Russ Garcia & His Orchestra – Fantastica (1958)

capa cópiaAs we previously approached on Yma Sumac’s first entry, on the very birth of the genre knows as Exotica, today we’ll recap that and add a new genre: space-age pop!

Space-age pop is a music genre associated with Mexican and American composers and songwriters in the Space Age of the ’50s and ’60s. It is also called bachelor pad music or lounge music. It was inspired by the spirit of those times, an optimism based on the strong post-war economy, technology boom, and excitement about humanity’s early forays into space. Although there is no specific album, date, or year when the genre was born, producer Irwin Chusid identifies its heyday as roughly 1954 to 1963, from the dawn of high-fidelity (hi-fi) to the arrival of the Beatles.

Space Escapade, 1958
Space Escapade, 1958

There are several styles that can be recognized as an influence: classical composers like Ravel, Debussy or Stravinsky; the big bands of the ’40s; and different exotic styles, such as Samba, Latin, and Calypso Jazz. It is also related to Exotica and lounge music and may be regarded as a precursor to space music. (!)

Populated with the outcasts from other well-established genres, Space Age Pop is full of brilliant, bizarre, and exciting sounds, which are particularly striking to ears accustomed to the stereotypes that populate the more familiar genres.

Juan García Esquivel
Juan García Esquivel

Let’s go back to Exotica:

The strictest definition limits exotica to the imitations of Polynesian, Afro-Caribbean, and Hawaiian music that were produced by Les Baxter and others from the mid-1950s to the very early ’60s. There were two primary strains of this kind of exotica: Jungle and Tiki. The jungle was definitely a Hollywood creation, with its roots in Tarzan movies or W.H. Hudson’s novel, Green Mansions. Les Baxter was the king of jungle exotica and spawned a host of imitators while opening the doors for a few more genuine articles such as Chaino, Thurston Knudson, and Guy Warren.

Ritual of the Savage, 1951
Ritual of the Savage, 1951

Tiki was introduced with Martin Denny’s Waikiki nightclub combo cum jungle noises cover of Baxter’s ‘Quiet Village’, although Denny’s vibe player, Arthur Lyman, soon became the style’s most representative artist. Tiki rode a wave of popularity in the late ’50s and early ’60s marked by the entrance of Hawaii as the 50th state in 1959 and the introduction of Tiki hut cocktail bars and restaurants around the United States!

Martin Denny's Group
Martin Denny’s Group

Let’s go to our artist:

Russel Garcia (12 April, 1916 – 19 November, 2011) attended at San Francisco State University and then studied composition (with Castelnuovo-Tedesco) before going to work as a professional arranger and composer. He worked with Horace Heidt and Al Donahue before settling in LA to work with a theatre orchestra. He then moved to studio work, first NBC radio and later with Warner Brothers, Disney, and others.

He freelanced around labels, working with singers such as Anita O’Day and Frances Faye as well as several mainstream jazz artists. He also wrote scores for films such as ‘The Time Machine’ and ‘Atlantis’ and contributed music to the television series ‘Rawhide’ and ‘The Virginian’. In the mid-’60s, he wrote several original works for Stan Kenton’s ‘Neophonic’ orchestra. He also published a book on arranging and orchestration that’s still considered a primary text. (!)

Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald & Russ Garcia
Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald & Russ Garcia (Porgy & Bess)

Let’s go to our album:

Fantastica remains the gold standard by which all outer space exotica records are judged, composed and conducted by Russ Garcia, the album is a marvel of sound and structure, brilliantly evoking the music of the cosmos via revolutionary studio techniques, cinematic arrangements, and innovative electronic elements!

Created in tandem with Liberty Records‘ chief engineer, Ted Keep, Fantastica bears little resemblance to conventional earthly music: alongside traditional instruments like woodwinds, harp, and percussion is a series of electronic devices and effects, including a sine wave generator that creates treble and bass tones of almost inhuman extremes. Conjuring horrific images of alien attack (The Monsters of Jupiter), natural disaster (Nova), and chilling isolation (The Lost Souls of Saturn) that articulate the collective unconsciousness of humankind, a true masterpiece!

The Maestro
The Maestro

The ‘IM’ Highlights are Venus and Frozen Neptune. (this is an exclusive rip)

Summing up, this is my Top 3 of the whole genre, an atemporal Lp, nothing appealing or stereotypical as some mentioned during our entry, startle yourself!

