Friday, May 20, 2016
Bibliotheque Exotique: Gérard Levecque & Claude Romat – Africadelic's The Name N° 1&2 (MP2000, 197?)
Posting these by request. While never my favorite of the exotic library LPs that are out there, these two monster jam-filled records by Claude Romat & Gérard Levecque (with "Black Colored Drums" handling percussion on side 2 of volume 2) on the MP2000 label are nonetheless red-hot blasts of wild French Africanesque funky percussive madness and essential to any collection of bibliotheque exotique, if only for their insanely appealing covers (though thankfully, they don't have to rest on that alone). Vol. 1 in 192, unfortunately, Vol. 2 in a much nicer 320.
Thursday, May 19, 2016
Tonight in the Explorers Room–In The World, But Not Of It: An Evening with the Compositions of Moondog
Tonight's episode of Explorers Room will be an all-Moondog affair, with a special emphasis on the composer's multi-part suites, later-period symphonic/saxophonic recordings, and–of course, of course–his exotic themes and motifs. Moondog is no secret to serious music listeners these days, but that doesn't mean we can't spend an enlightening evening eraptured by his elegant repetitions, now does it? Bring fresh ears; all other senses strictly optional.
Tonight, 7-10, followed by The Cool Blue Flame with Little Danny.
WESTWARD HO! – No, the Wheel Was Never Invented
Thursday, May 12, 2016
Tonight's Explorers Room will be casually curated trip through a bevy of musical styles from the Caribbean diaspora–in this case mostly drawing from Jamaica, the Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, and Belize (which is, I should note, by no means a fully representative sampling of the intense multitudinous nature of the Caribbean diaspora)–from Reggae to Mento, Rapso to Calypso, Garifuna to Goombay, and a variety of syncretic overlaps and cultural kriols in between. Tonight, 7-10.
Tonight's program will be immediately followed, I am very pleased to say, by The Cool Blue Flame with Little Danny.
COME TO THE CAR IB BE AN
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
With the sad news of Isao Tomita's death, I am reposting the May 14, 2015 notice for the Explorers Room Tomita-themed show. Give it a listen, if you will, and spend some time with some of the greatest music in synthesizer history.
Explorers Room returns this Thursday, from 7-10, and will be followed by The Cool Blue Flame with Little Danny.
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)
T O M I T A : listen
Thursday, April 21, 2016
Tonight in the Explorers Room we'll be enjoying music from all over the world, including some pretty amazing 10" and 7" French ethnographic recordings and Brazilian/Latin LPs I found at a thrift shop two days ago. Just a cool evening, bursting with all kinds of juicy sounds. Some of it, I'll have barely heard myself. It'll be fun. See you there, I hope.
C H A N T S (7-10, you know the drill.)
After tonight's show, I'll be gone for two weeks, bopping around in jungle and sea, expeditioning, collecting new artifacts for the explorers room. I'll be back on May 12. But stay tuned to Thursday nights, as any week now we'll see the maiden voyage of Little Danny's (of Office Naps/The Exotica Project, etc.)new show, the Cool Blue Flame. Yes please. Very exciting.
Thursday, April 14, 2016
Tonight's Explorers Room will be a laid-back, highly groovy sound safari through the electrified world of the electrifying Eddie Harris. Naturally the focus will be on Harris' experimental work: varitone sax-driven funk-jazz, swelling echoplexed chambers of sound, spoken word, singing-through-horn, and restless mad scientist adjustments to existing instruments (both swapping parts–the reed trumpet, the saxobone, etc.–and adding synthesizer components). Harris was prolific, and at least for a time, extremely successful, but he was also a fiendishly restless, brilliant polymath, fearless of failure, who never stopped tinkering with and rewriting his sound and his methods.
In this case, I'm not even remotely an expert on the subject; rather, newly obsessed, and still in the process of "discovering" it for myself. Come along and discover with me these sounds–thoroughly jazzy, excruciatingly weird, intensely funky, and cosmically trippy. 7-10, my friends.
Thursday, April 7, 2016
Tonight on Explorers Room, I'll be playing an assortment of music bound together by no real theme whatsoever, except that a fair amount of it is made up of recent acquisitions. Latin exotica, avant-garde, politically conscious jazz, and definitely some Gato Barbieri, may his horn blow eternal in search of the mystery. See you there my exots. 7-10 with bells on.
H E A R THE H E A T
Thursday, March 31, 2016
Thursday, March 24, 2016
Tonight on Explorers Room: Mythology, Ethnomusicology, Wordlessness and Disembodiment–The Women of Exotica. Tune in for all the wordless vocalise and unworldly sounds of Yma Sumac, Miriam Burton, Elizabeth Waldo, and others less-heralded but only slightly less exquisite. I'm looking forward to this one, friends. I hope to see you there.
Thursday, March 17, 2016
Tonight! The final week of WFMU's fundraising marathon, the second and last Explorers Room marathon show of the year. If it is at all possible for you, do your part–no matter how small–to maintain the existence of this good thing, this freeform radio empire, this island of resistance, difference, and independence in a boiling ocean of commodification and mediocrity.
Please tune in, jump in the comments, express solidarity, and toss us some fliff. If you donate $20 or more, you're eligible to win prizes (see the graphic above to get a sense of the excellence we're giving away tonight), or $75-and-up to win prizes PLUS my DJ Premium prize (see below): a special mix made just for the marathon entitled The Fabricated Wilderness, a collection of the most immersive, artificial, outrageous, or sublime exotica bird calls, seascapes, and jungles.
To pledge to my show specifically (it all goes to WFMU in the end, but a donation to my show makes you eligible for tonight's prizes, and makes me look like I'm pulling my weight), go here. Donate, then click the plus sign. Like so:
Please help support free radio. Nothing could be more true, nothing could be more right, than helping WFMU stay afloat: it is a revolution, a utopia, a model of what a functioning society should foster. See you tonight for some intense Marathaan jams!
T O N I G H T