Farm - The Innermost Limits of Pure Fun sdtk [Orange Vinyl 1970 Surf Rock] - New LP
With the use of Pink Floyd's "Echoes" in a follow up film (I think it gets complicated what film is what because this Australian filmmaker made shorts and then longer films made up of the shorts) helps point out that this soundtrack is closer to early 1970s Pink Floyd than to the early 1960s surf rock, and this style probably matched the film-making--which I assume was beautifully filmed images of waves, sunsoaked hues and cool spray of waves crashing in slow motion and engulfing the lense as the camera is submerged, or at least that's what I imagine when I listen to this. The opening cut sounds like it's the soundtrack to a 1970 horror movie but also moves into meditative sound that becomes an important part of the soundtrack. Meanwhile the second owes something to the original surf rock sounds, hinting toward elements of the Ventures and Booker T's Memphis Group. When the first vocal cut seems to come out of nowhere, it at first it pushes me back, but after you get over the shock of being pushed out of the balm of the instrumentals, it actually fits in well. Like so many soundtracks from this era, this is all so dated, but while that descriptor is usually used as an insult, I tend to use it as a compliment.
Surf rock obviously always owed a lot to Polynesian music and their capturing of the sounds of waves washing across sand, tree branches swaying in the warm winds of endless summer, the lick of flames and shake of hips, and this seems perhaps a bit more connected with some aspects of that, and of course this is likely influenced by the rock of this era and the 1966 Endless Summer soundtrack. This has plenty of rock, established clearly with the second cut and continued throughout. As we get deeper into the set, the music moves from the acoustic guitar of the fifth cut to the Hendrix-inspired blues-rock jam of the 6th cut, but then moves into mediative exotica rock sounds. The blues rock introduced with the second and final vocal cut (which arguably should have been left an instrumental) is carried into the blues rock of the next two songs, the organ eventually taking the spotlight and helping push the band sink into a groove. Fortunately, the soundtrack has loads of variety and soon this blues jam detour is engulfed in the waves as the set washes into the last cuts, still bluesy and rock-based but back to smoothing the edges, using acoustic guitar and going into piano, some of the music on the second side sounding like it was influenced by Peter Green, and the piano focus of the second-to-last cut perhaps influenced by Vince Guaraldi and Ramsey Lewis.
Then we come to the last cut, which is so long (there were reasons punk had to happen...but of course even The Stooges and MC5 had plenty of excess in 1969) and perhaps captures the last ride of the night, the last ride of the film. (Reportedly "Echoes" was also used as the long song for the closing section of a follow up film). While this soundtrack is not like early 1960s surf rock, it still seems a 1969 extension of both that and the Polynesian music (that influenced early 1960s surf in different ways than this music), and while this has skilled musicians, it seems mostly focused on trying to capture the power and beauty of the waves rather than the ego of the players. In many ways, it also captures this time in history, the melancholy and confusion, excess and contradictions, the heavy use of psychedelic drugs and the heavy use of the blues in rock music by white people. And the strive to find some peace of mind. -- winch