The Wedges

Hang Ten (Surfin' With)

Some Links:

Space Age Pop's "Cool Crimes" page Mentions "Murder, Inc." by Irv Joseph, which was re-released as "Surfin' Time" by "The Wedges", I wonder if it's the same album?

Heh, I have an awful lot of pseudo-surf records that look like this, most of which have maybe one or two tracks that are listenable, the rest just rehashed flotsam. I bought this one after looking at the Freddy Kruger claw-marks on the vynil, thinking "ahh, what the hell - some of the tracks aren't scratched, and for the price (marked on the cover), what can i lose?"...

I take these chances because every so often they pay off handsomely. This was one of those times. This stuff isn't surf at all, despite how thickly the cover designer tried to mask it in the slang, and despite the song names which were clearly picked by the same goofball who designed the cover - This is some of the most kickass spy/crime jazz i've ever laid on the turntable!

When I listen to new albums, I often do so by playing two at once, putting one on each sound source and listening to them both while crossfading back and forth. When i did this record, I had Russ Garcia's "Fantastica" (from Vegas Vic's compilation #3) on the iRiver, and The Wedges "Hang Ten" on the turntable - and from the instant they both started and I began doing my fader thing, I knew I had audio gold on my hands for a very special party. All the way thru both albums, they mixed together in weird and scary ways, and a few judicious spoken word or vocal samples mixed from a third source would make for a very chill 30-minute break in a long wind-down mix after the initial euphoria - right when the wallpaper starts talking to everyone.. Yes indeedy. (:

Anyway - when googling, I found a reference to this album more than 6 years ago right in this very list:

Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1999 11:34:59 -0800 (PST)
From: Ben Waugh
Subject: (exotica) Surfin' With The Wedges (sucker!)

I bid on/bought an lp over the holidays called "Surfin' with The Wedges." The photo scan had the obligatory surfin' guy, the song list was generic (Hodad this, my woodie that). The back cover reads for the most part like The Ventures cash-in "Surfin'". But it says nothing about the band and warns that "this record is for the sophisticated surfer." I have plenty of lps in the surfsploitation genre - they're mostly recycled R&B instrumentals - but this one is in a category unto itself. It is over the top beatnik-secret agent jazz. Bongos, vibes, menacing brass and guitar - a 100% reverb-free damned good record.

I only wish I knew who the musicians are....
Ben Waugh has a point, and I figured if this record didn't get the sharity treatment then, maybe it should now. My copy of course has the clicks and pops that comes from the sharp knives and sandblaster that the previous owner employed for handling and caring for his records, so if you want a really good version, go find a better copy. Consider this sharity a way of getting a taste of this really groovy but horribly mis-cast record.
- The Right Reverend Theodore Munk

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