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1. Surfin' Pachelbel. 2. Run As A Liquid. 3. He'e nalu. 4. Poppin' Pachelbel. 5. Wili Wili. 6. Groove Salad. 7. Waikiki Pachelbel.

[Note: There is apparently a later reissue of this CD, with an additional track, “Surfin' UFO,” but I don't have that version.]


Liv Khasla-guitars, programming, keyboards. Livta Khasla-guitars. Ken Mary-drums and percussion. Jim Simmons-fretless bass. Lynn Barker and Kevin Stoller-additional keyboards on 6 and 7.


This is one of my favorite driving CDs, and I tend to keep it in the car changer all the time. See, I tend to not enjoy driving at all (I find it stressful and I hate all other drivers) and this CD is very relaxing while, at the same time, it's rhythmically interesting enough so that I'm not in danger of falling asleep. This music might have saved your life when you cut me off that one time, you rotten creep! HONK HONK Jerk! And get out of the left lane!


Ahem. The music here consists of eight variations on Pachelbel's well-known Canon in D, mostly played as mid-tempo surf-guitar instrumentals. The drums keep up a steady rhythm and there's some excellent guitar and nice, floating keyboard work, and occasional semi-whispered vocals (that I think are in Hawaiian). All the tracks flow into each other so that it's almost like one long song. That's pretty much what it promises (“Pachelbel, Surf Guitar and Choir”) on the front cover, and that's the sort of thing that's certain to make me a customer. Hey, I can't help who I am! That's what everyone tells me in the movies, anyway.


In addition to its utilitarian aspects, the music has a flowing beauty to it as well. When I'm driving late at night, and there's a full canvas of stars overhead, this music is the perfect soundtrack—it really makes me feel close to the universe, understanding its vastness and my smallness, and yet feeling my attachment to it, feeling that I do belong somehow in all this grand vista.


Well, that's perhaps a bit of hyperbole, but with luck you get my meaning. This is the sort of music that really can't be written about very well, it's emotive and impressionistic and (I don't think) really appeals to the higher brain functions. This doesn't mean it's stupid music, no, no, just that it's ideal for simply experiencing as raw perception. You'll either respond to it or you won't. Whatever I say here isn't going to change your mind, though if I get you to seek it out (for at least a listen) then I feel I've done a pretty good job. I'm not sure if this is still in print, but if you find it, I think it's worth your while to pick it up. A lot of yoga and “relaxation”-type places seem to stock it.


PS: According to this site, Liv Khasla and Livta Khasla aren't related. I wonder if their names are sheer coincidence, or some sort of yoga-adopted titles or something. Maybe it means “Surf-Rockin' Dudes” or something like that. It'll remain a mystery for the ages.