* Nino Nardini: "Jungle obsession"
CD/LP, Pulp Flavor, France, 2000, deleted | LP, Re-Joint
Records RJ001, USA, 2000
Chuck: This is a major Exotica release. Exotica with a
capital E ala Denny/Baxter. Recorded in 1971 by a library music
label, Jungle Obsession is a total concept album, unlike other
library music releases. The songs fit together to create an exotic
dream world. Now this does not sound like classic Martin Denny or Les
Baxter because there are 1970s guitars occasionally and the style has
some early 70s rock/jazz/easy influence upon it. But Wow does this
album ever capture that exotica feeling of a far off mysterious land.
The songs are almost all instrumental with only the briefest ooos and
ahhhs. I am surprised how well this album captures a south pacific
jungle paradise. There are even the occasional bird calls! Classic
Exotica from 1971! Yeah!!!
* Dave Pike Set: "Masterpieces 1969-1972"
CD, Motor Music, Germany, 1996
Chuck: I have been rocked out by the raga jazz fusion of the
Dave Pike Set "Masterpieces" This is a great comp! Fusion with the
great Volker Kreigel doing wa wa & fuzzed out guitar solos and Dave
Pike's wonderful stylings on vibes. It covers Dave Pikes years in
Germany on the MPS label, 1969-72. I'm assuming these are Dave
Pike's best years.
* Space Ponch: "The World Shopping With Space Ponch"
CD, Moikai, USA?, 2000
chuck: Keeping up the sound of shibuya-kei, Space Ponch have
released my favorite "new" release of the year. Mix a touch of
Fantastic Plastic, Nino Rota on Juliet of the Spirits, the Dumbo
soundtrack, carousel music, and warner brothers cartoon music and
use vocoders and synths to reach a new zany height in j-pop. This
tops Yukari's "New Years Fresh" for zani hijinks and is almost as
varied a ride as Fantastic Platic Machines "Luxury" One of the
songs felt like "powerhouse" The synths imitate organs and carousel
sounds while a vocoder is on top of it. Without the vocals you get a
space age 1890's feel to the music. The melodies even seem turn of
the century. One song, the title song, is a pure ambient space romp
that is not representative of the rest of the album. Many of the
songs have a moog feel and the same wild zane that moog releases of
the late 60s early 70s had. Generally the melodies are there strong
and catchy. Theres a bonus space age bachelor pad stereo bouncing
imaging going on to add to add to the whole effect.
* Ronald Stein: "Not Of This Earth. The Film Music Of Ronald Stein"
CD, Varese Sarabande VSD-5634, Colosseum, Germany, 1995
Chuck: This is really a fantastic release! Full of cheesy
50's horror music. If you like this style of music I can't second
Allan's recommendation enough!!
* Tipsy: "Uh-Oh"
CD/Double LP, Asphodel 2003, USA, 2001
Chuck: This is the best release of 2001! Tipsy have pulled
out all the sample punches on this. I am stumped so far but
recognize a few samples. Every song on it is chock full of
fade-in/fade-out samples dazzling the eardrums to ecstasy. Trippy
floaty music with nearly apparent melodies that you can't quite hum.
The first song "Hard Petting" is the "big hit" with a "bullet" if all
was perfect in the music biz. But every song on this album is a
wonderful musical ride. Fans of the first album will be relieved to
find out Tipsy have kept their sound. In fact, Tipsy has pulled of
one of the nicer occurrences in music, their second album is better
than their first. In thirty years they will be playing this at
Tommorowland in Disney World.