Приятно пътуване!

Tracks Include:

A1 Into Space

A2 Nova (Exploding Star)

A3 Lost Souls of Saturn

A4 Monsters of Jupiter

A5 Water Creatures of Astra

A6 Venus

B1 Red Sand of Mars

B2 Goofy People of Phobos

B3 Volcanoes of Mercury

B4 Birth of a Planet

B5 Frozen Neptune

B6 Moon Rise

Credits

  • Arranged, Composed: Russ Garcia
  • Artwork (Cover Design): Garrett-Howard
  • Effects, Electronics, Engineer: Ted Keep
  • Producer: Simon Jackson

Notes

Spectra-Sonic-Sound the ultimate in transistorized stereophonic hi-fidelity sound.

Liberty ‎– LST 7001

Jane Fonda’s Barbarella

Zafer Dilek – Oyun Havalari (1977)

folder cópiaAs previously, today we’re going to another unknown artist to most of the Western audience; legendary Turkish producer and arranger, again there’s little information available about this grand maestro! Per hour, we will continue to investigate its details and if some Turkish readers could provide us more details, it will be welcome!

Let’s go to our history:

Belly Dance in the Middle East has two distinct social contexts: as a folk or social dance, and as performance art. As a social dance, belly dance is performed at celebrations and social gatherings by ordinary people who are not professional performers. Dancers wear their ordinary clothes rather than a special dance costume.

The version of belly dance that is performed on stage has its roots in the social dance, and is typically a more polished version, with more emphasis on stagecraft, use of space, and special costumes designed to show off the movements to best effect.

Princess Banu
Princess Banu

Professional performers (dancers, singers, and actors) are not considered to be respectable in the Middle East, and there is a strong social stigma attached to female performers since they display their bodies in public, which is considered haram. (!)

As Turkish law does not impose restrictions on Turkish dancers’ movements and costuming as in Egypt, where dancers are prevented from performing floor work and certain pelvic movements, Turkish dancers are often more outwardly expressive than their Egyptian sisters. They’re known for their energetic, athletic (even gymnastic) style, and their adept use of finger cymbals, also known as zills.

Sabine Sevan
Sabine Sevan

Another distinguishing element of Turkish style is the use of the Karsilama rhythm (faster than others) in a 9/8 time signature, counted as 12-34-56-789.

Turkey was also known, male belly dancers!

Let’s go yo our artist:

Zafer Dilek (b. 1945) is one of the unsung heroes of Turkish music having worked as arranger, producer, and guitarist for countless famous Turkish artists (usually uncredited); also in film soundtracks, as a solo artist and in Zafer Banu Hülya group. He officially began its career in 1971 and in 1976 produced Selda’s second album.

The development of Turkish pop music in the ’70s saw the consolidation of Anadolu Rock, drinking on traditional influences, suddenly folklore (once seen as outdated) became a true fever when arranged with electric (modern) instruments.

Zafer Dilek
Zafer Dilek

The so-called Oyun Havalari turned into an export product, with its appealing (erotic) covers, uptempo overall and many famous artists doing this kind of exploitation portrait of the Middle East, such as Esin Engin, George Abdo, Omar Khorshid, Ahmad DjamalErköse Kardeşler and Ozel Turkbas. (!)

Let’s go to our album:

Groovy instrumental, lot’s of ethnic percussion, beautiful woodwinds, and excellent guitar / Bağlama playing in an unstoppable rhythm, feverish psychedelia with short length tracks, and a small sense of deja-vu: the songs are quite similar in this oriental party, but this will not belittle your hearing appreciation, hoşlanmak!

The ‘IM’ highlights are Arabi Oyun Havası and Konyalı(this is an exclusive rip)

Приятной поездки!

Tracks Include:

A1 Kol Bastı Oyun Havası

A2 Tokat Sarması

A3 Sultan Ciftetellisi

A4 Arabi Oyun Havası

A5 Eminem

A6 Tulum

A7 Fasulya

B1 Döktürü

B2 Konyalı

B3 Bahriye Çiftetellisi

B4 Kelle

B5 Adana Çiftetellisi

B6 Kazancı Oyun Havası

B7 Adanalı

Devir ‎– DP 7777

Erotik Kapak!
Erotik Kapak!