"I know this sounds rather incredible..."
-2001: A Space Odyssey
Jetpack, a.k.a. Daniel J, is a one-man musical
enigma. His debut record on Pascal Records, Planet Reverb,
may be a little hard to classify, yet has something for
everyone. Described by one reviewer as "A major undertaking," Planet
Reverb delivers a vast sonic landscape, deeply rooted in
surf/instrumental style and realised with contemporary
J not only wrote and arranged all the original songs
for this record, he played most of the instruments (except
drums & guest appearances), and co-produced this
project as well.
Hailing from an undisclosed landlocked state,
Dan began playing bass and trumpet in high school, continuing
through college in big bands and jazz combos. For his own
amusement, he purchased a guitar and began writing and
recording songs by himself.
After graduating college, he held down a day
job, while working as a musician for theater companies
at night and on weekends. While visiting a friend in L.A.,
Dan decided that there was no turning back. He found a
job, a place to live, and went home to pack.
After his first few months in L.A., Dan had
a chance encounter with David Pascal of Pascal Records.
Pascal had released the first two albums by the surf/noir
group The Blue Hawaiians, a band for whom Dan has immense
respect for. Pascal heard the potential from Dan's homemade
demo tapes and offered him the opportunity to create the
record he envisioned, and market it to an audience already
established by Pascal's previous releases.
Enter Michael Kramer, who has produced/engineered
all of Pascal's releases, and is an accomplished musician
himself. Michael's sensibilities, combined with his drumming
skills, provided the perfect solution for realization of
this project. Working in Michael's studio, both he and
Dan worked over a year to complete Planet Reverb. With
no imposed deadline, their only responsibility was to complete
a record they were both proud of. This they delivered.
The majority of the record is original material,
aside from two cover tunes that have been interprted in
truly unique ways. Some of the numbers include instruments
unheard of in surf music, such as mandolin, therimin, and
" Variety is the word for this project," Dan
states. "Sure, there are straight ahead rockers full
of Fender guitars and growling tube amps. There's even
a Johnny Cash inspired barn-burner, but there are also
a few large production numbers with varying time signatures
and tempo changes. If you work in a genre with such a well
known style or sound, there is a very real danger of putting
out a cliche. I didn't set a goal of changing surf music,
I just wrote the way I write and through all our efforts
its become something more."
As instrumental music, the material is ideal for soundtracks
and commercials. In fact, selected rough versions of songs
were used on MTV's The Real World in Hawaii, with an audience
exceeding 4 million.
With the release of Planet Reverb, Dan has
assembled Jetpack as a complete band performing high profile
shows to support this record and build a fan base. For
their debut gig, Jetpack opened for Dick Dale at The Roxy
on the Sunset Strip, and were received with accolades from
the sold out crowd.
Planet Reverb works on so many levels, in
the car, at work, at parties, or as the soundtrack for
your life. Look forward to what they do next. You'll be
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PHIL DIRT - REVERB CENTRAL
Jetpack's debut disc is a major undertaking,
sporting the meander of the Reventlos, but seeming to be
much more deliberate and artsy. The music is well crafted,
almost scientifically calculated. Each piece is a capsule
unto itself. The CD doesn't really have a "band sound." The
most creative piece here is the great surf reworking of
Simon and Garfunkle's "Sound Of Silence."
Jetpack is one guy who was hooked him up with
Michael Kramer (Producer of both Blue Hawaiians records).
It's much more of a collection of artwork from expressive
players that brought to this canvas a wide pallet of influences.
The concept of the disc is a surf opera, telling a story
through the use of different instro genres, but remaining
rooted in surf. Dan Jetpack has also assembled a band to
support the record, and to expand their sound.
With a melancholy floating shimmer, this picturesque
piece portrays a Red Rock West sorta character, down to
his last fiver. With only up to go from here, and no breaks
in sight, there remains unfounded optimism. Towards the
end, "Motel Nowhere" climbs out of it's culdesac
with dramatic flair as a new day dawns across the open
plain. Very nice!
Open road Plymouth rock, with a fat melody
line and a small combo organ supporting the guitar. "The
Fury" leans on a fluid film score feel, with a smoothness
and somewhat lackluster sound.
A delicate floating guitar opens this rendition
of the Hollies' "Bus Stop." It's about time someone
put the early Hollies melodic pop to the instro test besides
the Insect Surfers. Smooth and pleasing, but not commanding.
Bongos accompany the light drumming and very
round bass lines as a guitar lays out an endless string
of unchanging chord progressions. It's the watery bass
that is carrying the lead, which makes this a most unusual
surf sidestep instro. Picturesque, exotic, floating, and
very moody. " Pacifica" carries the night under
post beach party huddled arms around scenes dissolving
slowly into one anther while a camp fire shimmers between
the camera and the gossamer romantic moments.
