Good Music We Can Know

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Lyman on Film: Taboo, Taboo Tu, Quiet Village

I'm back.  The show went wonderfully, thanks for asking.  We packed the house and drank all the rum.  Thanks to those among you who attended, you wonderful people. 

I look forward now to getting more posts out in the next few days, but for now, here's a little something delightful to get us back in the game: a pair of Arthur Lyman live television appearances, performing "Taboo" and "Taboo Tu."  It's really astounding to me, watching the Lyman quartet in action, like a perfect little music box of artifice, restraint, and professionalism, conjuring up a flawless aural illusion of the exotic.  Check them out!  (And thanks to Mr. Schulkind for hipping me to the second video!)  Sorry for the links, embedding has been disabled for both videos.


Taboo TU

Oh, and just for kicks and the sheer beauty of it: here's a third video of Lyman playing "Quiet Village" solo on the vibes.  It's pretty much exquisite, I highly recommend it.


More to come, very soon!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

EXPEDITION: An Evening of Armchair Exoticisms


I'm particularly excited this morning to share this with you all:  Next Thursday, September 4th, at Spectacle Theater in Brooklyn, I will be presenting EXPEDITION, an exotic evening of art and armchair travel.  Come and embark on a journey to the heart of timeless darkness and beyond; embrace the numinous monolith of the exotic immensity.

Check out the event site for all the information you'll need.   Or here is a facebook thing. An event page.  Share it, if that's the thing I want to say.  

Also!  Please watch the exactly delightful trailer below (put together by the incredible Mr. Zev Deans, who also put this whole show together, made the flyer, these gifs, and arranged for there to be tiki drinks in dinosaur cups on the night of the show):


Expedition's program will consist of three parts:

1: Millions of Years Ago: A Primeval Bolero
(Concerning the Origins of Man and the Savage Early Days of the Earth)
For the Edification and Pleasure of the Audience: In Order to Please the Eye and Excite the Imagination

A trio of educational video tapes of stop-motion dinosaurs subjected to extensive re-edits and fitted with a new soundtrack of exotica, library music, and cosmic synthesizers.  Saturating themselves in the exotic fiction and repetitive tropes of the dinosaur narrative as it is so often presented, the videos display: a pseudo-science-fiction fantasy wherein thunder lizards occupy a primeval, godless, and thoroughly exotic landscape of the sublime (an apocalyptic out-of-time zone where human life is horrifically/paradisally nonexistent) and are ultimately martyred so that mammals may live.  Beneath the volcanic, eschatological skies of the First Judgment, the Noble Reptilian Savage necessarily expires, making way for the dominance of the imperial rat.

2: Expedition:

Expedition is a collage book, two years in the making, loosely following an archetypal expedition narrative and its ultimate descent into dissociative breakdown. Employing juxtaposition through the literal and symbolic act of collage, it delves into unapologetic fantasy while offering a sort of critique, explicating a surrealist-ethnographical culture-history of Western exoticism.  Each page has dozens of collaged components, genuine artifacts of authentic exoticist 20th century culture, drawn from a vast collected archive; all of which are detailed (along with their sources and original context) in the book's dense index.  The book will be presented as an analogue slide show (with a soundtrack elaborately comprised of exotica music and field recordings).

 3: Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet (Ports of Paradise):

A recut of a 1965 Hollywood recut (entitled Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet, with a well-shoehorned-in Basil Rathbone) of a 1962 Soviet science fiction film, Planet of Storms (using also some additional footage from a further 1968 B-picture recut, Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women).  The film follows an expedition to Venus, an exotic planet populated with dinosaurs, carnivorous plants, and mysterious native women.  The film is re-edited (in chronological order, but greatly shortened, with redesigned sound) to reveal the classic expedition narrative at its core, with a preference for the sensory over the sensical.  The result is a woozy narrative more in line with dream-state story-telling, surrealist strategies, or the psychedelic logic of midnight movies. 

COME TO THE SHOW! I'LL BE THERE!  WE CAN TALK ABOUT EXOTICA IN THE SAME PHYSICAL PROXIMITY!  WE CAN DRINK FROM DINOSAURIC VESSELS TOGETHER!  If you can't come to the show, and you are reading this from one of the almost infinite locations that are out of reasonable reach of New York, then please do know that your presence will be sorely missed.  Perhaps recommend it to a friend, if you have one in the area.  Or invite me to your town to do the show there!  I'd come, probably!

Last thing before I go: I know I've mentioned this before, but distributable copies of the book are coming soon.  There should be more information before September draws to a close.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Flash Strap Presents: Bibliothèque Exotique Volume 5 – Tropicosmic (Synthesized Exotica and Electro-Primitivism)

Here we go.  Volume 5.  The last in this series, for the time being.  The infinite nature of the library world means that I could conceivably do this whole thing again ten times over, if I had access to every library LP in existence, but for now I have done all I can.  And I'm very excited about this temporarily-terminal installment, as it's the biggest yet, a seething, pulsing 2 and a half hours of cosmic jungle washes and bright plastic synthi-time rituals du sauvage.

