Good Music We Can Know

Monday, April 2, 2012

Flash Strap Presents: Roger Roger & Nino Nardini- Obsession Exotique

When Roger Roger and Nino Nardini got together to record Jungle Obsession, the two old friends were doing more than just creating the finest Exotica record since the heyday of Exotica. They were also making a brilliant tribute to a genre they held dear-- a culmination of years of personal exotic obsession. The influence of Exotica, perhaps most specifically Les Baxter, can be found throughout both's body of work: from straight Exotica numbers with full orchestras, to "Exotica" homages in a groovier library style, to jungle funk, latin jazz, synth safari, lush pastorale, etc.
indeed, some of Roger Roger's earlier work (Musique Des Iles and Méditerranée, as well as an EP labelled Roger Roger 2) basically are unqualified Exotica, albeit a bit lite in tone and saccharine in string.

There's scarcely a record I like better than Jungle Obsession. But there are some stray tracks out there that are just as good as any on Jungle Obsession, so I started thinking about compiling them in a little .zip for you all. As I went, scouring all the various disorganized output of Roger Roger and Nino Nardini (and their various aliases- Cecil Leuter, Eric Swan, Dave Sarkys, to name a few), a larger picture began to form, with multiple facets of Exotica influence and exotic themes. The result is not the tight little masterpiece of latter-day Exotica that Jungle Obsession is, but its broader scope and crazy detours make it, if I may, an excellent companion piece.
Obsession Exotique: I have it, they had it, and won't you, too, share in our dark safari?

The cover shown above is an appropriated and altered from the original cover for Roger Roger 2 (a 4 track EP which is included, by the way, in its entirety on Obsession Exotique). All tracks include a parenthetical detailing the album from whence they came and whatever alias they were done under, if any. Some of the tracks are rather rarely seen, while others are likely to be very familiar to blog-crawlers and library-hunters (the Stringsonics material is hardly "rare" at this point, and Nardini's "Pop Riviera" material is on more than a few rare-groove comps), but I'm striving here to include every major piece of the puzzle-- and tracks like "Safari Park" and "Latinova" are too awesome and essential to leave out.

Put this on. Clamber into a luxurious hammock. Let somebody blow smoke at your face as you dream.

1. Jungle Call (Call Him Roger Roger)- Roger Roger
2. Chanson De Lima Du Film L'empire Du Soleil (Roger Roger 2)- Roger Roger
3. Anastasia Du Film Anastasia (Roger Roger 2)- Roger Roger
4. Escapade (Mood Music Vol. 24)- Roger Roger
5. Sortileges (Musique Des Iles)- Roger Roger
6. Tears (Méditerranée)- Roger Roger
7. Viva (Conroy BMLP 006)- Nino Nardini
8. Coconut Coast (Jazz Dramatic)- Roger Roger
9. Mango Girl (Jazz Dramatic)- Nino Nardini
10. Jungle Mood (Nature Nocturne)- Nino Nardini
11. Soothsayer (Jazz Dramatic)- Nino Nardini
12. Passion Fruit (Jazz Dramatic)- Nino Nardini
13. Bossa-Rhythm (Afro, Spooky/Rhythm, Percussion)- Nino Nardini
14. Ectoplasm (Afro, Spooky/Rhythm, Percussion)- Roger Roger
15. Poltergeist (Afro, Spooky/Rhythm, Percussion)- Roger Roger
16. Roger-Rhythm II (Afro, Spooky/Rhythm, Percussion)- Roger Roger
17. House of Echoes (Afro, Spooky/Rhythm, Percussion)- Nino Nardini
18. Afro-Beat/Afro-Syn[edit] (Afro, Spooky/Rhythm Percussion)- Nino Nardini
19. Afro-Samba (Stringsonics- Mindbender)- Nino Nardini
20. Safari Park (Stringsonics- Mindbender)- Roger Roger
21. Strange Motion (Nature Nocturne)- Nino Nardini
22. The Search (Drama And Suspense)- Roger Roger
23. Moondust (Nature Nocturne)- Nino Nardini
24. Perdition (Stringsonics- Mindbender)- Roger Roger
25. Latinova (Pop Riviera, No. 7)- Nino Nardini
26. Dark Secret (Trumpet Mexico, as Eric Swan)- Roger Roger
27. Pop Riviera (Pop Riviera, No.7)- Nino Nardini
28. Tropical Haze (Altitude 3000, as Cecil Leuter)- Roger Roger
29. Exotica Nights (Altitude 3000, as Cecil Leuter)- Roger Roger
30. Expectation (Roger's New Conception: Informatic 2000)- Roger Roger & Nino Nardini
31. Velvet Clouds (Melodies with a Beat)- Roger Roger
32. La Desirade (Music Around The World Vol. 1)- Nino Nardini
33. Love Me Tender Du Film Love Me Tender (Roger Roger 2)- Roger Roger
34. Pour Toi Seul [Friendly Persuasion] Du Film La Loi De Seigneur (Roger Roger 2)- Roger Roger
35. Malta (Conroy BMLP 006)- Nino Nardini

