Montag, Januar 30, 2006

Elsa Popping - Delirium In Hi-Fi (1957)

Elsa Popping is actually Andre Popp from France. Why he posed as "Elsa", I don´t know. It´s nearly impossible to desribe this album, you´ve got to hear it for yourself to believe it: half speed recording of trombone, vocals, vibraphone, three flutes recorded at double speed, vocals with time delay, piano and guitars recorded at half speed with tremolo effect, backwards vocals, bassoon solo with tape echo, hiccup-like sounds played backwards, and on, and on, and on. Very experimental stuff, you see. And now put yourself in a delirium and listen to Elsa...

Mittwoch, Januar 25, 2006

Les Baxter - Ports of Pleasure (1957)

This was a request again. Baxter´s orchestral fantasies evoke a time when places like Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Pacific islands were truly far off wonderlands of sensual delights. The sense that one might discover an unknown tribe or strange way of life, you can feel it all on an album like "Ports of Pleasure" from 1957. Track titles like "Tramp Steamer to Singapore" and "Monkey Dance of Bali" help to create technicolor widescreen imagery. So, when You listen to this music, you ARE there. And now just close your eyes and be there...

Montag, Januar 23, 2006

Enoch Light - Provocative Percussion (1959)

This is the first in a series of Provocative Percussion records under the supervision of Enoch Light. Under the direction of Terry Snyder, Light and the revolving cast known as either the Command All-Stars or simply just the All-Stars, began to experiment with extreme stereophonics, using close microphone techniques and hard-left or hard-right panning to re-create a comparatively austere sense of what could be accomplished with two distinct channels of sound. Here it is, it´s an all-time classic.

Freitag, Januar 20, 2006

The Three Suns - Fever & Smoke (1961)

This was one of the most requested albums on my blog. Allright, what can I say more about these guys. Great innovative music, great sound, great instruments, great artists. Here they are with an album from 1961 with great versions of... guess what? Yes: "Fever" and "Smoke" and ten other great tunes. Have fun!

Mittwoch, Januar 18, 2006

Leonard Nimoy - Mr. Spock´s Music From Outer Space (1967)

Weird, weird stuff. I guess nobody would like to hear Mr. Spock sing. Nobody, but... YOU, right? Okay, here he is with an album from 1967. The reason it says "music" and not "songs", is because there are five instrumentals included, which are not performed by Nimoy. Unusual, but worth listening to. Please enjoy Mr. Spocks logical sound and listen to "Music To Watch Space Girls By"...

Montag, Januar 16, 2006

Esquivel - To Love Again (1957)

Esquivel records are typically considered the ultimate way to show off the magic of stereo sound. It hardly seems possible that the full effect could come from a monaural recording. But his debut LP, "To Love Again", is easily his finest work. In 1954 Esquivel was
designated, with Perez Prado, the most distinguished arranger in his field. This opened the market in the U.S., where this album came out in 1957. "Nightingale", "Nocturnal", "Besame Mucho" and "Siboney" all are first-rate and can easily compete with any of Esquivel's best later work. The remainder of the album really is about as good, making it consistently excellent from start to finish. The trademark chorus is present throughout. Note that Esquivel's arrangement of "Jungle Drums" makes its first LP appearance here: It is updated on his second-best album, the stereo masterpiece "Latin-Esque". "Besame Mucho" is reworked on 1967's compilation "The Genius of Esquivel". Esquivel died in 2002...

Freitag, Januar 13, 2006

Mel Henke - La Dolce Henke (1962)

Mel Henke was a jingle producer, who recorded six albums during his career. I can't see how any could have been more odd than this one: A hodge-podge of brassy advertising music, weirdo sound effects, sexy moans and 50s Playboy Magazine humor, Mel Henke's demented masterpiece is almost without comparison. The album is filled to the brim with ambiguous lines, either you like it, or you hate it. I also have no idea what the market was for this when it was released in 1962, "Sex sells!" he possibly thought, but I don´t think many of you have this in their vinyl-rack, am I correct? Now, let´s go "slippery-when-wet" with Mel Henke, who died in 1979...

Mittwoch, Januar 11, 2006

Bert Kaempfert - Smile (1979)

This is Bert´s very last album before he died in 1980. I post it here, because there seem to be some fans of Bert around, who like to have more of him ;o) The album is great and contains some really funky stuff, contemporary at that time. One of my favorites is "Frisco Disco", a great disco-stomper and one of Bert´s original compositions of this album. He wrote it like so many great titles together with Herbert Rehbein, whom I have introduced before. The title-track "Smile" was written by Charlie Chaplin, who thought of that... Now, enjoy Bert´s music and smile for him...

Montag, Januar 09, 2006

Dean Elliott - Zounds! What Sounds! (1963)

I got a request for Jack Fascinato´s "Music from a Surplus Store", but I don´t have it. I´ve heard it once, but I wasn´t convinced of the quality. But THIS one is a big shot! You must have this, otherwise your collection of Space Age Pop is not complete. Not even near to complete, I can tell you. Unusual sounds and special percussion effects, like thunderstorm, rain, clocks, crunchy celery stalks, air compressor, cement mixer and countless more.

By the way: I´m a collector of LPs named "Zounds! What Sounds!" too. And I also got both of them... ;o)

Freitag, Januar 06, 2006

Baja Marimba Band - Rides Again (1965)

The Baja Marimba Band was Julius Wechter´s other band. They were, in his words, "... like the Tijuana Brass' bad little brothers. Herb (Alpert) and his group would dress in tuxedos and put on a tight, professional presentation. And we'd flop on stage in big sombreros and old clothes with big pasted-on mustaches, smoking cigars and drinking beer." He joined Martin Denny´s band in Hawaii. Wechter played vibes and many unusual percussion instruments on Denny's recordings, starting with "Exotica" in 1958, through "In Person" in 1962. He was a school-mate of Herb Alpert and he also composed "The Spanish Flea", which became one of the most-recorded hits launched by the Tijuana Brass, covered by everyone from the Doodletown Pipers to Homer Simpson. Although never quite achieving the success of the Tijuana Brass, the Baja Marimba Band did very well on its own, recording nearly a dozen albums for A&M and spawning several copycat groups, including the Leo Addeo-led Living Marimbas on RCA and the Acapulco Marimbas on London. Julius Wechter died in 1999. Here he is with a tame album from 1965, which features the follow up song to their big hit "Comin´ in the Backdoor": "Goin´ out the Side Door"...

Montag, Januar 02, 2006

Les Baxter & Bas Sheva - The Passions (1954)

"The Passions" doesn't exactly fit the exotica bill, but is a perfect example of the related "incredibly strange music" genre. Here Baxter provides cinematic moods for Bas Sheva to emote in a non-verbal manner. The album opens with two tracks of "Despair", followed by "Ecstasy", "Hate" and "Lust" and eventually "Terror", "Jealousy", "Joy" and "Passion." This is often seen as Baxter’s most ambitious work. "Here is a challenge for the listener" warns the back cover on this legendary LP, and they got it right: This is an intense concept album with all original compositions by Les Baxter. A true "monster" of early mood music and something you just gotta hear to believe. Now work your way through a woman´s passions...