This set runs a gamut from sterling electronic avant-garde (of a sort) to some rather more crass (but awesome in its way) e-music material, but they're all part of the same continuum, all speaking the same basic language of exoticism.  In this case, the gulf between the linguistic portal of the track's title and the formal elements of exoticism as evidenced by the music itself is as wide, or wider, than ever.  It's a fascinating thing about synth music: if you title an ambient sequencer-driven track "Neptune," then the listener unavoidably pictures an icy celestial body, imagery on a planetary scale.  If you title that same track "Jungle," then the listener conjures exotic visions of a rainforest, perhaps with a sci-fi/UFOlogical twist, or hot hazy shades of deep antiquity.  Neither experience would be more or less intrinsically authentic or perceptive than the other; you're just responding to the stimulus with which you've been provided—and besides, what does exotica, of all things, have to do with fidelity to fact, tradition, or formal rules, anyway?  If a track says it's exotica, then by gum it sure as hell has to be, doesn't it?

Many of the selections in Tropicosmic do lean particularly, even exclusively, hard on that paratextual tension to achieve their take on exotica.  But it's a spectrum: many others go all in for overt signifiers, classic genre hallmarks, and/or formal tropes of exoticism, all while employing the synthesizer palette to transform, mutate, or update the idiom.  There's all sorts here, even if nearly half of the selections employ the words "jungle" or "Africa" in their title—the most interesting thing is the variations and repetitions of strategies. 

David Toop referred to Exotica (in his book, Exotica) as "fabricated soundscapes in a real world."  He could scarcely have said it better, and it's as applicable a phrase now as ever.  Please enjoy this panorama of the synthesized exotic universe, as I hope you have enjoyed the broader panorama of the library-exotica landscape throughout the run of Bibliothèque Exotique.  I thank you for following along with me on this odyssey.

Tropicosmic: Synthesized Exotica and Electro-Primitivism

1. Kolibri (sunrise in the djungle); (Kuckuck & C. Brull Ltd.: Soundtrack)–Georg Deuter
2. Barimpa (Montparnasse: Interfrequence)–Ariel Kalma
3. Exotique (RCA Media: Robot Bleu)–Roland Bocquet
4. Panama (Coloursound Library: The Now Generation (Percussive Underscores))–Peter Lüdemann & Pit Troja
5. Brazilian Ballad (CAM: Publipot)–J.P. Decerf & M. Baroty
6. Yapaga Cova (Disc Go: GO 1003)–J.C. Pierric ?
7. New Tropical Safari (Montparnasse: Translation)–C. Hauterive & M. Saclays
8. Black Safari (CAM: Out of the Way [with Gérard Zajd, Tony Cerona]; also released on Chicago 2000: Light Flight More and More [as the artist Magical Ring])–J.P. Decerf
9. Black Power (Bota Fogo: The Easy Listening Group Vol.1)–Deschidado & Miniello
10. Slave March (Afrodisia: Black Goddess OST)–Remi Kabaka
11. VoodooTronics (StudioG/Trunk: G-Spots)–James Harpham
12. African War (Cenacolo: Grandangolo)–Amadeo Tommasi
13. African Délirium (CBS: April Orchestra Vol. 48, Présente FR2)–Francis Rimbert & Frederick Rousseau
14. Electronic Africa (TeleMusic: Automation Vol. 2)–Sauveur Mallia
15. African Break (TeleMusic: Percussions Modernes Vol. 1)–Sauveur Mallia
16. Mission Africa (TeleMusic: Music Force)–Swing Family (Sauveur Mallia)
17. Akili Mali (Palm Records: Colours)–Ralf Nowy
18. Tribal Ceremony (Sonimage: Safari)–Jean-Michel Hervé
19. Jungle Lovers (CAM: Construction)–Aldo Tamborrelli & Massimo Ruocco
20. Jungle Juice (De Wolfe: Push Button)–Rubba (Karl Jenkins & Mike Ratledge)
21. Jungle Caravan (Magicabus: Hypnosis)–Yan Tregger
22. Jungle Command (Amphonic: Sound Stage 18- The New World)–Anne Dudley
23. Synthetic Jungle (Sam Fox Productions: Deserted Palace)–Jean Michel Jarre
24. Jungle (Sonimage: Fusion)–Armand Frydman
25. Jungle (Sky: Inventions)–Adelbert Von Deyen & Dieter Schutz
26. Inca (DeWolfe: Stretch)–Simon Park
27. Rain-Forest (Selected Sound: Environment)–Claude Larson
28. Arabian Era (Montparnasse: Sound)–J.P. Decerf
29. Wizard (Montparnasse: Sound)–J.P. Decerf / M. Saclays
30. Oasis (Montparnasse: Interfrequence)–Ariel Kalma
31. Oasis (Cetra: Oasis)–Il Guardiano Del Faro
32. East Looks West (a); (KPM: A Higher State)–Andy Clark
33. Asia (RCA Media: Robot Bleu)–Roland Bocquet
34. Far-Off Lands (Themes International: A New Age)–Rod Argent & Robert Howes
35. Strange Paradise (Musax: Planant)–Gérard Gesina
36. Serengeti (Sonimage: Balance)–Martin Wester & Bernhard Hering
37. Savannah (Selected Sound: Environment)–Claude Larson
38. La Recreation du Kangourou (Disques Magellan: Patchwork Orchestra 5- Cosmic Sounds/China Moods)–Roger Davy
39. Ritmo Pampa (Globevision: I Grès vol. 2)–I Grès
40. Andean's Shepherd (Sonimage: Safari)–Jean-Michel Hervé
41. Sombrero (Montparnasse: Hypothese)–D. Labarre & F. Schnetzer
42. Exotic Guide (TeleMusic: Spatial & Co Vol. 2)–Sauveur Mallia
43. Tropic (Koka Media: Eureka)–Armand Frydman
44. Tropical (PSI: Turbulences)–Joël Fajerman
45. Atoll (Montparnasse: Hypothese)–D. Labarre & F. Schnetzer
46. Pink Island (Selected Sound: Rainbow Sessions)–Mike Moore Company
47. Lagon Tropical (Patchwork: Aquarius)–Pierre Dutour
48. Hymn To A Peaceful Island (Coloursound Library: Into The Wind)–Klaus Weiss
49. Hawaian et Fizz Guitars (CBS: April Orchestra Vol. 31 - Claviers Electroniques)–Caravelli
50. Hawaiiana (Coloursound Library: The PR TV Group - Contemporary Group Vol. 2)–Andre Mikola
51. Sea Holiday (Hawaii); (Forever Records: Mondial Folk Synthesizer III (Estremo Oriente-Africa))–Marcello Giombini
52. Treasure Island (Chappell: Atmospheric - Sea/Water)–Gouriet & Phillips