* Piero Umiliani: "Musicaelettronica 1"
CD/Double LP, Right Tempo/ Easy Tempo ET 930, Italy, 2000
chuck: This wonderful electronic music compilation highlights
Piero Umaliani's "Swithched on Italiano" moog music from 1969 to
1981. The first 2 songs are so good you are saved from dieing of
happiness by their short length. The whole album is only 49 minutes
and 20 seconds long. Almost 6 minutes of the song Caravan morphs from
from moog to moog with orchestra and ends in a wild frenzied jam with
moog and horns blaring away. This is a really great version of
caravan and it says in the liner notes: "Taken from the forthcoming
Easy Tempo microgroove Ode to Duke Ellington". Another great cut is
Arabian Synthetizer that is described as sounding like a
"collaboration between Perrey & Kingley and Andre Popp". There's a
variety of moog sounds going on here and Umiliani just astonishes me
with his variety of music. Another song on the album, Officina
Stellare, is an outer space sci fi romp that says i the liner notes:
"from the forthcoming Easy Tempo microgroove "Tra Scienza e
Fantascienza" Science and Fantasy from Easy Tempo on microgroove!
What a label! The song "A New Exprience" is hippy dippy trippyspaced
out! On this song Umiliani plays the piano fender. For me there is
a touch of Bitches Brew feeling going on here and on another song
Cibernetica. All in all this album is a must for moog fans
* Vigil: "Musica Para Hacer La Digestion"
CD, Siesta 78, Spain, 1998
Chuck: A 22 piece orchestra handles bacharac/frances lai
style music with style. You sometimes think you're listening to a
wonderful French sound track ala 1972 but these are all new
compositions. All instrumental with one wordless vocal. A stunning
release from Siesta!
* Various Artists: "The Bombay Jazz Palace"
CD, Outcaste 22 (distributed by Pias), UK, 2001
Chuck: This is a fantastic Raga/Sitar comp! My highest
rating even though I have some cuts on it. The 14 songs on it raga
out with nice sitar drenched vibes. Most are uptemmpo grooves that
would sound hot on the dance floors around the globe. Artists
include Paul Horn & Nexus, Volker Kriegel, Georges Cavarenez,Dave
Mackay, Dave Pike Set, Between, Lalo Schifrin, Groupo Batuque, Yves
Hyat, Shocking Blue, Shandar Family, Shankar-Jaikishan, Anada Shankar
& Muhavisha Ravie Hatchud & the Indo Hazz Following. Get this and
you won't be disappointed. Got mine from _Other Music_
* Various Artists: "Cinemaphonic: Electro Soul"
CD/LP, Emperor Norton EMN 7030, USA, 2000
Chuck: production library musc unearthed from the archives of
Major/Valentino records. Funky grooves with great organ & guitar
riffs and really fantastic synth sounds. This is a major release in
product music! Lots of killer cuts. On Emperor Norton means its
available for a reasonable price (for a cd) Lenny Hambro appears on
this comp. He Put out switched-on Gershwin album called Alive & Well
& Underground with Gershon Kingley in 1970. Also Walter Murphy,
famous for "A Fifth Of Beethoven" disco hit.
* Various Artists: "Hotel Easy London: Playmates Penthouse (vol.3)"
CD, Virgin CDOVD 489.7243 8 44572, UK, 1997
Chuck: There are 4 Hotel Easy compilations: St Tropez,
London, Rome & Paris. All are excellent examples of true easy
listening and the cuts are well chosen obscure instrumental gems. I
really recommend Hotel Easy.
* Various Artists: "Kinky Beats"
CD/LP, Lacerba CERBAD15, UK, 1999
Chuck: this is the BEST comp I have heard in some time. I
avoided getting it thinking exotica samples with modern beats would
bore me. Some of these songs are straight ahead Now Sounds and could
have been released in the late 60's or put on the InFlight Karminsky
Brother Comp. Most have more modern beats but these beats are just
cool and they blend perfect with the now sounds quality of the music.
If this is a direction modern music is taking I hope to hop on this
band wagon. These songs could easily fit on the Blow Up comp and
must really sound refreshing on the dance floors around the world.
* Various Artists: "La Guepe Volume 3 (Bananaticoco. European
Airlines to Rio)"
CD/LP, Dare Dare 4, France, 1999
Chuck: great Brazilian beats. An amazing collection of
French/Brazilian cuts. This is really one of the hottest releases of
last year, along with Mandingo.
