The Markko Polo Adventurers ‎– Orienta (1959)

We’ve already got a little good share of Exotica here in the ‘IM’, you can easily go for Yma, Russ, and Dominic for your exquisite delight! But I think we should talk a little bit more about it since its one of my fav genres, always with some magical cover and a fantastic vibe from faraway, today’s album is no different so let’s get a ticket to the (wild) East.

Let’s go to our history:

Exotica is a form of easy-listening lounge music that draws upon world music, but it doesn’t aim for authentic replication. Instead, exotica’s primary concern is lightweight entertainment, gathering readily identifiable ethnic sounds into a smooth, easily digested pop form. The music typically conjures up images of exotic foreign tourist destinations geared toward white Americans, and in that sense, it’s sort of the equivalent of a pre-packaged resort vacation: fun, inauthentic, and safely familiar. (!)

1958 Fire Goddess

Exotica is usually arranged for standard orchestras, with instrumentation added according to the location being evoked (ethnic percussion, string instruments, etc.); some exotica also borrows the otherworldly sound effects that define the space-age pop style. The Pacific, the Caribbean, Latin America, Brazil, and Africa are among exotica’s most popular regional musical sources, major exotica artists include Les Baxter, Martin Denny, Arthur Lyman, Eden Ahbez, Gene Rains, Esquivel, Yma Sumac and many more.

Let’s go to our artist:

Orienta was the work of three music industry professionals with a history of involvement in exotica and easy listening music. Producer Simon Rady was coming off the huge success of The Music from Peter Gunn, which spent 10 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s album chart, and won the inaugural Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1959. Associate producer Michael H. Goldsen was one of the industry leaders in popularizing Hawaiian music and was later inducted into the (legendary) Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame.

Debra Paget in Fritz Lang’s The Indian Tomb

The album was arranged and conducted by Gerald Fried, a Juilliard School-trained oboist who later went on to fame as a composer of music for motion pictures and television, including the 1960s series Star TrekThe Man from U.N.C.L.E., and Gilligan’s Island.

Orienta was an attempt to capitalize on the popularity of exotica music in the late 1950s. The genre’s popularity peaked in 1959 as Martin Denny’s 1957 album Exotica spent five weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s album chart. The album was recorded in stereo and was designed to appeal to the growing popularity of albums demonstrating the new technology. It features a wide assortment of woodwind and rhythm instruments as the liner notes describe a recording studio filled with as many as 25 percussion instruments.

Sandy Warner, 1959

Let’s go to our album:

The album’s liner notes stated that:

”The music resembles the dreams of an imaginative person who has fallen asleep during a ‘Dr. Fu Manchu’ movie on television, with vignettes that combine the sounds of the East with the wit of the West; the charm of the Orient with the humor of the Occident.”

A lost lounge gem from the RCA catalog, with a dreamy exotica feeling, Gerald Fried arranged and conducted this faux (studio) group, and his overall approach has lots of sweeping woodwinds and percussion, similar to the great Les Baxter work on Capitol during the period. The tracks have a pronounced Eastern feel including original compositions and adaptations from Rimsky-Korsakov, Harry Warren, and Vernon Duke.

The ‘IM’ highlights are Rain in Rangoon and Mountain High, Valley Low.

Tracks Include:

A1 Song Of India-Beggars’ Procession
Arranged By: Gerald Fried
Composed By: Rimsky-Korsakoff

A2 Yokahama Ferryboat
Composed By: Leon Pober

A3 Rain In Rangoon
Composed By: Vèrnon Duke

A4 Madam Sloe Gin’s
Composed By: Leon Pober

A5 The Girl Friend Of A Whirling Dervish
Composed By – Dubin, Warren, Mercer

A6 Mountain High, Valley Low
Composed By: Bernard Hanighen, Raymond Scott

B1 Scheherazade
Arranged By: Gerald Fried
Composed By: Rimsky-Korsakoff

B2 Limehouse Blues
Composed By: D. Furber, P. Braham

B3 Night Of The Tiger
Composed By: Leon Pober

B4 Nagasaki
Composed By: H. Warren, M. Dixon

B5 Train To Ranchipur
Composed By: Gerald Fried

B6 Runaway Rickshaw
Composed By: Leon Pober

Credits

Arranged By: Gerald Fried
Conductor: Gerald Fried
Co-producer (Associate): Michael H. Goldsen
Producer: Simon Rady
Recorded By (Engineer): Thorne Nogar

