Not as all-out exotic as some of Les' earlier Capitol albums, but still pretty darn great! The theme here is Carribean exotic, and the rhythms have a little bit more of Cuba and Haiti than they do of primitive Borneo. Les handles them nicely, as always, and contributes some wonderful arrangements to the album. Titles include "Deep Night", "Green Eyes", "Sway", "Out Of This World", and "Adios". LP, Vinyl record album
Martin Denny's music always takes us away to the tropics – and this set is a whole Forbidden Island of exotica tunes! The record features the classic Denny exotica quartet with Augie Colon and Julius Wechter – plus some additional guest players on flute, percussion, and guitar – rounding out things very nicely. The expanded sound works nicely for Denny's style – and the mood incorporates plenty of easy lounge arrangements of the fairly standard instrumentation in the backdrop – broadened wonderfully in the arrangements! It's sort of a blue-eyed tropical feel – one that makes it a cheeky classic! The set includes some good originals like "Goony Birds", "Cobra", "Exotica", and "Primitiva", plus the Les Baxter tunes "Port Au Prince" and "Sim Sim", as well as a perennial exotica fave, "March Of The Siamese Children". LP, Vinyl record album
(Turquoise label pressing with deep groove. Cover has a split top seam held with tape and a half split spine.)
Tak Shindo —
Mganga! ... CD Edison/Modern Harmonic, 1958. New Copy ...
A fantastic bit exotica from Tak Shindo – quite rootsy at times, in a way that really lives up to the cover – and which makes the whole thing a lot more striking than Shindo's other big album on Capitol at the time! The instrumentation is filled with heavy percussion and rhythms, often recorded with a lot of echo – and peppered with these chanting vocals that are totally great – much moodier than more mainstream exotica. Imagine Les Baxter going deeper into the jungle – and you've got a good idea of the vibe here – as the instrumentation goes way beyond mere "primitive sounds" – with some Latin jazz inspiration and other global accents seamlessly working their way into a richly-layered sound! Titles include "Mombasa Love Song", "Nyoba Festival", "Slave Chains of Mtumwa", "Mganga", "Watusi Drum Dance", and "Port of Trinkitat". CD
A genius set from Les Baxter in the late 60s – and a double-length album that combines one Brazilian and African-inspired grooves! The Brazilian set is taken in a very bossa-based mode – one that uses small combo percussion, tinkling piano, bubbling organ, and added vocals from Les' chorus – who sing over the top of the tunes in a style that's mostly wordless, and which gives a very groovy 60s sort of feel to the record – one that's almost a soundtrack variation on the bossa. The African Blue set is even better – not as totally exotic as you might think, but still with plenty of great 60s touches – thanks to a small instrumental combo that includes Clare Fischer on organ, Carol Kaye on bass, and plenty of added percussion! The tunes have a lightly dancing feel that's really great – again showing Baxter's shift to a more soundtrack-oriented mode of expression, one that actually brings out a deeper feel from the exotic themes of the tunes. 25 tracks in all – with titles that include "Flame Tree", "Azure Sands", "Jalaba", "Johannesburg Blues", "Girl From Uganda", "Kalahari", "Dark River", "Day Of The Roses", "Tristeza", "A Banda", "Who Will Buy", and "A Man & A Woman". CD
Fantastic funkiness! Although Les Baxter's best known for his easy listening work in the late 50s/early 60's, this 1969 biker flick soundtrack is a motherlode of funky funky tracks, and a veritable cornucopia of breakbeats! Highlights include the classics "Hogin' Machine" and "Hot Wind", but there's lots of other nice ones like "Soul Groove" and "Scoobee Doo". The drums are nice and hard, and there's plenty of fuzzy fuzzy guitar to go around nicely! A few tracks have vocals, but the instrumentals more than make up for any weak spots. Essential. (Soundtracks, Now Sound)LP, Vinyl record album
Tak Shindo —
Mganga! ... LP Edison/Modern Harmonic, 1958. New Copy (reissue)...
