Good Music We Can Know

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Exotica For The New Year: Flash Strap Presents- Exotiste (2011)

Happy New Year, friends. Here is something I've been putting together for myself, and you as well, and now I'm pleased to turn it loose upon you. Inspired in part by Mr. Murky Recess' positively splendid, transcendent home-made comp Purple Chicha, a set of chopped-and-screwed Peruvian Cumbias Rebajadas (my nomination for best comp of its kind, which is to say: a "blog original", of the year-- get it if you're smart).

The compilation I present you with today is a concoction of my own labors, an outing of tastefully chopped-and-screwed--if you will-- Exotica tracks. My passion for the many works "Exotic" is well known in these parts, and I've always insisted that my enthusiasm stems from a recognition of the sophisticated, oft-times experimental efforts of the creators of this sublimely evocative music. I resist the popular notion that Exotica must retire to one of two ghettoes: kitsch hell or "lounge culture."

This compilation, rather meaninglessly entitled Exotiste, is not an attempt to "improve" these tracks, or even make them somehow more "contemporary," it is merely an opportunity to experience these compositions (some not-so-great in their original incarnations, others already damn near perfect) in a different way, to hear them anew, to set them more effectively into a different context. Some of these songs, when teased out, stretched apart, and dubbified, take on entirely new character, becoming abstract and trippy sound-paintings; others find a fatter bassline than might have been expected and take a druggier turn; still others become simply longer, slower versions of themselves, an alternate take at a slower tempo, all the better to luxuriate in the mood of the composition.

Vintage Exotica, even at its best (admittedly with quite a few exceptions), can have a zippy, optimistic sound, the wholesomeness of which can make it unsuitable for such pursuits as night driving, getting stoned, or becoming otherwise weird; this comp offers a reversal of that quality, steering familiar space-age pop sounds further into the dark territory of Angelo Badalamenti, krautrock, and dub menace-- not to mention the Dirty South and Cumbias Rebajadas connection.

Anyway, I made this for myself, having realized that what I wanted to hear was this, and that not many folks had done anything much like it. It pleased my ears and boggled my mind enough that I felt I ought to share it with you. Put it on, get to being strange, and have the most languid and trippy exotica experience you can. This is an opium den on an absinthe beach, a smoky jungle. A slow-motion savage ritual, a spirit quest into the fantasies of our grandfathers, an alligator dream. A table set with zapote negro, guanabana, rambutan, durian melon, hash balls, a suckling pig, coconut milk cocktails, human skulls, ayahuasca, and coca leaves, ringed by a gallery of unusual birds with thousand-yard stares.

Here's the tracklist:
1. Eros in Hiro- Pierro Picioni
2. Jungle Drums- Xavier Cugat
3. Shadow of Love and the Enchanted Reef- Les Baxter
4. Temple of Suicide- Dominic Frontiere
5. Moon Over A Ruined Castle- Arthur Lyman
6. Papagayo-Les Baxter
7. Baixa- Martin Denny
8. Two Silouettes- Michel Magne
9. Mombasa Love Song-Tak Shindo
10. The Games- Les Baxter
11. Mganga- Tak Shindo
12. The Enchanted Sea- Les Baxter
13. Beyond the Reef- Tommy Morgan
14. The Misfits- Don Costa
15. Buddhist Bells- Martin Denny
16. Tabu Tu- Arthur Lyman
17. Otome San/(Love Theme) Landa- Arthur Lyman/Les Baxter




Anonymous said...

I like this a lot so far. I need to "slow my roll" and give it a real listen, maybe with a wizards robe and outdoor setting. thanks man

Anonymous said...

This reminds me of being stoned and slowing my records down by pressing my finger on the edge, while it spins, totally digging it, hearing new sounds from old songs. gratitude for your efforts, I have enjoyed their fruits.


dee es said...

These are great! Thanks for doing this. There exotic enough to warm a winter's night, without being so sunny as to feel out of place. Yeah, these are much cooler than the originals.

Flash Strap said...