R E • U P P E D

Don't hesitate to drop an appreciative comment, or alert me to further nuggets of RR&NN's exotic oeuvre. And for god's sake- if you don't have Jungle Obsession, get it already!



pinesap said...

Obsessed beyond. excellent drops friend!

DonHo57 said...

I am now officially obsessed...thanks so much, Flashstrap. Excellent!!!

burntoutsavannahs said...

as always a pure diamond in the pantheon of gems you have mixed sir. what exactly do you mean by lush pastorale though?

Flash Strap said...

It means I typed something that seemed to make sense at the time and then never thought about it again while editing. And here you are! Calling it out! In front of the whole school.

I was trying to indicate that some of the material here was both "pastoral"(in this case, meaning that it was "Charmingly simple and serene; idyllic") and "lush"(implying simultaneously that it is "Luxurious; opulent" and rather vaguely tropical). The problem being though, that "pastorale" is perhaps a vexing and poor choice of words. While it is French (appropriately enough) for "pastoral", it is also a term used in Baroque classical music, the third movement in Vivaldi's Spring concerto being a well-known example. My knowledge of Baroque classical is virtually nonexistent, so I can't say if any of Roger Roger or Nino Nardini's work here adheres to the structure and style of a classic "Pastorale."

That said, "pastorale", in English, can also be used to refer to "a piece of music suggestive of pastoral life" or "something of a pastoral nature in music, whether in form or in mood", so its use here, while esoteric and unnecessarily opaque, might still be said to convey my intent with some accuracy if not much clarity.

Also: So pleased to hear you like this one, Spookmaster! And you, pinesap and Don Ho! Thank you for saying so!

burntoutsavannahs said...

sorry duder. i thought it was some long forgotten genre that was somehow connected to exotica that my world weary ears had never stumbled across. & again great posts lately. you've been killin' me smalls.

Flash Strap said...

ha ha no sorries necessary, i was just gettin' into my cups and your comment happened to start me foolin' around and dippin' about like a little linguist.

thanks again for the kind words, truly.

beetor said...

You always make me so excited to hear your postings.

Flash Strap said...

Very, very glad to hear it, beetor. Thanks!

Domenic Ciccone (AKA Martooni) said...

Thank you for putting these together.

Tayo said...

this is lovely. very much appreciated - many thanks

Calamity Annie said...

Ahhhh. Thank you - as always - for these Luxe Treats. Very much appreciated during this time of year especially, as we're in th' thick of Mud Season.
...actually, no...I am in th' tropics. Silly me.

Atomic said...

Hello Mr. Flash Strap,
Just recently found your site and it is incredible! Right up my alley - Roger Roger, dub, exotica and sonic arcana from the margins of the world. Please keep up the great work. We need audio oases like yours after the fall of the mighty Holy Warbles and others. Thank you!

Bill said...

Love your comps, but I can't get Jungle Obsession to open. Is there a password?

Flash Strap said...

No password. You might try downloading it again. Let me know if the problem persists, please.

Le cabinet des rugosités said...

Merci pour les découvertes, votre blog est extra ;)

jon wodtz said...

hello-thank you for the KPM's and Jungle Obsession-just what the witch doctor ordered. what fantastic photos you have displayed-it's people like you that make me get on the internet! Outstanding work, sir!

