Good Music We Can Know

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sophisticated Jungle Dreams of Exotica: Tak Shindo- Mbanga! (1958); Richard Hayman- Voodoo! (1959)

This record has one of the best cover designs in the Exotica canon-- it's also one of the better Exotica albums ever made, and it's by Tak Shindo, a musicologist and expert in Japanese instrumentation. It's not nearly as satisfying, but it's actually fairly similar in texture to Les Baxter's Tamboo! (well-known to be my favorite), especially in terms of vocal arrangements, but with a few more moments of abstract space and atmospheric ponderousness among the decidedly more lurid and savage drum segments. This is Jungle Exotica at its most evocative; it will take you through the black hot night with nothing but torchlight and a man-eater on your trail, but it will also posit you atop a mountain to survey the sunrise vistas with surreal calm. A little bit of Voodoo, a little bit of Safari.

A must have, though sadly at a 160 rip. Let a fellow know if you can serve up an upgrade.


Richard Hayman has here mustered his phenomenally versatile talents as musician,
arranger and conductor to capture the mood of voodoo in songs whose very titles
can strike awe in the listener: Conjuration . . . Spell of Deatra . . . Incantation . . .
Zombi. . . Midnight Ritual. . . Gris-Gris. Here is a musical adventure that transports
you into the deepest interior of Haiti. Here is the fearsome fire and the brewing pot.
Here are the frightening shadows. And here, above all, are the weird rhythms and
sounds of a music that is more than music because it is distilled in ritual and there
are those who believe in its magical powers.
This is music to be met half-way in a quiet room with the lights dimmed. Or better still
meet it all the way in the still of the night with the lights out. Then Listen!

You're not alone any longer. The room is shaken with the frantic dances of the
hungans - so-called priests of voodoo - and their faithful. The cauldron boils and
froths. The walls echo to the cries and the wails of the believers.

That's voodoo!

That's from the back of the record. It's all true.


dale flannels said...



SO GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Voodoo is good too, but MGANGA! MGANGA!

Anonymous said...

Wow man yes them are some covers. And the tunes to back up the swagger, too. Mganga is fucking great, the cover is jaw dropping.

Anonymous said...

I would like to exchange links with your site
Is this possible?

Flash Strap said...

I suppose it depends who you are, fellow.

Anonymous said...

this will sound great in my tiki bar, thanks! great taste in music...

Anonymous said...

Please reup?