Good Music We Can Know

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.

Africadelic's The Name N° 1

Africadelic's The Name N° 2

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 on the Explorers Room: Certain Sounds from the Caribbean Diaspora

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. 


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Tomita has passed, the snowflakes dance on

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