" Get Even"
Thick heavy guitar, some sustain approaching
feedback, guttural rock sounds, moody and somewhat mean
images of danger just out of reach. Very dramatic, quite
sophisticated, and approaching prog.
Energetic drums under a flippant guitar line,
slightly sad and passive. The dramatic midsection drives
hard, but otherwise there's no dominating attack. There's
a sense of intended pomp, yet an underlying ominous feel.
The mandolin plays as the gondola floats by.
But wait! That is merely the precursor to the drifting
melody that reminds me of a piece of "Don't Fear The
Reaper," double picked fluidly for a romantic soundtrack.
Very nice, slightly progressive.
Cow-abunga, dude. Johnny Cash rides the shore
break in Galveston. The fiddles and sleepy lap steel are
very cool, with that round country fender lead playing
a country lick of considerable caliber. "Texas Longboard" is
a way fun tune with plenty of straw for the hay ride.
A classical Spanish progression gently opens.
Then, gunshots ring out, and " Pedro" escapes
into the night. Not very melodic, but very pleasing, like
a classical run with mariachi trumpet out back adding a
sadness to his flight. This is really pretty, especially
the shimmer of the vibrato guitar parts.
"Prom Night 2000"
The class of 2000 whisk across the dance floor
slowly crossing from one life into another. It's almost
too syrupy, yet it retains just enough genuineness to avoid
the abyss of prom dance tunes. Very pretty.
"Telemetry" is much more melodic
than it's title might lead you to believe. It has a rhythmic
chop to it alright, but the guitar lines float hauntingly
atop the backtrack like a breeze on a warm evening. This
is very nice. It even retains it's niceness when the screaming
guitar breaks in. Quite interesting.
"Sound Of Silence"
A reverbed glissando opens what surely sounds
like a cover of "Pipeline" beginning. Then here
comes the that Simon and Garfunkle melody. Aside from the
Coolies' cover of "Mrs. Robinson," I think this
is for SnG surf. Excellent idea, well executed. and quite
fun. I predict this will be the hit of the disc. The tribal
drums towards the end under the chorus chanting out the
melody line is just too cool! Immensely entertaining, and
"Return Of Pedro"
Thundering drama, gradual fade in, glissando
attack, riveting power, and a saucy moodiness. Not exactly
middle eastern, but hinting slightly like a jazz wail.
Keith Hannaleck - MuzikMan (Associate Writer)
If there is a beach on Mars somewhere with
a Martian playing guitar, this is what it would look like.
What a great cover for a CD. What a great name for an album…"Planet
Reverb." If there is such a planet out there, then
it's the only one in the universe that is making the ocean
sing. "Jetpack" is primarily one guy playing
guitar and one drummer, Michael Kramer, who also produced
the recording. I was absolutely floored when I opened up
the liner notes and read what was inside. Sure, there are
the standard side musicians to fill in with horns and such,
but the music is just incredible considering it is mainly
one person performing it all. Daniel J. Standiford plays
guitar, mandolin, keyboards, percussion, and adds some
vocals or voices. There are very little vocals mind you,
this is a totally stoked guitar player enjoying his cross
Surf-instro has several sub genres, as does
any other musical style; Let me tell you, this guy covers
them all on this album. The sound is so crisp and clear;
it's like the ocean water in a remote tropical location,
like "Motel Nowhere," where you can see the fish
swimming twenty feet down, it's pristine and sparkling.
If the instro sound isn't enough for your salt water taffy
ears then maybe a little classic pop will set you straight,
like "Bus Stop" and "Sound of Silence." It's
a totally different instrumental take on those sixties
gems, with just enough twang and reverb on the edges to
qualify it for this kind of release. "The Texas Longboard" is
a shot of tequila laden Tex-Mex reverb that will start
you engines and keep them running. "Pedro" and "Return
of Pedro" will give you visions of the Bull Run beginning
in Spain and Carmen Miranda prancing around with castanets
This CD has a knock out punch in every round.
I don't hear a lot of this kind of music unfortunately,
but I know when I hear a winner. Generally this is type
of music is very simplified three chord rock and roll with
a twist, this is much more than that. It's so atmospheric
and sleek; it will get your attention from the first note.
Guitar aficionado's pay attention to this one, Daniel J
is a talent on this rise, watch of for him; he is a tidal
wave that could be coming to your shores soon.
Before I listened to Planet Reverb is was reading
the CD booklet- Guitars, Basses, Mandolin, Keyboard, Percussion,
Vocals by Daniel J. Written by Daniel J. Produced by Daniel
J. and Michael Kramer. Photography by Daniel J. Drums,
Percussion, Vocals by Michael Kramer.
There are others involved with this CD including
other musicians but my first reaction, before listening
to the CD, was that this must be a CD made in someone's
This is the best produced instro CD I've heard
this year. The sound is crystal clear. The arrangements
are very sophisticated. It is not a CD for casual listening.