* Various Artists: "La Guepe Volume 4 (Many Moods of. La guepe Volume 4)"
CD/LP, Dare Dare 10, France, 2000
chuck: La guepe Vol 4 brings us a nice cool funky sound of
the early/mid 70s. Back then this was called "Sophisticated Music"
and there were whole radio stations dedicated to playing this
sophisticated music while other stations played the harder or popier
funk. The sophisticated music on La Guepe 4 is funky but its also
jazzy. The cover says "jazzy and juicy selections from Europe" Most
of the songs are instrumentals but there are some "get down" vocals
on a few songs. And some cool cool wordless vocals on one track.
Nothing disco-y going on here but this music is disco's mother. This
kind of sophisticated cool jazzy funk music was put to a disco beat
in the late 70s and 1980/81. There was quite a scene of it going on
in London and a couple of great comps came out back then. Today's
"Chillout music" reminds me of the grandson of this music. This is
the most thought out of the La Guepes in that all of the music fits
together quite well. The one surprise "Ketja Rock" by Eberhard
Schoiner, stands out, this song was originally called the "Monkey
Chant" on a Nonesuch recording I purchased years ago, think it was
called Gamelan something or other.
* Various Artists: "Lift Off! With Apollo Sound (Unreleased 70's
Double LP/CD, Apollo Sound APSCD 209/APSLP 210, UK, 1998
Chuck: This is a tremendous collection of as the cover says:
"Unrealesed 70's Lounge Grooves, Scat Vocals, Funky Fusion, Easy
Listening"; fits quite nicely in the now sound on Irma, Sound
Spectrum, Easy Tempo world of music. There is something off the wall
on this collection, I think its the melodies. The artists include
the Polish Radio Orchestra, the Buxton-Orr Sound and other unheard of
artists. The music is upbeat instrumental or wordless vocals
* Various Artists: "Sexopolis"
CD/LP, Fantomas 002 (bootleg?), France, 1997
Chuck: This is a great cd of the now sound form the 70s. Its
a 62 minute ride of some great songs, now sound instrumentals, some
wordless vocals, and lots of upbeat vocals sung in French and a few
jazz songs, not too much hard funk, its a soft easy funk feel on a
few of the tracks. Its more of a now sound found on Easy Tempo and
Irma with a couple of jazz influenced songs. I recognized only 2
songs, one from the haschhisch Party and one by Michel Legrand. The
sound quality and song selection remind me of a great Irma release
except in French. I especially like Guy Boyer's "Bongo & Sound" its
all over the place it even has a sitar. There's another song where a
singer speaks desperately in French with a cool exotic now sound
background playing under her cries of desperation.
* Bruno Nicolai: "Femmine Insaziabili"
Double LP/CD, Right Tempo/ Easy Tempo ET 929, Italy, 1999
Chuck: This is one fantastic soundtrack! Really one my
favorites in a while and cetain to appeal to fans of worldless vocals
and cool sexy Italian soundtracks. The melodies are great and and
the vocalist is wonderful. Lots of cool breezy instrumentals,
(generally not hard and funky) in that late 60's early 70's style.
Bruno Nicola out does himself on this one. There are some real gems
on this soundtrack.
* Fantastic Plastic Machine: "The Fantastic Plastic Machine"
CD, Bungalow, Germany, 1998 | CD, Emperor Norton EMN7008, USA, 1998
Chuck: The music is full of great easy melodies, with male &
female vocals and some instrumentals. The sound is like the Gentle
People with a dance beat or P5 in their easier moments. This is one
of the most impressive releases I've heard in some time. A modern
pop now sound full of surprises, I can't recommend this enough. *
Elisabeth Vincentelli: excellent and should appeal to exoticats who
enjoy the mix of computers and easy listening or bossa.
