Sunday, September 5, 2010

Ringing Endorsement: The Exotica Project

If you're anything like me, you can't help slipping deep inside the prehistoric womb of Yma, Denny, or Ahbez whenever the needle happens to drop on a side... Exotica is and has been a timeless genre for all kinds of music freaks, but fairly unknown to me, and I think others, was how deep the genre ran on 45s... no one who's ever gone looking for records hasn't picked up a Denny or Baxter LP at some point, and they're great - don't get me wrong, but thanks to a wildly in depth new site spearheaded by a friend, Dan Shiman, the parameters seemed to open on all kinds of things I had never encountered before once the speed was set to 45 RPM! Accompanied with some great writing on the topic, side-length mp3 clips, and beautiful hi-res scans of over 100 45s the site is truly something worth taking the time to explore. I'll quote from Dan, as to why if you dig lost music, generally speaking, the site may really gel with your view:

"A wide variety of artists from a wide variety of backgrounds populates exotica's back pages: established jazz musicians and Latin congueros, landlocked surf guitar combos, forgotten actresses-turned-thrush and cruise ship combos, hinterlands nightclub singers, frustrated session musicians and studio arrangers, for-hire African percussionists, R&B vocal groups and chitlin circuit B3 wranglers. The genre-spanning diversity of exotica is reflected here.

The role of the 45 format must not be overlooked, either. Exotica abounds on 45, the best examples wilder, looser, stranger, more eccentric, more ambitious - more experimental, even - than their album track counterparts."

Seriously! Check it out, already!

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