Mr Fab said...

JUNGLE OBSESSION's great. Not much exotica has that funky '70s vibe, eh?

Henry R. Kujawa said...

Wonderful stuff!

A few "technical" issues... on OBSESSION EXOTIQUE, tracks 19-37 in the Zip file were re-numbered 20-36 (unless you have one missing?)

Also, and this is at least the 3rd time I've encountered this strange phenomena online... the MP3 files, while they showed up fine on the computer and played fine on the computer, when I ran them off to CD (using "Record Now"), every one wound up with 10-15 seconds of blank space at the end of the tracks. To avoid this, I opened every file (using my sound editor program) and RE-SAVED them as WAV files. NO problem then!

I had to split OBSESSION EXOTIQUE up over 2 discs, so I put 1-18 on disc 1, the rest on disc 2. This split it up evenly, 44:59 and 46:10.

Here's a group you might get a kick out of... SPIDEY-JAZZ.

Take care!

Henry R. Kujawa said...

Also, ONE of the files was inexplicably saved as a VLC file instead of an MP3.
This caused a bit of annoyance. I currently have a VLC player on my computer,
BUT, those VLC files will NOT play in Windows Media Player, and DO NOT show up
at all in my GOLDWAVE sound editor.

The way around this, i found, was to PLAY the song in the VLC player, WHILE
"recording" it with my TOTAL RECORDER program, in order to save it as a WAV

I tried doing a "CONVERT/SAVE" with the VLC program itself, but this feature,
for whatever reason, is an unreliable pain-in-the-ass. It actually did re-save
the file, but the resulting file, when I tried to play it, was all distorted. NO
problem doing it the other way.

I suppose, I might be able to "record" it with SOUNDWAVE, but the "input"
default I've got it set to is the outside line (from my stereo system /
turntable, CD player & tape deck), and it's too damn confusing to change it,
then change it back. So it works out that I have 2 different programs, with the
"input" default on TOTAL RECORDER set for whatever is coming thru the computer's
internal systems already (like streaming media).

Esteban (Tenedor) said...


Anonymous said...

This compilation is amazing, even earth shattering. I have loved Roger Roger tracks for years, it's great to have some rare ones. One major problem for me is the Nino Nardini track from Pop Riviera actually isn't the Nino we all love. So it shouldn't be on this compilation sadly...

Flash Strap said...

Can you elaborate about the Pop Riviera track, friend? I want to know what you know.

Anonymous said...

The entire Pop Riviera LP was just some recordings done in the 90s. The "Rotonde Musique" label never existed. The recordings were most likely done by one of the soul bands on Desco records (like Sugarman 3 or Soul Providers) said...

As someone, who currently knows only the brilliant track "Tropicola by Nino Nardini" I am looking forward to listen to your compilation. Thanx for posting!

Unknown said...

Oh my goodness. I just listened to Jungle Obsession and it blew my mind. It's a very special album Thank you so much. You made my week.

Unknown said...

I just did a write up of this album and I made a big link to this page. Thank you so much for posting it. It’s really amazing.


the saucer people said...

I thought you might be amused to note that your compilation has been posted as a Dare-Dare release!

Obviously the confusion has come about because of their Jungle Obsession reissue, but still, quite a compliment I thought!

Escomambo said...

1st visit to a pretty remarkable blog with mucho gems & oddities to check/explore.
J'appreciate, & it wont be the last...

Anonymous said...

Great blog. I love to listen exotica and just hit a treause, your blog. You have great archive of exotica beyond the usual suspects like Les Baxter and Arthur Lyman. Thank god I found you!

Anonymous said...

So happy to discover your blog. Thank you for your efforts!


Anonymous said...

most brilliant of you to post and house such rare and timeworn gems such as this... thank you thank you flash strap!

Anonymous said...

Shoot me, zippyshare link is dead !
Been listening so many times to jungle obsession, i absolutely need that compilation of yours !!!
Keep up the good work.

bwana said...

it would be great if you could re-upp this - thanx anyway for all the wonderful music you have gifted us!