Notes

Recorded in Hollywood, California, May 15, 21 and 31 and June 6, 1958

Gerald Fried, Alive and Kicking

Black Sugar – Black Sugar (1971)

Hello to all, we already covered a little bit of the Inca Rock scene in previous posts, so today we’re going straight to it. A band that is no surprise to all who enjoys Latin Rock, already discovered and re-released for the past decade Black Sugar feels closer to Malo than your correlated Peruvian brothers from the ’70. They’ve returned to play since the mid ’10, in spite of not having all its original members, so let’s attend to them and begin.

Let’s go to our artist:

Peru, Lima. An era marked by a military government that, after assuming power in 1968, brought, among many other consequences, the debacle of the first generation of Peruvian rock, discouraging everything that leaned towards the foreign, more precisely to the gringo. Black Sugar’s Latin touch was the safe-conduct for their survival within that hostile and repressive context of those harsh days (the entirety of Latin America).

Los Far-Fen

The roots of this band are in a group called Los Far-Fen (in allusion to the musical communion between the Farfisa organ and the Fender guitar), formed at the end of the sixties by the guitarist Víctor “Coco” Salazar, to solely animate parties. The breakpoint of this stage as party entertainers occurred when his music reached the ears of Jaime Delgado Aparicio, one of the most transcendental musicians in contemporary Peruvian history of which very little is known, and who sadly died at age 40 in 1983 (RIP).

At that time, in the early ’70, the then young but already renowned Peruvian musician who graduated from the Berklee School in Boston had arrived in Lima after a season of musicalizing films in Italy and held the position of manager of Sono Radio, one of the most important record companies in the country. It is Delgado Aparicio who proposes to abandon the repertoire of parties and record an LP with (all) original material.

There the sound of the group was born.

A Young Jaime Delgado

As trumpeter Antonio Ginocchio recalls:

“The studio was gigantic, the size of a soccer field (laughs). I was prepared to record a big band, with modular rails, a 36-channel console… and since Jaime was the manager, we had all the hours we wanted. We never got tired, we were around 20 years old.”

Re-baptized as Black Sugar and sponsored by Jaime Delgado Aparicio, they endorsed for a season the modern recording studio owned by the label at the capital Lima. Songs like Too Late (who even hit the seventh place in the charts in Miami), Viajecito, The Looser and Funky Man made this album an immediate success throughout Peru back in 1971/72.

Black Sugar Rehearsal

The group toured extensively over these years and around 1974 they released a (still successful) second entry at Sono Radio once more. By 1976 the group began to show an inclination towards the disco sound and this led to the departure of vocalist Carlos “Pacho” Mejía and Hermes Landa who was his manager since its beginnings. In addition to this, the curfew imposed by the military regime caused the contracts to begin to decrease substantially, hence this the original members began to abandon the ship.

Muevete, Muevete / La Camita 78 is their latest singles on 7-inch vinyl records by Corona Records, sadly it marks the departure release by the band in 1978-79.

Let’s go to our album:

Rehearsal II

With first-class musicians, superb arrangements and a passionate vocalist, the band owes nothing to the great Latin combos of its generation, in addition to compositions that overcame the question of time, their style is rather unique, with influences from Tower of Power, Blood Sweat and Tears and Chicago mixed with a Latin Funk flavor.

In the end, Black Sugar was a world-class Latin funk institution! And you can watch here as the band’s activities have resumed this past decade. Gracias Chicos!

The ‘IM’ highlights are The Looser and When You’re Walking.