Oh man I would never assert that my slowed-down versions of these songs are better than the originals... the originals, by and large, are perfect in a way that no one has been able to reproduce- pure magic. But I'm tickled to the core that you've enjoyed my humble labors. I hear a mild-to-noticeable profundity in them, myself, and it gives me great pleasure and stimulation to hear them; so I find myself thoroughly invigorated to know that such a pleasure is more than personally insular to my own experiences and interests, but is in fact spreadable to members of a certain mindset at least. Thanks for these gracious comments, Mr. Dee Es, Lisa, and mystery man.

Swank Daddy said...

Thanks for the share!

dee es said...

Just for clarification, I didn't mean cooler as in better, but cooler as in, I don't know, the way Miles Davis is cooler than Dizzy Gillespie. I guess the terminology is a little unaccommodating. But anyway, the important part is that on third and fourth listen, your renditions sound as good as they did on the first. I'm enjoying exotica in a whole new way. Thanks again!

Flash Strap said...

You're a classy fellow to say so, Dee. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

love this mix! and your blog too:) i have a favor to ask, i am looking for a rip of "ARTHUR LYMAN-THE LEGEND OF PELE". if you can help me out or point me in the right direction, please let me know. thank you...

Flash Strap said...

I, too, have been on the hunt for a rip of Legend of Pele... for quite some time now, and I'm surprised it hasn't turned up by now. I have it on vinyl, and in my opinion, it's likely Lyman's best work. When a rip falls into my clutches, you can be sure I'll post it immediately.


Anonymous said...

haha. thankyou for you efforts, we'll keep our fingures crossed. peace...

Murky Recess said...

Inspired work, dear friend. I've been creeping to this all week, and the shit is on fire, like a wet lugubrious jungle. Thanks for 'outing' your exotica morada side to us interweb geeks of the chickenhead-biting persuasion. Homemade purple concoctions are nothing new, as both DJ Screw and the progenitors of rebajadas would attest, but goddamned if I'm not thrilled it's Flash Strap who contributes to this purple subsubgenre, and with style of his own. So many blog these past five years, and all these hyperlinks, have inadvertently created the richest wellspring of exotic music the world has ever been privy to. To cook up a gravy in so healthy a stock can only produce the dark kinds of fruits duly dropped here. Thanks for this and for sharing your fucked up cultural wares of all tempos. Hear's to hoping there may be other user-generated slowed-and-throwed home brews to come.

grgptrsn said...

Thanks for all these great tunes!
Loving Hawaiian Holiday at the moment.

Jo/No said...

Wow!! Goodness gracious, this is wonderful! Thank you so much! Also really enjoy your rips of those far-off soundtracks. Just re-discovered your blog and enjoying almost everything. Right now I'm spinning Twinkle Brothers that you upped as well. Served me well up here in cold and snowy Stockholm

Have a jolly good weekend!

Jo/No said...

Although late in the game, I've just linked to your nice site and this compilation in particular over at my blog:

I've also posted a few other stuff you may enjoy, including a screwed down version exotique classic Perfidia.

Flash Strap said...

Thanks, Jo/No! I'm so glad you like this one. Perfidia is one of my favorite tracks too, and I've done a "version" of it myself on one of these Exotistes.

Thanks for linking to my spot, it's a favor I'd love to return. You have such a nice spot yourself.

Best to you, friend.

Anonymous said...

big blog,man.thanks from patagonia

Anonymous said...

Really enjoying these slowed down tracks. Brings me to twin peaks, if the town had existed in the south pacific. I'm curious as to how you made these tracks. I'm a sound manipulator myself and seeing into others methods is always a helpful thing. Keep it up!

Sjef said...

Wow amazing stuff on this! Great cover too. Thanks alot for your effort!


gnwgee said...

Thanks for re-upping this!

And truly truly thank you so much for all the work you've put into this. I've found and learned so much through this here blog and your amazing mixes (crosses fingers for new summer dub mix).

A million mahalos my friend. Keep up the good work (please)!

Flash Strap said...

Thanks for sayin' so, gnwgee.

Don't worry, it wouldn't be summer without a dub mix.

Esteban Tenedor said...

Hello greetings, I can not express how much I love this collection as well as the second, is so special it sounds, I thanks a lot the work compilation that took place in this.

I love your blog!
A big hello from Costa Rica!

AmericanSamourai said...

Thanks, FlashStrap!