Crank up the volume or put on the headphones and sit back
There is plenty of variety here. Jetpack is
subtle, and so smooth, as styles change from track to track
and within a piece. And there are plenty of style changes.
As an example there is 'Pedro' - opening with a beautiful
spanish guitar, then sound effects and shouts (humor),
this leads to a very dramatic trumpet part (transition
from humor to drama), blending to rock guitar then more
trumpet. Now bridge this smoothly to the next track with
a short intro followed by Mystery Prom - a hand holding,
walk in the park, watching the sunset, apple pie, slow
dance. Plenty of variety. There is plenty of twang, some
surf and near surf but this is not trad surf.
All the tracks are originals except Bus Stop
and Sounds of Silence. Jetpack does Sounds of Silence as
an uptempo Surf tune. It's nice to hear a new major instro
talent. I'll be waiting for there next CD.
And the cover artwork is first class.
Jetpack's Planet Reverb Is Epic Drama, May 26, 2000
Reviewer: A music fan from Sunny Southern California
The L.A. guitarist known as Jetpack has put
out a debut CD that can truely be called EPIC. PLANET REVERB
ranges from So.Cal. surf to a Texas barn-burner to an ode
to the Soviet space program and beyond. The range of styles,(classical
guitar, screaming solos, fretless bass a la Jaco) is extrordinary.
Sound messy? No way! What makes this so enjoyable for a
surf album is the apparent braininess behind it. The songs
have varing time signatures and tempos without falling
into the "look-how-clever-this-is" catagory.
A favorite example: The Russian LUNIK 2 has the River folk
tune incorporated into it with what sounds like an army
chorus (or exploited workers) singing and marching. The
same song has theremin and Dr. Zivagoesque balalakas and
mission control speech-and it really rocks, too! Just when
it looks like the CD may go too far out there, Jetpack
gives us simpler, solid tunes like the lovely MYSTERY PROM.
I can swear I see the mirror ball from the live Jetpack
show when I listen to it! Wrapping up the whole deal is
a wicked version of SOUND OF SILENCE, which starts out
like PIPELINE, morphs into DICK DALE style picking, and
end with island rhythms. Funny and full of drama...oh yeah,
AND IT ROCKS! BUY IT!
This CD rocks!, May 18, 2000
Reviewer: A music fan from Burbank, California
This is a great instrumental album. Surf music
is quickly gaining a rabid following and Jetpack's debut
CD is a great example why. Perfect for road trips with
the windows down and the volume cranked. Each track is
worthy of multiple listenings, although my favorites are
Pedro and Lunik2. There's also a great rendition of Sound
of Silence. If you liked the soundtrack to Pulp Fiction,
or just surf music in general, you'll love Planet Reverb.
BARNES & NOBLE
All Music Guide
Jetpack is the surf instrumental brainchild
of guitarist Daniel J. This disc is steeped in the twangy
sound of fender guitars and vibrato effects but not limited
to it. Mandolin, fretless bass, theremin, and an unmistakable
Police influence all coexist here. Produced for Pascal
Records by David Pascal who also produced the similar-sounding
Blue Hawaiians. Twelve originals are included with interesting
cover versions of the Hollies "Bus Stop" and
Simon and Garfunkel's "Sounds of Silence."
Jetpack's Planet Reverb: A Trip That MUST Be
Taken L.A. surf guitarist Jetpack has an amazing variety
of styles that make this CD a must have, surf fan or not.
Besides reverb drenched lead guitar he plays spanish guitar,
soaring fretless bass solos, and in the extravagant LUNIK
2 (an ode to the Soviet space program) there are Russian
instruments like balalacks and theremin. The piece even
has mission control background speech...in Russian! Errie
and epic! THE TEXAS LONGBOARD is a Johnny Cash inspired
stomper complete with pedal steal guitar and the CD's finale
is a twistedly brilliant SOUND OF SILENCE that starts out
as a dead-on cover of the classic PIPELINE and morphs verse
by verse from Dick Dale style double picked harmonies to
tribal drums with chanting -picture islanders paddling
an outrigger singing Simon an Garfunkle. A wickedly funny
and yet well done tribute. Worth buying the CD for this
song alone! The melodies Jetpack has written get stuck
in your head-very catchy hooks -you'll find yourself singing
along even though it's an instumental. He's made this CD
with the same label that brought us the Blue Hawiians.
Same great taste and expressivness, but an edgier sound.
Surf Music is Back in Style! This album is
full of youth. A friend had this album, Planet Reverb,
playing in their car, and when I heard it, I had to go
online and buy it. I was surprised that I would so immediately
fall in love with a genre of music that I have never before
had an interest in. But here it is....JETPACK ROCKS. It's
a totaly new energetic, intelligent and youthful twist
to surf instrumental. With lush melodies in the song Pacifica,
and driving rhythms in the song Agent J, you just can't
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