Good Music We Can Know

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Bibliothéque Exotique 2 Tonight, On Explorers Room! Jungle, Safari, Wildlife

Hello all! I'm very happy to report that tonight's episode of Explorers Room will draw from and beyond my compilation of library selections, Bibliothéque Exotique 2: Jungle-Safari-Wildlife.  Volume 2 is pretty much my favorite of the five, all avant-film-jazz and classic library synths, a weird plunge into the heart of jungle darkness, native ritual and ethnographic hysteria, safari scenes, and wildlife encounter.  Tune in and let's go mad with malaria and exotic displacement.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Outside Time and Beyond Space: Tomita Night tonight on Explorers Room

Tonight's program will consist of Isao Tomita's synthesizer renditions of classical compositions, some of the most unusual and sublime music ever recorded.  

"Isao Tomita was nine years old when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. In the years that followed he found himself surrounded by destruction: Half a million men, women, and children–the majority of whom resided in Tomita’s home city of Tokyo–would be killed in air raids or die from starvation.
To know where the bombs would fall next, Tomita and his family would leave the radio on throughout the night tuned to the national military service. One evening toward the end of the war the usual news and propaganda briefly vanished. In its place, through the static, Tomita heard music that would change his life.

Japan had been closed to Western culture throughout Tomita’s childhood. On this night, with U.S. aircraft carriers getting closer, radio crosstalk had caused a trace of Western music to reach Tomita’s ear. 

And when Japan surrendered, the strange music proliferated.

“Jazz, pop songs, and classical music was filling the airwaves of Japan” after the war, Tomita recently told Tokyo Weekender. “To me, that music sounded like it was coming from aliens in outer space. That was really what I thought. I thought I was listening to music from outer space. […] I was inspired by those sounds, and this was the catalyst that began the creative spirit within me.”
As a young boy, Western music sounded literally alien to Isao Tomita. So he would spend the majority of his life making Western music sound alien to everyone else." 

From Deadelectric's article, Spaceship Japan: An Introduction to Isao Tomita (Part 1)


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Chick Vekters: Travelogue update

Just a head up to discerning listeners: Chick Vekters' Travelogue, which I like very very much, is now available in full on Bandcamp.  Go check it out.  Now is the time to find your lost mid-century utopia and realize to your surprise how alien it always seemed to you.  Why were you looking for it, when you weren't ready for it in the first place?


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Bibliothéque Exotique Tonight, On Explorers Room!

Following the pretty incredible Field Service Radio, broadcast live by Jesse Kaminsky from the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston (check that out here, now), tonight's Explorers Room will shine a light on Bibliothéque Exotique Vol. 1: Panorama of the Exotic World

Panorama of the Exotic World is the first part in a 5-volume set of compilations unfurled here, by me, about a year ago.  It focuses mainly on selections with a more classically-exotica oriented sound.  Tonight we'll listen to some of the better selections, some new additions, and new-to-me, obscure-to-most MP2000 Music Scene LP (Panoramic-Exotic) which was mailed to me anonymously.

This will begin a series of programs dedicated to the series.  Every other week will be a new volume of Bibliothéque Exotique.  Next week will likely be an all-Tomita cosmic voyage.

See you tonight, Explorers: 7-9 EST

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Exotic Motifs and Various Taboos, Tonight on Explorers Room

Tune in tonight – 7-9 EST, on Give the Drummer Radio – for an evening of classic, top shelf Exotica (and some other, weirder stuff).  Hear Provocatif and other Exotic Motifs as we embark on a group-hallucination into mind jungles and industrial-grade touristic phantasmagoria.  Masters of the ancient universe await your induction to the absurd ceremony of a false bird god.  The drink of the evening shall be the Jungle Bird, of course:

Jungle Bird (Aviary Bar, Kuala Lumpur Hilton, c. 1978)
3/4 oz. Campari
1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
1/2 oz. sugar syrup
4 oz. unsweetened pineapple juice
1 1/2 oz. dark Jamaican rum

See you there, you figments of the imagination!