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Flash Strap Presents: Bibliothèque Exotique Volume 4- Musique du "Voo-Doo" (Funk, Grooves, Percussion, Seaside Reverie)

And now I am really, just really excited to present to you, Volume 4: Musique du "Voo-doo."  Folks, these tracks are doozies.  Monstrous grooves, relentless percussion, savage rock workouts, barbaric funk.  Honestly, it's probably too much heaviness for one place, but what can I do?  Pace yourselves.  The last third or so is made up of exotic seaside and leisure tracks, sort of a cool-down from all the voodoo.  Oh, please do enjoy.

Next week I'll be finishing off the series (for now) with an even more mammoth set of cosmic synth and electropop exotica. So "stay tuned," as they say.


1. Jungle Theme No. 3 (Parry Music: Action & Drama)–Don Howard
2. Jungle Theme No. 2 (Parry Music: Action & Drama)–Don Howard
3. Jungle Theme No. 1 (Parry Music: Action & Drama)–Don Howard
4. Wild Trumpet (TeleMusic: Musique En Stock Vol. 2)–Pierre Dutour
5. Africa Semper (TeleMusic: Neo Rythmiques)–Pierre-Alain Dahan & Slim Pezin
6. Safari Love (TeleMusic: Variety One - Maxi Music; composer: Mat Camison)–Résonance
7. Jungle Trompet (TeleMusic: 100% Trompette)–Pierre Dutour
8. Mandingo (Columbia: The Primeval Rhythm Of Life)–Mandingo
9. Tropical Scene (Bosworth: Soft, Sweet And Swing)–Jonny Teupen Group
10. Black Pearl (DeWolfe: Black Pearl)–Alan Parker
11. Violins Safari (Pierson: Velvet Dreams Vol. 2)–J.C. Pierric
12. Tanganika (E.C.A.P.: Top Instrumental Music)–Guy Des Joncs
13. Hula Rock (Bosworth: America '76)–Lew Howard All-Stars
14. Primitive Spirit (TeleMusic: Musique En Vrac)–Raymond Guiot
15. Arachnid (EMI: Savage Rite)–Mandingo
16. The Voodou Ju Ju Drug - Part 1 (Barclay: The Voodou Juju Drug 7")–R. Pultek
17. Grey Pepper (Africadelic In Safari Mood); (Montparnasse: Africadelic's the Name N° 2; with percussion by Black Colored Drums)–Gerard Levecque & Claude Romat
18. Voodoo Ju Ju Obsession, Part 2 (Ju Ju Records: Voodoo Ju Ju Obsession 7")–K. Pythacunthapuserectus (Davy Jones, Janko Nilovic)
19. Bambù (Omni: Niente)–Gruppo D'Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza
20. Zombie (Musique Pour L'Image: Sons Nouveaux Pour Images Contemporaines)–Roger Davy
21. The Voodou Ju Ju Drug - Part 2 (Barclay: The Voodou Juju Drug 7")–R. Pultek
22. Mao Mao (Barclay: Jingle Jungle / Mao Mao 7")–The Starlights
23. Jungle Riders (PSI: African Voodoo)–Manu Dibango
24. Cult (De Wolfe: Afro-Rock; composer: Peter Reno)–Vecchio
25. African Feeling (Montparnasse: Pop Guitar Sketches)–Ike Mathews
26. Bungle in the Jungle (Hoctor Dance Records: Jazz In The Sun With Nilo Toledo)–Nilo Toledo
27. Kuzi-Kuza (TeleMusic: Neo Rythmiques)–Pierre-Alain Dahan & Slim Pezin
28. Route Africaine B (Conroy Library: Background Action)–Sammy Burdson
29. Tribal Warfare (Amphonic Music Ltd.: Smooth Themes - Swinging Percussion)–Jim Lawless
30. Chant Afrique (Bosworth: America '76)–Lew Howard All-Stars
31. Chant of the Virgins (Columbia: The Primeval Rhythm Of Life)–Mandingo
32. Bambù #2 (Omni: Niente)–Gruppo D'Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza
33. Tension In Somalia (Montparnasse: World News)–Cecil Wary
34. Eros In Hiro (Cinevox: Bora Bora)–Piero Piccioni
35. Bora Bora (short version); (Cinevox: Bora Bora)–Piero Piccioni
36. Jamaican Love Song (Jump: Urubamba; composer: O. Rocchi)–Tropicals
37. Black Sand (Vedette: Sea Fantasy)–Armando Sciascia
38. Slow Heat (KPM: Bugaloo in Brazil)–Les Baxter
39. Exotic Flutes (Chappell: Soft and Sweet)–Roger Bourdin
40. Sun, Sand And Surf (Conroy: Modern Mixture)–Sam Sklair & Gus Galbraith
41. Costa Brava (Popular Disc: Delta Sound Vol. 1)–M. Wichard
42. Merckxicaine (CBS: April Orchestra Vol. 1)–Jean Vallée, Yvon Ouazana
43. Sunny Coast (RCA: Spontaneous)–Alessandro Alessandroni
44. Mind For Sea (Disc GO: GO Vol. 1)–J.C. Pierric
45. L'Océan (Montparnasse: Percussions Dans L'Espace)–Janko Nilovic
46. Sound Box (Montparnasse: Percussions Dans L'Espace)–Janko Nilovic
47. Nostalgic Sea (Vedette: Sea Fantasy)–Armando Sciascia
48. Seashore (60sec., 30sec., 20sec., 10sec.); (William B. Tanner Co.: SPM 162)–William B. Tanner


