February 18, 2007

exotica The warm weather has allowed us to finally leave the screen doors open, so my guess is the neighbors are wondering what those crazy drums, exotic sounds, and dreamy music emanating from the house at 1025 West Hearne Way is all about. Simply put, the exotica craze has landed at the Richard household, and out CD player is filled with the sounds of Waitiki, Martin Denny, Les Baxter, The Martini Kings, and Arthur Lyman. Soon the weather will be warm enough to sit by the tiki bar, sipping a boat drink, and allowing this music to transport our imaginations to places both far away and tropical.

What exactly is “exotica music”, you ask? Here are the basics, from Wikipedia:

Exotica is a musical genre, named after the 1957 Martin Denny album of the same title, popular during the late 1950s to mid 1960s, typically with the suburban set who came of age during World War II. The musical colloquialism, exotica, means tropical ersatz: the non-native, pseudo experience of Oceania (Polynesia, Melanesia, Micronesia, Southeast Asia, and especially Hawaii). While the South Seas forms the core region, exotica reflects the “musical impressions” of every place from standard travel destinations to the mythical “shangri-las” dreamt of by armchair safari-ers.

Exotica music seeks to capture the sounds and spirit of faraway places like the South Seas and the Far East through the heavy use of various percussion and woodwind instruments on top of mallet instruments like the vibraphone, marimba, and xylophone, oftentimes in jazzy and far-out arrangements.

There are a lot of great sites on the Internet providing anything and everything you could possibly want to know about exotica music, but here’s a few (in addition to to the artist pages above) I’ve found that will really get the juices flowing for anyone wanting to learn more about it:

* Tiki Wonder is your gateway to tiki culture in general, from which exotica music gets a lot of its current inspiration.

* The Tiki Room has many samples of exotica music for listening, including classic artists like Baxter and Denny to modern-day practitioners like Don Tiki.

* Extreme Music has an “Exotica History Tour” that will take you many places where I’ll bet it’s a heck of a lot sunnier and warmer than a lot of places are this time of year.

Click on any of these links and enjoy the dream!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:23 | Comment (1)
1 Comment »
  1. […] tell you that. I won’t bother to go into the Exotica genre – I wrote about it at length here – but suffice to say, if you wanted to check out any of these artists on YouTube I think […]

    Pingback by GoodBoys Nation - Archives » Music Collection Series – Exotica — May 22, 2015 @ 11:33 pm


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