* Gentle People: "Simply Faboo"
CD, Flavour Of Sound TFCK-87620, Japan, 1999 | CD, Rephlex,
UK (distributed in USA by Caroline), 1999
Chuck: This is really a fun listen. My first impression was
that the Gentle People are trying lots of new things. Its more
produced. Some songs have more beats and more of an electronica feel
on them. There is also ONE song that is straight 1978 disco. If you
like disco this is really a good disco song. The songs do not ooze in
dreamland as well as the "Journey" song off of their first album but
there are many well written fun gentle peoplesque songs on this album.
* Goblin: "Suspiria"
CD, King Record KICP 2721, Japan, 1993, deleted | CD, Cinevox
MDF 305, Italy, 2001
Lazlo Nibble: "Tubular Bells" on mescaline. :-) * Chuck: This
soundtrack is fabulous. Its really wild, psychedelic weird with moog
& splashing effects. Its more 70s psychedelic then 60s now sound.
* Antonio Carlos Jobim. Gal Costa: "Rio Revisited"
CD, Verve JazzVisions 841 286, USA, 1989
Chuck: For me it is the most exotic of all Jobim albums.
Lots of girl chorus voices feverishly singing his songs. A big,
beautiful prodution of Jobim. You can't go wrong for the price.
* Ramon Leal & Beatrice Binotti: "Bossanova 1999"
CD, Siesta, Spain, 1999
Chuck: This is one great straight ahead bossa nova album.
Ramon Leal and the band are tight! Bearice Binotti's vocals are
beautiful. She can really hit the high notes. Bossa Nova standards
are interpreted in a fresh authentic style. When they do "Summer
Samba" Ramon Leal sings from the left speaker and Beatrice from the
right, its a stunning remake of this classic. The quality of sound
is tremendous! It is such a great recording job that I think they
were using the old mikes at Verve. The album is also produced so
well, nothing is too loud, it all blends pefectly. There is not a
bad song on this album. Its a collection of bossa nova standouts.
* Various Artists: "Expresso"
CD, Siesta 60, Spain, 1998?
Chuck : This cd nails the suave sophisticated easy listening
sound that we seem to be drifting away from with the Now Sound. I
can't recommend this Expresso cd enough, just about every song nails
it. Way too cool!
* Various Artists: "Girls In The Garage Volume 9: Oriental Special
(A Collection Of Asian Girl Sound From The '60s)"
CD, Romulan, USA, 199?
Chuck: The now sounds of Singapore and Indonesia! Two
versions of the great 1966 hit Hanky Panky one punked up in english
and the other in Chinese. Sugar Town, Love Potion #9, Yummy Yummy,
As Tears Go By, Fever and a few other great songs I'm not familiar
with. This is a rocking now sound collection! Reasonably priced
from medium rare records. This is much better then I thought it
would be, the songs have an originality and feeling that make this a
* Various Artists: "The Mighty Mellow 1: A Folk-Funk Psychedelic Experience"
Double LP/CD, YellowStone 9559, Italy, 1997
Br. Cleve: This is really nice, a mellow groove album of
funky soul by people like Mancini, Montenegro, David Axelrod, Andre
Previn, etc. While not technically part of the Mood Mosaic series, it
shares the same sensibilities. * Chuck: This has to be one of the
smoothest mellowest funkiest psychedelic easy listening experiences
in my whole collect of vinyl & plastic covered aluminum. I can't
imagine anyone not liking this. Its a 70 minute must own escapade
into very sophisticated sounds.
