If you were making a documentary on a renegade 1960s LSD collective, Huntington Beach singer-songwriter Matt Costa might not be your first thought for a period-evoking soundtrack. But Costaâ€™s roots in Orange County match those of the Brotherhood at the filmâ€™s center, and the seeds of his nostalgic musical constructions can be found in his catalog. The resulting soundtrack for the film Orange Sunshine is the sort of ersatz experience one gained from AIPâ€™s exploitation films – music that is of the era, but doesnâ€™t define it. Costa deftly evokes the â€˜60s with fuzzed guitars, hallucinogenic flights, West Coast jazz odysseys, blue funk, folk fingerpicking, ragas and even a touch of strategically placed vinyl surface noise.
The compositions lean to mood-setting instrumentals, but the vocal tracks – particularly the Airplane-styled â€œBorn in My Mindâ€ – are spot-on. What rats this out as homage rather than artifact is the crisp fidelity – something that couldnâ€™t easily be achieved on a shoestring budget in 1968. Most impressive is that Costa wrote, engineered, produced and performed the entire album – especially remarkable on â€œensembleâ€ jams like â€œThe Fuzz.â€ Several of the cuts are under two minutes – often leaving you wanting more â€“ but this works nicely as a standalone album of â€˜60s-tinged psych, jazz, soul and rock, and provides a terrific complement to the film. [Â©2017 Hyperbolium]