Tracks Include:

A1 Too Late
Arranged By: V. Salazar
Written By: Black Sugar, C. Mejía

A2 Viajecito
Arranged By: J.D.A. (Jaime Delgado Aparicio)
Written By: J.D.A., M.C. (Miguel “Chino” Figueroa)

A3 The Looser
Arranged By:  M. Figueroa
Written By: Black Sugar, C. Mejía, M. Figueroa

A4 This Time
Arranged By: V. Salazar
Written By: Black Sugar, C. Mejía

A5 Funky Man
Arranged By: J.D.A.
Written By: Black Sugar, J.D.A., V. Salazar

B1 Understanding
Arranged By: V. Salazar

B2 When You’re Walking
Arranged By: V. Salazar
Written By: Black Sugar, C. Mejía

B3 When I Needed Someone
Arranged By: J.D.A.
Written By: Black Sugar, C. Mejía

B4 Pussy Cat
Arranged By: J.D.A.
Written By: G. Halligan

Musicians

Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Tambourine: Victor “Coco” Salazar
Alto Saxophone, Flute: Jorge Chávez
Bongos, Percussion (Tumbas): Coco Lagos, Miguel Salazar
Electric Bass: Roberto Valdez
Organ, Piano: Miguel “Chino” Figueroa
Percussion: José “Arroz” Cruz
Trumpet, Valve Trombone (Valve Bone): Antonio Ginocchio
Vocals: Carlos Mejía

Credits

Photography: Carlos Aramburú
Recorded By: Luis Temple, Manuel Bellido
Recorded By (Assistant): Willy Castro

Management: H. Landa
Mixed By, Producer: J.D.A.

Notes

Sono Radio ‎– S.E. 9432

Recorded and Mixed for P.M.I. at Industrial Sono Radio S.A. – Lima – Perú – Studio I.

Live, 2019

Dominic Frontiere and His Orchestra – Pagan Festival: An Exotic Love Ritual For Orchestra (1959)

Together with Yma Sumac’s exquisite records, Russ Garcia’s Fantastica, and the unknown The Markko Pollo Adventures self titled album, our today entry comes with great passion, a personal favorite in the Exotica and Space Age Pop universe. You can check a dossier about the subject here, and with our last entries highlighted on top! We believe that the milestone works from Martin Denny and famous arranger Les Baxter are truly amazing, though due to the high commercial appeal and large number of releases, the musical developments became to dilute throughout the years, climaxing with the death of the genre in the mid-60’s.

folder cópia

Together with Yma Sumac’s exquisite records, Russ Garcia’s Fantastica, and the unknown The Markko Pollo Adventures self titled album, our today entry comes with great passion, a personal favorite in the Exotica and Space Age Pop universe. You can check a dossier about the subject here, and with our last entries highlighted on top! We believe that the milestone works from Martin Denny and famous arranger Les Baxter are truly amazing, though due to the high commercial appeal and large number of releases, the musical developments became to dilute throughout the years, climaxing with the death of the genre in the mid60’s.

Nevertheless, expect to encounter ‘Hypnotique’ and ‘The Passions’ here soon!

Let’s go to our artist:

Dominic Frontiere
Dominic Frontiere

Dominic Frontiere (17 June 1931, New Haven, Connecticut) grew up in a musical family, learning several instruments before adopting the accordion as his main focus. He proved a prodigy, and was travelling to New York for lessons with accordion virtuoso Joseph Biviano at 7 and performing solo at Carnegie Hall at the age of 12. From an early age, its interest in music went beyond just performing, though, and he studied classical music, arranging, and composition through high school and after!

He joined Horace Heidt’s big band in 1949, replacing accordion star Dick Contino and becoming lead arranger as well. He left Heidt in 1952 and moved to Hollywood, where he studied with Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco at UCLA and with violinist and studio conductor Felix SlatkinFrontiere was then, taken under the wing of Alfred Newman, music director at 20th Century-Fox studios, and his brother, famous film composer Lionel Newman, who soon had him working on a variety of scoring jobs.