Monday, July 14, 2014

Flash Strap Presents: Bibliothèque Exotique Volume 3- Orientalism (Japonisme, Chinoiserie, Primitivism, Arabesque)

Ok, here we go: Volume 3: Orientalism.  Opening with an extended sojourn through Southeast Asian timelessness & mysticism, then on to some Chinoiserie and Japonisme, a brief interlude of classic cradle-of-civilization prehistory primitivism, then onto the various Arabesques of Mid-East/North African Orientalism.

Quite often in exotica, I find myself less invested in the sundry Asianisms of the Western exotic imagination.  My purview is decidedly Afro-esque, Pacific/Polynesian, and South American tropicalismo.  Because of this bias, I worried that this collection would be less interesting than the others.  I worried so.  I needn't have–these compositions are amazing, and this collection has ended up being a real favorite of mine.  I am invigorated anew in appreciation of the fevered Orientalist imagination.  Below you'll find the tracklist:

1. Oriental Mystique (Parry Music Ltd.: Around the World Vol. 3)–Harry Forbes
2. Forest Song (Thailand); (Forever Records: Mondial Folk Synthesizer III (Estremo Oriente-Africa))–Marcello Giombini
3. Asiatic Dream (TeleMusic: Electro Sounds Vol. 2)–Bernard Estardy
4. Oriente Contemplativo (Prima: Oriente Oggi)–Rino De Filippi
5. Shan (Edipan: La Muraglia Asiatica)–Bruno Nicolai
6. Aka (Edipan: La Muraglia Asiatica)–Bruno Nicolai
7. Oriente Magico (Prima: Oriente Oggi)–Rino De Filippi
8. Samurai (Penta Flowers/Gemini Music Library: Alpha Percussion)–Giovanni Cristiani (with M. E. Tozzi & Helmut Laberer)
9. Hanoi, The Pearl (Vietnam); (Forever Records: Mondial Folk Synthesizer III (Estremo Oriente-Africa))–Marcello Giombini
10. Ciam (Edipan: La Muraglia Asiatica)–Bruno Nicolai
11. Garuda (Bruton: East Meets West)–Orlando Kimber/John Keliehor
12. Pagode Illuminee (Disques Magellan: Patchwork Orchestra 5- Cosmic Sounds/China Moods)–Roger Davy
13. Hong Kong Song (Auvidis: Alchimie Floue)–Philippe Feret
14. Le Quartier de Wanchai (Disques Magellan: Patchwork Orchestra 5- Cosmic Sounds/China Moods)–Roger Davy
15. Dans les Rues de Shanghai (Disques Magellan: Patchwork Orchestra 5- Cosmic Sounds/China Moods)–Roger Davy
16. Trasparenza Orientale (Prima: Oriente Oggi)–Rino De Filippi
17. Singapore Girl (Happy Records: Jürgen Franke And The Pop Flutes ‎– Pipers)–Nick Frazer
18. The Lights of Hong Kong (Apollo Sound: Colours in Rhythm Vol. 8; composer: J. Gyulai-Gaal)–Budapest Radio Orchestra
19. Kyoto Gardens (Bruton: East Meets West)–Orlando Kimber/John Keliehor
20. Lullaby Of India (Chappell: Dance & Mood Music Vol. 10)–Tony Seattle
21. Eastern Ritual (Bosworth: International Potpourri)–The International Orchestra/Peter Sander
22. Indian Cobra (Jump: Urubamba; composer: G. Barigozzi)–Tropicals
23. Procession In Lhasa (Tibet); (Forever Records: Mondial Folk Synthesizer III (Estremo Oriente-Africa))–Marcello Giombini
24. Eastern Promise (Bosworth: Let's Go Solo / Rock Beat / Drums & Percussion)–Jonny Dean
25. Medio Oriente - Un Deserto In Evoluzione (Iller: Terzo Mondo)–Pelleus & Vivika
26. Primitivo (Edipan: Tempo Sospeso)–Bruno Nicolai
27. Nuraghi (Fly: Looking Around)–Santucci & Scoppa
28. Valle Dei Templi, "Valley of the Temples" (Full Records: Interiezioni)–L. Sordini
29. In Search Of The Past (Musical Touch Sound: Evasion)–Dominique Andre
30. Secret City (Bruton: Explorer)–John Cameron
31. Rediscovered Temples (Sonoton: Scenic Sequences)–Claude Larson
32. Fairy Tale (Coloursound Library: Contemporary Pastoral and Ethnic Sounds)–Joel Vandroogenbroeck & W. Rockman
33. Gondwana (Coloursound Library: Lost Continents)–Joel Vandroogenbroeck
34. Homo Africanus (Coloursound Library: Birth of Earth)–Joel Vandroogenbroeck & S. Burdson
35. Migrations Mu (Coloursound Library: Lost Continents)–Joel Vandroogenbroeck
36. Arabian Synthetyzer (Omicron: Synthi Time)–Piero Umiliani
37. Turkish Delight (Bosworth/Trunk: Super Sounds of Bosworth)–The Ebbinghouse Sound
38. Arabiana (E.C.A.P.: Top Instrumental Music)–Guy Des Joncs
39. Notte A Bagdad (RCA Italiana: Style)–Gianni Oddi
40. Ahmedabab Theme (Chappell: Dance & Mood Music Vol. 6)–Jean-Claude Petit Et Son Orchestre
41. Islam Blues (Telemusic: Continental Pop Sound)–Pierre-Alain Dahan
42. Travel Turkey (Capitol: Media music release n°1-Travel the World)–Ib Glindemann
43. Maghreb (Mondiophone: Music Around The World Vol. 1)–Georges Teperino
44. Arabia (Strange fanfare leading into bizar scene); (Kuckuck & C. Brull Ltd.: Soundtrack)–Georg Deuter
45. Tensione in Medio Oriente (Le Monde: Videomusic No.1)–Peymont
46. Far Out East (Parry Music Ltd.: Around the World Vol. 3)–Frances Ruffino
47. Maharadjah Adventures (Charles Talar Records: Space Dream)–Flash Resonance (Alan Feanch)
48. The Eastern Question (CAM: Habitat)–The Fine Machine
49. Arabian Valley (Patchwork: Flutissimo)–Teddy Lasry


