Distributor of Ideas

The Inertia

Some say art imitates life, others say life imitates art. Whatever your persuasion, there’s something to be said for the similarities to be drawn between San Diego-based experimental indie jazz group Montalban Quintet’s “Swamis,” the accompanying music video above, and the actual surf spot from which the track draws its name.

When Swami’s (the surf break) is on, the place becomes a maelstrom of longboards, shortboards, mid-lengths, human limbs, and neoprene. An expression of performance art that’s chaotic to say the least,  as orderly swell lines wrap toward the headland.

That Montalban Quintet – a group formed by Pinback drummer Chris Prescott – would find inspiration in the waves for an experimental jazz track is fitting. More than any genre, jazz is improvisational, at times chaotic, bewildering, and beautiful.

Throw on some headphones and vibe to this and tell us it doesn’t remind you of jockeying for position at the San Diego pointbreak.


Only the best. We promise.


Join our community of contributors.