Alfred Newman
Alfred Newman

Frontiere experimented several novelties from his studio work, one was an album for Columbia, Pagan Festival, that is now recalled fondly as one of the prime examples of true exotica. One suspects that he ran Yma Sumac’s albums for a few spins while conceiving on the pieces on this work, which feature titles as ‘Jaguar God’Venus Girl’, with subtitles recalling Mayan or Inca language, as Ixtab, and Tampu-Anca.

Dominic has concentrated on composing for films/television since the early ’60s. His scoring credits include such films as Hang ‘Em High, Incubus, Chisum, The Train Robbers, Brannigan, and The Stunt Man. On television, he composed the theme for the aliens-are-among-us series, The Invaders, science fiction The Outer Limits, and also The Fugitive, The Flying Nun, BrandedMovin’ Onamongst many others.

1968 Film Poster
1968 OST

Along with Art Van Damme and Johnny Hamlin, he ranks among the leading (and only) jazz accordionists, with an active career until the ’90s. Recently many of its soundtracks were available in cd re-releases, where you can check it out here!

Let’s go to our album:

The liner notes on the back cover spoke of the music’s “interpretation of ancient Inca rituals, superstitions, and the romance and mysteries of their colorful civilization“, but the blending of musical styles was not limited to that of the ancient Latin American culture (if anyone knew what that would sound like!). Frontiere let his imagination run wild, and he brought in sounds from the South Pacific to Eastern Europe, e.g.

1963/64 OST
1963/64 OST

So, here a female choir wafted in and out along with string sections, brasses, and reeds, creating a patchwork quilt that somehow held together. Frontiere‘s music charmed like an entertaining Hollywood score for a movie set in some faraway place, it may not have been historically accurate, but it was a lot of fun to listen to, jouir!

The ‘IM’ highlights are House of Dawn (Paccari-Tampu) and Venus Girl (IX-Koben).

Lastly, this is an exclusive release, เดินทางที่ดี!

Tracks Include:

A1 Festival

A2 House of Dawn (Paccari-Tampu)

A3 Temple of Suicide (Ixtab)

A4 Moon Goddess (Ixchel)

A5 Time of Sunshine (Yaxkin)

A6 Goddess of Love (X-Tabai)

B1 House of Pleasure (Tampu-Anca)

B2 The Harvest (Zax)

B3 Corn Festival (Zabacil Than)

B4 God of Seasons (Kukulkan)

B5 Jaguar God (Balam)

B6 Venus Girl (IX-Koben)

Credits

  • Artwork: Irene Trivas
  • Composed, Conductor: Dominic Frontiere

Columbia ‎– CL 1273

Beltrane Fire Festival
Beltrane Fire Festival

Mustafa Özkent Ve Orkestrası – Gençlik Ile Elele (1973)

capa cópiaHello people! Last Wednesday (08/10) a novelty happened and we would like to share with everyone, Gary Sullivan, our friend from Bodega Pop made ​​a radio-webcast program of 3 hours, highlighting the qualities of the Interstellar Medium, along with an extensive tracklist. We wanted to thank Gary and each one who participated and supported during the transmission, the link for you to hear the show is available here.

This was an important step to our history, we ALWAYS count on your opinion! And for those who haven’t yet been familiarized with the page or arrived just now, there’s the About to give you some directions, without further ado let’s get to our entry!

Let’s go to our music:

Ferdi Özbeğen Orkestrası, 60's
Ferdi Özbeğen Orkestrası, 60’s

The Turkish Rock movement is believed to have begun in the late-50’s with the arrival of The Shadows and developed further during the next decade with the increasing popularity of Western music acts. With the coming of The Beatles, small bands sprung up everywhere, this triggered the national newspaper Hΰrriyet to organize a national talent contest under the title Altin Mikrofon (golden mic).