Monday, July 7, 2014

Flash Strap Presents: Bibliothèque Exotique Volume 2- Jungle-Safari-Wildlife

I'm super pleased on this day to present volume two in my bibliothèque quest.  This one is probably my favorite, all avant-film-jazz and classic library synths, a weird plunge into the heart of jungle darkness, native ritual, safari scenes, and wildlife encounter.

Stay tuned for the next three: Orientalism and primitivism/prehistory; super heavy jungle grooves and seaside paradise; and exotic e-music and electropop, respectively.  Volumes 3&4 next week, and #5 the week after.  If you're interested, that is.

Here's the tracklist:

1. Safari (Fonit: C 264 Caratteristici)–Mario Migliardi
2. Jungly (Musical Touch Sound: Evasion)–Dominique Andre
3. Merry Forest (Montparnasse: Interfrequence)–Ariel Kalma
4. Jungle's Orchestra (CBS: April Orchestra Vol. 47)–Serge Bulot
5. Amazon Trail (Peer International Library: Reggae for Real)–The Ian Langley Group
6. Ballet Vaudou (Mondiophone/Crea Sound: 7 Drums Concerto; with Nino Nardini)–Camille Sauvage
7. Lions Dance (Congo); (Forever Records: Mondial Folk Synthesizer III (Estremo Oriente-Africa))–  Marcello Giombini
8. Peruviana (Bota Fogo: The Easy Listening Group Vol.1)–Deschidado & Miniello
9. African Dream (Montparnasse: Percussions Dans L'Espace)–Janko Nilovic
10. Accadde A Bali (Squirrel Records: Accadde A.......)–Arawak
11. Urubamba (Jump: Urubamba; composer: G. Barigozzi)–Tropicals
12. Balimba (Nakara: Nakara Percussions)–S. Olivier Nakara Percussions
13. Pygmelium (Musical Touch Sound: Evasion)–Dominique Andre
14. Flute Safari (Jump: Urubamba; composer: Chiarosi)–Tropicals
15. Africa - Dalla Rhodesia Al Festival Di Dakar (Iller: Terzo Mondo)–Pelleus & Vivika
16. Savage Trumpet (Telemusic: Musique En Stock Vol. 2)–Pierre Dutour
17. Jungle Soul (Chappell: Dance & Mood Music Vol. 6)–Jean-Claude Petit Et Son Orchestre
18. Strange Journey Pt. 2 (Chappell: LPC 1049)–Johnny Hawksworth
19. Bali (Omni: Niente)–Gruppo D'Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza 
20. Amazon River (Jump: Urubamba; composer: O. Rocchi)–Tropicals
21. Amazônia (Aguamanda: Magia Erotica)–Hareton Salvanini
22. Ode to an African Violet (Homewood: Plantasia)–Mort Garson
23. Savana Melody (L'Illustration Musicale: The Strange World Of Bernard Fevre)–Bernard Fevre
24. Zèbres Observés, "Zebras Observed" (Musax: Animaux 2)–D. Verdan
25. Night At The Waterhole (Conroy: Modern Mixture)–Sam Sklair & Gus Galbraith
26. Sahara Sunrise (KPM: Afro Rock)–John Cameron
27. Lucky Dance (Australia); (Forever Records: Mondial Folk Synthesizer III (Estremo Oriente-Africa))–Marcello Giombini
28. Etranges Autruches, "Strange Ostriches" (Musax: Animaux 2)–D. Verdan
29. Desert Ritual (Standard Music Library: Activity/Travel/Dramatic)–John Sangster
30. Swamp (De Wolfe: The Art of Synthesizer)–Sam Spence
31. On The Way To The Jungle (Musical Touch Sound: Evasion)–Dominique Andre
32. Guerriglia Nella Giungla, "Guerilla in the Jungle" (Le Monde: Videomusic No.1)–Peymont
33. Jungla (TRY Records: Drugstore)–Tony Iglio
34. Garo (Edipan: La Muraglia Asiatica)–Bruno Nicolai
35. Sick Chick (Music Scene: Jungle Birds)–Franco Godi
36. Flock (Montparnasse: Percussions Dans L'Espace)–Janko Nilovic
37. Jeux des Lémuriens Gais "Games of the Gay Lemurs" (Musax: Animaux 2)–D. Verdan
38. Hunting Birds (Music Scene: Jungle Birds)–Chiarosi
39. Les Oiseaux Exotiques (Montparnasse: Un Homme Dans L'Espace)–Janko Nilovic
40. Snaky (Musical Touch Sound: Evasion)–Dominique Andre
41. Cobra (Shepherds Bush Library Music: The Sound Gallery)–Stephane Gremaud, Fabien Chevallier, Jean Claude Deblais
42. Music to Soothe the Savage Snake Plant (Homewood: Plantasia)–Mort Garson
43. Bird (L'Illustration Musicale: Strictly Rhythmical / Rhythmical Melodies)–Eddie Warner
44. Pachydermes & Cie (TeleMusic: Retrospectives)–Hervé Roy & Pierre Bachelet
