Barbera’s short-lived record label!)
Shell Street Orchestra’s “Groovy Beat” sounds like someone laced a Motown recording session with LSD – it begins with a countdown to zero followed by an explosion…and goes down hill from there1 Funky guitar solos vie with rolling basslines for psych supremacy. Groovy! There’s even a primo Sly & The Family Stone ripoff in the next to last track, which is mislabeled so I can’t identify the perps.
If you’re into collecting exotic instros with mighty high flourishes of Bollywood weirdness, soulful funk, and just the right dash of sitar silliness and have worn out all your copies of Nick Saloman’s Instro Hipsters a Go Go series or the much-loved Psychedelic Sitar Headswirlers series, then hop on for a ride into wigsville that you won’t soon forget. DJs will also love this stuff for bed music or set breaks! Bring on the next volumes! [IMPORTANT NOTE: Since all the tracks are instrumentals and the liner note track descriptions don’t always match what’s playing, there’s a strong possibility that most of these tracks are mislabeled on the CD – I know for a fact that the Acker Bilk, Bauer Productions, International Bongo Band and Soulful Strings tracks are miscredited, which means that most of the others are as well, so caveat emptor if, like me, you’re anal about who’s playing what. It also means many of my above descriptions may not accurately reflect the song in question – the review is based on the track listing on the CD. Somebody in Past & Present’s quality control department needs to start looking for another job and I deducted points for this inexcusable fiasco! – The music itself rates an 8.] 6/10 -- Jeff Penczak (12 August, 2009)