* Various Artists: "She Had A Taste For Music (Rare Gems From The
Italian Erotic Archive)"
CD/LP, Dagored RED103 (distributed in USA by Runt), Italy, 1999
Chuck: It's almost all gentle instrumental soundtrack
melodies, with a couple of oh so sexy spoken word songs. Wonderful
soft Bacharac influenced melodies that are perfect for the wee wee
hours or your first cup of coffee on an early breezy sunny Sunday
morning. Theres nothing funky or hard going on here, no driving drum
beats until the last couple of songs. The music floats gently until
the end of the cd and then you want to dance and then it's all soft
* Gianno Ferrio: "La Morte Accarezza A Mezzanotte"
Double LP/CD, Right Tempo/ Easy Tempo ET 902, Italy, 1998
Chuck: A tremenous soundtrack that takes you on a dark
mysterious easy listening journey to a fearful place that is best
left on your cd player. The sound starts off slow & easy and suddenly
dramatic spy jazz cuts pop out with a funky organ. The atmosphere of
suspense, fear and longing is captured dramatically by Gianni Ferrio
with soundscapes on this all killer no filler release.
* Piero Piccioni: "Camille 2000"
Double LP/CD, Right Tempo ET 905, Italy, 1998
Chuck: One of the best sensual soundtracks ever made. Pierro
Piccioni's amazing melodies drench your ears in one great exotica
sound experience. Then as the plot thickens so does the sound. An
organ comes in and you're dropped off your cloud and down to a new
earthly sound. The song Camille 2000 is simply a perfect easy soft
exotic melody and it is the bookends on this great soundtrack.
* Milt Raskin: "Kapu (Forbidden -The Exciting Sounds of Milt Raskin)"
LP, Eros ERLS 5002 stereo, UK issue | LP, Stereo Crown CST
142, USA, around 1961
Chuck: I thrifted this red vinyl album a while ago. The is
Exotica with a capital "E" ala Denny and Baxter. The lp starts off
with bird calls and never lets go. You are on one of the best
Exotica trips ever, listening to this. This is a solid lp and all
tunes true Exotica. Milt Raskin thanks Dominic Frontiere for his
asstitance. I believe the lp is from 1961 because there were some
Christmas Seal stickeres on it dated 1961. Really this is one of the
greatest Exotica lps up there sure to appeal to all lovers of true
* The Maledictus Sound: "Les Maledictus Sound"
CD/LP, Mucho Gusto, Canada, 1999 | LP 180 gram HQ vinyl,
Dagored RED 120, gatefold sleeve, Italy, 2000
Chuck: Š spy jazz jams with psche crime show beats and
chipmunk vocals with occasional screams. Totally psyched out late
60's grooves that are all over the place. Some whistling, some
screams, some strings and lots of psyche guitar fuzzed out. Some of
the music has a Morricone late 60's horror film feel. Some of the
vocals are done Chipmunk Nutty Squirrel style that just adds to the
wildness of this record. Generally the cuts are instrumentals This
is an amazingly weird fun record.
* Various Artists: "Beat Jazz. Pictures From The Gone World"
LP/CD, Pesky Serpent PS 1001, USA, 199?
Chuck: This is one beautiful collection of beat music,
spoken word and crazed goofballed lyrics. Way out there selections
of many unknown beat artists at their most primitive level spewing
forth undergroud sounds and styles of a bygone era. No Zane or kitch
here but straight ahead songs that ooze the beat feel! This is a
fantastic selection of music. For me its the beat of this genre on
* Elmer Bernstein: "I Love You, Alice B Toklas (+ Stanley Myers'
CD-R, Two Little Kooks, Germany, 2001
chuck: After years and years of loving it, the soundtrack to
Alice B Toklas finally is released on cd!!! I can't recommend this
soundtrack enough! Wonderful la la land now sounds with a super hook
of a melody that has haunted my memory since it was released. The
sitar is used to accentuate the melodies in a magical tasteful way.
The 2 basic melodies are done over and over again in variety of
hollywood hippie dippy styles. This cd was mastered from vinyl and it
sounds fantastic! Though it does have a slight MP3 sound quality to
the bass. Maybe it was the stylus used for the mastering. Whatever,
the sound is crisp and clear compared to many big industry company's
remasterings. The photo copy of the front and especially the back
covers could by a little more professional. Kaleidoscope is a nice
pairing with a few great cuts on it. My hats off to the Two Little