45. Jungle Theme (William B. Tanner Co.: SPM 162)–William B. Tanner
46. Animal Chase (Bruton: Wildlife)–Nigel Shipway
47. Mysterious Bali (Coloursound: Contemporary Pastoral and Ethnic Sounds)–Joel Vandroogenbroeck & F. Voelxen
48. Tiger in the Night (Columbia: The Primeval Rhythm Of Life)–Mandingo
49. Fuga Degli Indigeni, "Escape of the Natives" (Le Monde: Videomusic No.1)–Peymont
50. African's Woods (Montparnasse: World News)–Cecil Wary
51. Intact Nature (Sonoton: Biology)–Walt Rockman


As usual, I've hotlinked several of the tracks, particularly when said tracks were sourced from Boxes of Toys.  Please check the links out and give Gianni a thanks.  I have not done the same for another major resource, Maio's library, partly because he is not the original ripper of anything (merely a noble curator, like myself, and thus less in need of particularized credit), and partly because it would be exhausting.  It's a big collection, and you should check it out and give thanks.  Other major sources make it a habit to remain obscure, but let it be known I am grateful to them.

ALSO: Mr. Schulkind of the truly superb radio program, Give the Drummer Some on WFMU, will be playing a passel of selections tonight at 6-7 pm (Eastern Time).  Give it a listen, live if you're in the area, or streaming here.  He previously played a generous grouping of selections from the previous volume on his entirely excellent July 4th show, which is archived and can be listened to here.  I don't have to tell you guys, but Doug runs a consistently great program, give him a holler if you enjoy the show.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Art That I Made & Music to Hear: Weller- Weller, I (2014)

Over the past year, I have had the great pleasure of conferring and conspiring with my old friend Nathan Toben on his new musical endeavor, Weller-- mainly I have supplied the album art and packaging (which developed out of long and elaborate creative conversations), but also the occasional note, oblique strategy, or basic sounding-board service.  I also recently created a music video for one of the tracks.

The album, Weller I, is a lovely work of esoteric pop obsessiveness in a grand tradition of auterist cult records, outsider or loner pop, and idiosyncratic psychedelia.  I recommend it.  Check it out, it dropped officially earlier this week.  If you buy a physical copy of the album, you'll have the added benefit of my artwork resting in your hot little hands.

Official site


Watch the video:

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Flash Strap Presents: Bibliothèque Exotique Volume 1, Panorama of the Exotic World

For some time now, I've been working on an ambitious project, collecting from the near-infinite pool of Library music every example of exoticism I can find.  The goal is not only to put together a listening experience that should be a blast, but also to assemble a fascinating portrait of exoticism and "otherness" as it has been conceived in musical terms by (largely) Western, mostly European artists in a versatile idiom that stretches from the 60's to the 80's; to display the repetition and evolution of themes, recurring motifs, and occasional visionary breaks from convention, and study them.  Particularly of interest to me is the way in which the exotic paratext of the piece's title can suggest exoticism when the content of the music itself otherwise may not have.  To put Africa or jungle in the title is potentially just as effective as including field recordings or "ethnic" percussion-- indeed, it is these sundry strategies of intimating exoticism, rather than employing any consistent study of ethnic music forms, that defines exotica as a general conceptual idiom in all its iterations.  This series will cover the broadest possible range of exotic strategies and subjects employed by library composers (and some soundtracks) over a period of three decades.