In the ’60s, the youth especially living in big cities were very receptive to new pop music coming from abroad but understandably they also were far from the social impact that this music brought, or we may say a middle-class minority who knew English were aware. Meanwhile, there was unrest amongst young people which translated into an exciting political climate, not fed by rock music exclusively.

Arda Uskan, John & Yoko, Erkin Koray
Arda Uskan, John & Yoko, Erkin Koray

Of all the musical/cultural scenes that happened along the ’60s, psychedelia was the most effective one in Turkey; it started one year later than the USA and Europe but lasted much longer, this music brought a new dimension to Turkish listeners, while the rest of the nation was happy with its oriental overtones, the Turkish music fans found that it was what they felt inside really! So psychedelia influence was at a much different scope than it had on other countries, by 1969 all codes on the birth of a big rock music scene were set and Turkish rock had five more years of prolific kingdom.

After 1975-76, the scene took its toll with changing political, musical and social climates and before 1979 came it was all over (!). The golden age of Anadolu Rock was marked by artists famous until today, such as Baris Manço, Cem Karaca, Edip Ackbyram, Ersen. Bands like Mogallar, 3 Hurel, Erkin Koray and Selda Bagcan.

Baris Manço's Cockade
Baris Manço’s Cockade

Let’s go to our artist:

Mustafa Özkent was a lesser-known but significant figure on the Ankara music scene until his music belatedly found a receptive audience in the West four decades after!

A talented guitarist who was known to modify the design of his instruments to create unusual tonal qualities, he earned a reputation as a gifted maverick and by the dawn of the 70’s was in demand as a session player, arranger, and producer, creating music that fused psychedelicpop and soul influences with jazz-like improvisations.

Mustafa Özkent
Mustafa Özkent

In 1972, he partnered with Evren Records, a Turkish label known for its audiophile recording techniques, Ozkent booked time at Istanbul’s finest recording facilities, and with a mighty team of musicians, he began recording new material dominated by extended percussion jams, hard-grooving organ lines, and funky wah-wah guitars.

The resultant Lp, Genclikle Elele (Hand in Hand with Youth), sounded as if it were designed for hip-hop DJs in search of funky breaks even though it was cut years before the South Bronx scene began to flower! The British Finders Keepers label reissued its masterpiece in 2006, he remains active in Turkey, releasing Dijital Guitar in 2005!

Let’s go to our album:

Cem Karaca's Article
Cem Karaca’s Article

Mustafa went on to invent specially treated guitars with additional frets enabling him to replicate unique notes similar to a saz or lute allowing the musician to emulate the sound of Hendrix’s style wah-wah and fuzz while retaining the versatility of the traditional Eastern sensibilities which ran through many young Istanbul’s veins.

Unlike Zafer Dilek’s entry and its adapted Belly Dance, this time the Turkish folklore really receives a spicy electric treatment, the groove is so infectious that I really doubted it could have come from Turkey. I simply won’t say much about this masterpiece, an instrumental album like Gençlik Ile Elele is virtually unattainable!

The ‘IM’ highlights are Dolana Dolana and Ayaş.

좋은 여행!

Tracks Include:

A1 Üsküdar’a Giderken

A2 Burçak Tarlaları

A3 Dolana Dolana

A4 Karadır Kara

A5 Emmioğlu

B1 Çarşamba

B2 Zeytinyağlı

B3 Silifke

B4 Lorke

B5 Ayaş

Credits

  • Arranged, Performed: Mustafa Özkent
  • Guitar: Cahit Oben, Mustafa Özkent
  • Organ (Hammond): Umit Aksu

All songs Traditional/Anonymous

  • Recorded at Grafson studios, Istanbul.
  • Originally released on LP in 1973Evren Plakları, TÜ 1003

Finders Keepers Records ‎– FKR010LP

Moğollar, Today
Moğollar, Today

Daniela Casa – Societa’ Malata (1975)

capa cópiaLibrary music, also known as production or stock music, was originally recorded as fodder for media projects that needed readymade soundtrack cues. The tracks were usually brief instrumentals, typically no more than a minute or two in length, and often adopted whatever sounds were popular at the time. As a result, they serve as wonderful snapshots of the various musical eras in which they were laid down, from breezy easy listening and mellow mood to lethal funk jams and Moog noodlings.