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Tonight on Explorers Room: A Special Evening with Donovan

Tonight, my beamish ones, will be a night spent with one of the most splendid musical entities in the history of recorded sound.  An artist so inventive and clever and magical – and underrated, my god – that the mind can scarcely comprehend the majesty of it all.  It's hard to recognize a talent this massive when it's so humble and unassuming, but tonight we will spend an extra-long program wading into the briny bog of Donovan's luminous colours, shadow-jazz, and psychedelic pop. 

Come to my arms, my beamish boy (7-9 EST)

And don't ye worry if you miss this or any other show, my friends.  It's all archived and available for listening any time, right here (there's also a link in the sidebar to the right).

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Science Fiction Fantasy Dioramas from Library Masters: Piero Umiliani- Tra Scienza e Fantascienza (1980); Roger's New Conception- Informatic 2000 (1982)

Here's a couple transcendent glimpses into science fiction worlds from two (or three, really) of the shining stars of library music.  I know these are rather old news for those who troll these bloggy waters, but with the landscape changing as quickly as it has been over the last few years, I figure it's nothing but good to keep these old links alive.  Though I sure wouldn't mind some upgrades.

This 1980 LP from Umiliani's own Omicron label (and under the pseudonym Moggi) is one of the first Umiliani records I'd ever heard (was it from 36-15 Moog? How can those days be so long ago now?), and a big hook for myself getting into him.  It's perfect science fiction music.  It achieves what it sets out to do with aplomb and beyond. This is a highlight of a majestic ouvre, and one of the most fun of his many electronic records.

It's also one of those lovely miracles of good album art.  The imagery is the perfect accompaniment to the music, evoking some equally-weird nonexistent companion piece to Fantastic Planet.

Particularly exemplary are "Cowboy Spaziale," "Bric Brac," and "Officina Stellare," but this whole slab is gold.

TRA SCIENZA E FANTASCIENZA (192, anyone have an upgrade?)

Equally good science fiction soundtracking music, and from an equally stellar body of consistently tremendous work, is Roger Roger and Nino Nardini's 1982 Crea Sound LP Informatic 2000 (credited to "Roger's New Conception").  This is as ecstatic and fresh as any of the best work this team has ever done.  The title track is one of the best library tracks I'll probably ever hear, and "Expectation" is a chunky, clunky delight.

INFORMATIC 2000 (again, 192)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Roger Roger and Nino Nardini: An Exotic Life TONIGHT on Explorers Room (7-9 EST)

Tune in tonight for an evening of exoticism from the peerless Roger Roger and Nino Nardini.  The program will feature selections from their masterwork, Jungle Obsession (of course), many of the selections from my compilation of a few years back, Obsession Exotique, and really quite a bit more.  Indeed, you might even interpret this as a heavily revised, much-improved version of that compilation, albeit in the format of a radio show. 

I look forward to seeing you all there! Oh and: ideally, you would all be listening to this while simultaneously enjoying such luxurious and diverting activities that you'd truly have no time to enter the fray of the commenting box.  However, if you are for whatever reason not so engaged in debauchery, meditation, or all-consuming fantasy, please do accept my invitation to come in and get a good lunatic discourse going.  I'll be happy to see you, I promise.

Also, new post coming tomorrow.  Until then:


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Other Planets, Other Rooms: New Age Tootscapes tonight on Explorers Room (7-9 EST)

Tune in tonight and dissolve your body into a incorporeal cloud of naked consciousness borne on wings of static signals.  Float the rivers of geologic time, sail the cosmos of the celestial soul.  Tonight is a voyage through an expanse of particularly thrilling New Age soundscapes, "East of the sun, and west of the moon... Outside time, and beyond space."  As usual, but different.


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Music For Plants Tonight on Explorers Room

Tune in to Explorers Room tonight for an episode all about plant music.  Plantasia, its musical brethren, and more leafy library bits, a green sonic climatron for the benefit of your potted friends and a celebration of Spring as it springs to wondrous dewy life.  You bring your begonia, I'll bring my bromeliad.

I'm serious, by the way.  Get your plants in on this listening party.  Bring them into the room with you.  Or bring the speakers out to the greenhouse like a civilized person.  Tonight is for them, not you – you're just lucky to be here, if you think about it.