I want to point out that the series will exclude some of the most foundational composers of library exotica, as I've covered them thoroughly in the past: Roger Roger and Nino Nardini (whose essential Jungle Obsession should already be known to you all, and for whom I've already assempled a comp-- which I may follow up with a second volume soon), Piero Umiliani (who I've also treated to a double-comp), and Sven Libaek (who is his own universe anyway).

Having put together hours and hours of material, and compiling the best of it, I present to you today the first in the series: Bibliothèque Exotique Volume 1: Panorama of the Exotic World.  This volume is focused mainly, though not exclusively, on earlier works, and leans toward a sound more in line with classic Exotica.  It begins with expedition and jungle motifs, reaches back into prehistory, explores a smattering of exotic locales, doglegs through the Orient for some classic Orientalism, the finishes out in an extended stay in paradise and tropical leisure.  Here's the tracklist. Each track title is followed by the Label and LP of origin-- I've done my level best to get all the info, including the actual and often elusive artist names, correct:

1. Jungle Paths (De Wolfe: T.V. Suite No.2)–Peter Reno
2. The Lost World (De Wolfe: Polaris)–Peter Reno
3. Jungle Song (Chappell: Telecineradio Vol. 1)–Paul Bonneau
4. Tropical Forest (Chappell: Telecineradio Vol. 6)–Paul Bonneau
5. Label Sauvage (Montparnasse: Puzzle)–Eric Framond
6. Alien Lands (Golden Ring: Sound Music Album 2)–Peter Thomas
7. African Landscape (DeWolfe: 78")–Hugo De Groot
8. Jungle Campfire alt. Version (De Wolfe: T.V. Suite No.2)–Peter Reno
9. Sea Spray (De Wolfe: T.V. Suite No.2)–Peter Reno
10. Darkness (De Wolfe: Eye For An Eye)–Jack Trombey
11. Blue Shadow (DeWolfe: Black Pearl)–Alan Parker
12. African Moon (Chappell: LPC 613-619)–Robert Stoltz
13. Down River (Sonoton: A Musical Wildlife Vol. 1-Pastoral)–Otto Sieben/Mac Prindy
14. Africa Speaks (Conroy: Modern Mixture)–Sam Sklair & Gus Galbraith
15. River Crossing (Sonoton: A Musical Wildlife Vol. 1-Pastoral)–Otto Sieben/Mac Prindy
16. Jungle Expedition (Sonoton: Unusual Sounds Vol. 1)–Augustyn Bloch
17. Pagan Ritual (Bruton: Wildlife)–Nigel Shipway
18. Noces De L'Eau Et Du Feu (Disques A Charlin: Les Cyclopes)–Patrice Sciortino
19. Pagoda (Fonit: C 264 Caratteristici)–Mario Migliardi
20. Reflets D'indonésie (Montparnasse:  Musique Pour... Journal Parlé Et Télévisé)–Daniel J. White
21. The Statues Of Eastern Island (De Wolfe: Musical Prisms)–Spencer Nakin
22. Reflets D'afrique (Montparnasse: Musique Pour... Journal Parlé Et Télévisé)–Daniel J. White
23. Wayang (Parry: Around the World Vol. 4)–Serama Oka
24. Ruines De Machu Pichu (Impala: Ambiance)–Daniel J. White
25. Gamelan Theme nº3 (Parry: Around the World Vol. 4)–Serama Oka
26. The Pavillion of Nefertiti (Boosey & Hawkes: National)–Monia Liter
27. Burma Road (DeWolfe: 78")–Hugo De Groot
28. Lhasa Boy (Conroy: Anytime Anyplace Anywhere)–Georges Teperino
29. Call At Malaga (Chappell: Telecineradio Vol. 1)–Paul Bonneau
30. Samouri (Conroy: BMLP 006)–O. D'Andrea
31. Music From Hoang Ho (Chappell: Dance & Mood Music Vol. 10)–Sammy McWilliams
32. Solitude Tag (De Wolfe: T.V. Suite No.2)–Peter Reno
33. Extase (Chappell: Telecineradio Vol. 12)–Paul Bonneau
34. Tropicano (De Wolfe: Polaris)–Peter Reno
35. Tropic Night (Chappell: Mood Music Vol. 8)–Robert Farnon
36. Exotica (Chappell: LPC 1047)–Roger Webb
37. Silver Sand (KPM: Bugaloo in Brazil)–Les Baxter
38. Bahia Bossa Nova (TeleMusic: Vibraphones)–Bernard Lubat
39. Tropicana (KPM: Amusement)–John Scott
40. Tropical Green (KPM: Brazilian Suite)–Rogerio Duprat
41. Tropical Fashion (Conroy: Panoramic Strings-Soft Sounds)–Walt Rockman
42. Blue Pacific (De Wolfe: Blue Pacific)–Peter Reno
43. Sun-Kissed (Chappell: LPC 1047)–Roger Webb
44. Swaying Palms (DeWolfe: Bossalena)–Keith Papworth
45. Bahama Midnight (Golden Ring: Charming)–Fred Forster
46. Orchidées De Brasilia (Impala: Ambiance)–Daniel J. White
47. Costa Brava (Chappell: Mood Music Vol. 8)–Philip Buchel
48. Palm Beach (De Wolfe: Blue Pacific)–Peter Reno
49. Voyage (Delta Sound: Voices in Latin)–Joe Romis
50. March Exotic (Chappell: LPC 529-534)–Arnold Steck
51. Tropical Flutes (Parry: Themes & Jingles Vol. 2)–Adams, Browne

