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
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
(Out of print. Spine has a cutout notch.)
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
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
One of the few good exotica albums to ever come out on Columbia, and a nice set of orchestral pieces, with a slight eastern tinge, and the kind of arrangements that were being used by Les Baxter over at Capitol. A number of tracks have a groovy vocal chorus – and titles include "Temple Of Suicide", "Goddess Of Love", "Venus Girl", and "Jaguar God". LP, Vinyl record album
Tak Shindo —
Mganga! ... LP Edison/Modern Harmonic, 1958. New Copy (reissue)...
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
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
2 rare slices of exotica by Les Baxter – back to back on one CD! The first half of the set features material from the album Ports Of Pleasure – a dreamy exploration of south sea ideals that's got a more lightly drifting quality than some of Baxter's more percussive exotica albums, and which is awash in dreamy soundscapes penned by Les himself! The orchestrations are large and bold throughout – mixing strings and woodwinds almost in a soundtrack-y mode – but always with the light sense of interplay that makes Baxter's work so great. Titles include "Monkey Dance Of Bali", "Pearls Of Ceylon", "Tahiti A Summer Night At Sea", "Hong Kong Cable Car", "Tramp Steamer To Singapore", "Harem Silks From Bombay", and "Sidewalk Cafes Of Saigon". The Sacred Idol is a real standout set from the end of Les Baxter's run at Capitol Records – originally scored for a film that was never released, but a great set of tracks that more than stands strongly on its own! The theme here is a Mexican/Latin American one – explored by Baxter with his trademark blend of larger orchestrations and lighter exotica touches – often swirling around in an extremely evocative mode that makes us wish the film had been issued to the public, and at a few key moments even hinting at the funkier modes that would follow on some of Les' later work for other labels. Titles include "Aqueducts", "Gardens Of The Moon", "Pyramid Of The Sun", "Temple Of Gold", and "Procession Of The Princes". CD