Temporarily Out Of Stock
A fantastic bit exotica from Tak Shindo – quite rootsy at times, in a way that really lives up to the cover – and which makes the whole thing a lot more striking than Shindo's other big album on Capitol at the time! The instrumentation is filled with heavy percussion and rhythms, often recorded with a lot of echo – and peppered with these chanting vocals that are totally great – much moodier than more mainstream exotica. Imagine Les Baxter going deeper into the jungle – and you've got a good idea of the vibe here – as the instrumentation goes way beyond mere "primitive sounds" – with some Latin jazz inspiration and other global accents seamlessly working their way into a richly-layered sound! Titles include "Mombasa Love Song", "Nyoba Festival", "Slave Chains of Mtumwa", "Mganga", "Watusi Drum Dance", and "Port of Trinkitat". LP, Vinyl record album
Yma Sumac —
Miracles ... LP London, 1971. Used ...
Temporarily Out Of Stock
Fantastic! This is Yma Sumac's rock album from the early 70's – and it's got a wild sound that's totally different from any of her work at Capitol! The record includes lots of electric instrumentation, and Yma's voice moves from the exotic to the psychedelic, as she sings along with some great organ/guitar small group backing produced by Les Baxter. Sounds weird at first, but it's great, and almost a bit funky! Titles include "Zebra", "El Condor Pasa", "Tree Of Life", "Flame Tree", "Looke Around", and "Let Me Hear You". LP, Vinyl record album
Fab bossa from Les Baxter – one of his few albums done in a Brazilian style, and a really wonderful record! The sound is a combination of Les exotica and chorus styles – forged into a bossa beat, and done with a sweetly swinging groove that's every bit as great as some of the bigger arrangers from Brazil in the late 60s. Jazzy bits come into contact with groovy bits – and the voices are always perfectly spaced as to allow for some strong instrumental interplay. The whole thing's a massively sweet delight – and we love it! Titles include "Who Will Buy", "A Man & A Woman", "Balan Samba", "Canta De Ossanha", "Tristeza", "Laia Ladaia", and "Somewhere In The Hills". LP, Vinyl record album
Amazing! This is a stunning 3 CD set that reissues the original 10" albums of early Theremin material by Dr. Samuel Hoffman! The records were originally issued by Capitol and RCA in the early 50's, and they're as rare as can be on vinyl. This set packs tiny 5" replicas of the albums themselves into a box, along with a very nice booklet that contains a wealth of information on Hoffman, the Theremin, and lots of other nice bits. The orchestrations for the albums are by Les Baxter and Billy May, and the works were written by the enigmatic Harry Revel. The sound is incredible, and is a wild mix of sci fi and easy themes, with a feel that is out of this world! The package is more beautiful than we can describe, and this is a long-overdue tribute to 3 of the weirdest records of all time! CD
Not exotica, but Britxotica – a cool variant of the American postwar love of the sounds of the islands and the jungles – served up here in a really hip batch of tracks from the UK scene of the late 50s and early 60s! Many of these numbers are rooted in jazz, and there's definitely some key jazz musicians in the mix – but you'll also hear lots of the percussion, global instruments, and moody orchestrations you'd find on American records by folks like Les Baxter or Martin Denny – although sometimes with an even groovier vibe, and a nice London twist – similar to some of the Croydon Municipal compilations from Cherry Red! The package is one of the coolest collections we've seen from Trunk Records in a long time – and titles include "Zambezi" by Tony Mansell & Johnny Dankworth, "The Green Eye Of The Little Yellow God" by Harry H Corbett, "Street Of A Thousand Bongos" by Brian Fahey, "Taboo" by Sounds Incorporated, "Follow Me" by Lucille Mapp, "Jungle Drums" by Ted Heath, "The Hat" by Jerry Allen, and "Cha Cha Cha Calypso" by Maxine Daniels. (Funky Compilations, Now Sound)LP, Vinyl record album
Better than you might think – and a sparkling selection of recent exotica work that's very much in the best tradition of Martin Denny or Les Baxter, but which also goes far beyond that style, into a wealth of groovy modes that also hits some great 60s soundtrack moments! The first few tunes are very much in a late 50s Capitol/Liberty mode – but as the album progresses, it hits a style that's much more than you'd expect from the exotic cover – kind of a blend of Lalo Schifrin-type grooves with some bossa and 60s LA jazz influences. The album's got some killer percussion by Carlinhos De Oliveira, and solid jazz basis to some of the playing on the best tracks – a feature that takes the record way past the simple retro mode that usually ruins a project of this nature. Titles include "Exotica 97", "Close Your Eyes", "Hot Like Lava", "Barbi In Bali", "Clutch Cargo Cult", "Da T'ing He Grow", and "Itchy Palms". CD