Huge gratitude is owed to the many librarians out there who helped me (knowingly and unknowingly) compile such exquisite treasures.  Durango, Greta, Maio, Basso, Retronic, Killa, 4th Assassin, Gianni (many of whose shares are generally kept beyond the Boxes of Toys paywall, and who has been gracious enough to allow their use in this project, with his blessing -- those tracks are/will be hotlinked, so please follow through and pay him a visit and a thanks), and all the many others.  Thank you all.


Volume 2 will come next week.  It will be more along the lines of library weirdness, more synths, grooves, and minimalism, and on the theme of jungle, safari, and wildlife/native encounter.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Some Opals for your Coffers: Sonny Silver- Midnight in Kenya; Gianni Safred- Electronic Designs

I've got some hopefully exciting new things for you all in the next week or two, but in the meantime I wanted to link to a couple things that have really been pleasing my speakers recently.  The first is this gritty & sweaty African-esque French surf-jazz EP (with a bit of twist, as in "the twist"), found over at the supremely enjoyable swingaconga blog (inactive since 2012, but new to me and a pleasure to sift through).  The proprietor generally favors a one-track-only manner of sharing, but in this case the full EP is available.  Check it out, but stick around to scope the rest of the treasures in the garden.


The second won't be news to any of you who follow Boxes of Toys, but I really want to highlight it right now because it is quite possibly my favorite library outing of all time (and also because Music Scene LPs, while often quite excellent, could not be less appealing in their uniform covers, and you may have skipped past this one without giving it a second thought): Gianni Safred and His Electronic Instruments: Electronic Designs (shared by Greta).  Sometimes I just cannot stop playing this thing, back to back.  All killer no filler, as they say, and weird all down the line.

Gianni Safred only made three records, to my knowledge (the other being the awesome, but not this awesome, Futuribile), and he has this subtly unique sensibility that thrills me, with these electrifying little runs on the synths/keys and really evocative melodies like sloooow sambas from the icy core of the moon, or Vince Guaraldi if he were really brilliantly stoned and sessioning at Umiliani's Sound Work Shop.  It hardly gets better than this.  Masterpiece.

Electronic Designs

Friday, June 13, 2014

Flash Strap Presents: Jungle Shadows Vol. 5

Let's take this summer seriously with a new Jungle Shadows mix.  Please enjoy, and don't forget to grab both parts.  Put this on and head straight for the adventure like a cannonball; alternately, have an exquisite glass of ice tea and bliss out in the sun.  My best to you during this time.

1. To The Adventure- Guido & Maurizio De'Angelis
2. Jungle Talk- Bob Chance
3. Mecca- Gene Pitney
4. The Slummer The Slum- The "5" Royales
5. Shadows Breaking Over My Head- Left Banke
6. Deep Shadows- Little Ann
7. Crazy Lazy- Spike
8. Sunken Ship 2- Sam Spence
9. Island Feelin/African Blood (Control Car Style)- Supermax
10. Mozart En Afrique- Michel Magne
11. African Sleigh Ride- Vince Guaraldi
12. Watusi- John McFarland
13. Bert's Blues- Donovan
14. Yep Roc Heresay- Slim Gaillard
15. Egyptian Shumba- The Tammys
16. Le Fantome de Saint-Estev- C. Lara, J. Musy

1. Aquarium (with The Esso Trinidad Steel Band)- Van Dyke Parks
2. Atlantis- Sergio Ferraresi
3. Little Bird- Beach Boys
4. Lord, What a Morning- Les Baxter
5. Luna Rosa (Blushing Moon)- Norrie Paramor & His Orchestra
6. Jungle Concert- Xavier Cugat
7. Jungle Dream- Los Índios Tabajaras
8. Rain-Forest Rag- John Sangster
9. Mirage- Heinz von Moisy
10. Part II (Sex Power)- Vangelis
11. Bodo- Mammane Sani et son Orgue
12. Elastic Points- Gianni Safred And His Electronic Instruments
13. Baia- Ferrante & Teicher
14. Nightingale- Jimmy Namaro
15. The Night Of The Purple Moon- Sun Ra
16. There Was a Time- Donovan
17. Fidel Castro- Belita Palma
18. Les Marquises- Jacques Brel
19. E_S_Rever- Spike


This is the final chapter of the Jungle Shadows series.  Whatever shall follow will do so under a new name and with a different (but likely rather similar) purpose.

Up next: the previously-advertised series of exoticist library works, Bibliothèque Exotique.  Thanks for sending in your choice tracks, those of you that did (you know who you are, you splendid birds).