These releases were not available to the general public and were chiefly distributed within media production circles. Free of the commercial pressure to produce hits, it was not uncommon for artists to abandon conventional song structures and immerse themselves into it. Even though it was supposed to be background music, a lot of this stuff is quite musically imaginative and makes for enjoyable listening on its own!

Let’s go to our music:

Alessandro Alessandroni
Alessandro Alessandroni (Braen)

Unlike popular and classical music publishers, who typically own less than 50 percent of the copyright in a composition, production music libraries own all copyrights of their music, thus, it can be licensed freely without the composer’s permission.

Library music composers and session performers typically work anonymously and have rarely become known outside their professional circles. In recent years some veteran composers, performers, and arrangers such as Alan Hawkshaw, John Cameron, and Keith Mansfield have achieved cult status as a result of a new interest in library music of the ’60s and ’70s, notably the beat/electronica cues recorded for KPM British label.

Suzanne Ciani
Suzanne Ciani

The Italian library scene from the ’70s is certainly the most popular and extensive of the ‘genre’, recently praised by worldwide labels, Dj’s and the blogosphere.

Soundtrack composers and arrangers such as Alessandro Alessandroni, Piero Umiliani, Bruno Nicolai, Suzanne Ciani, are just some of the greats from the period!

Let’s go to our artist:

Daniela Casa (February 6, 1944 – 28 July 1986), was the daughter of a builder of boats, that graduated from Art Schoolduring this time Daniela studied chant and guitar with Maestro Claudio de Angelis. She was discovered in 1963 and put under contract by Fonit label, participating in the same year at the Grand Prix (RAI TV show), in which she presents his own version of Senza Fine, the famous song by Gino Paoli.

Daniela Casa, 1964
Daniela Casa, 1964

The following year Daniela released her second 45 single, also by Fonit.

In 1965, at the Piper Club in Rome, she forms the duo Dany & Gepy with Giampiero Scalamogna, specializing in the revival of covers of soul and r&b. Along the 70’s she devoted herself to composition, writing the famous hits Regolarmente, engraved by Mina, and Dimmi Cosa Aspetti Ancora, performed by Dominga. Then, Uomo became the theme song of the television program Storie di Donneat the same time she married the musician Remigio Ducros and in 1972, Valentina Ducros was born.

Thenceforth, she develops several instrumental/library albums whose recording career lasted from 1963 through to her untimely death from cancer in 1988. (RIP)

Let’s go to our album:

1971

A genuine pioneer of experimental pop music, electronics, Giallo jazz and even heavy drone-rock jams, her elusive and infectious music joins the dots and loops between other Italian female electronic composers such as Giulia Alessandroni, Doris Norton, and Suzanne Ciani, retaining one of the most diverse composing styles of an advanced mechanical musician. Originally designed for use in Italian thrillers, nature documentaries, educational projects, and commercial installations.

I’m not an ardent fan of Library music, but this wonder recently re-released on vinyl has really poked me from the very first second. Daniela’s aural reflection of the wickedness of humanity and decay of our world delivers a multi-layered musical landscape that remains as vibrant and authentic today as they did 35 years ago!

Piero Umiliani Experiements
Piero Umiliani Experiments

Lastly, this is another exclusive release, godere di questa meraviglia, sì?!

The ‘IM’ highlights are Strade Vuote and Occultismo.

Bon Vwayaj!

Tracks Include:

A1 Ignoto

A2 Strade Vuote

A3 Pericolo

A4 Angoscia

A5 Fabbrica

A6 Oppressione

B1 Esoda

B2 Vizio

B3 Occultismo

B4 Noia

B5 Dittatura

Deneb ‎– DNB 0116

Suspiria's Japanese Poster
Suspiria’s Japanese Poster