17 November 2004



Gutterbreakz excellent recent post (below) on the links between exotica and industrial sent me scuttling back through my tapes of exotica king Les Baxter, who's music (and record covers) seduced me from the Sue Ryder shop bins long before Ultra-Lounge made this stuff cool again and before I'd even thought of using the term Postmodernism in conversation.

Back then I didn't even know what irony meant - still not sure now, to be fair; is it something to do with the Kids from Fame not actually being famous?

The music had me in it's grip, holding my 12 year old pocket-money soiled hand and sending me spinning towards all kinds of out there artists. These guys wer wild; they just seemed to have no idea at all of what music ought to be and it was just fantastic. It seemed to act as a drunken, impossibly glamorous, soundtrack to the spazz stylings of the Somerset Carnival circuit, as documented in all it's mentalistic glory by Psychbloke You could almost smell the incest in the offing; the monobrowed, raw cider apple-pip blindness of people searching forever for the New World order...

And then, reading Gutterbreakz breakdown of Denny et al I span off in another direction and came upon another link with Industrial Culture; the bizzare Mondo music of Steroid Maximus aka Foetus aka JG Thirlwell aka Clint Ruin...

Steroid Maximus took exotica by the horns and dragged it through the kind of cop-movie where everyone ends up lost in the jungle staring down people with ears for necklaces. It lurches onwards, pulling down thick shards of exotic marimba and jazzed-up psychedelia, diving from light to dark and up again...


Steroid Maximus - Aclectasis

So I played my Steroid Maximus album, decided immediately to find the others, and then took a slight sideways turn towards the autechristic space-exotica of Tom Recchion who uses exotica as a base metal for his golden sidereal looping; morphing tribal horn parps and skull percussion with cocktail pianos and chattering monkeys and generally making music that always seems on the brink of utter collapse but somehow always seems to pull it together...

Tom Recchion - Free of Ice

So, what was it about the early exoticas, the Dennys and the Baxters? Why were TG and the rest so drawn in? Did they see in exotica's tangles and misappropriations the flash of true outsider geniuses? Were they attracted to the fucked-up nature sampling and the mangled instrumentation, the polyphonic bird-calls and the horny old bullfrogs? Or maybe this was a Nurse With Wound 'Sylvie n Babs' style pisstake of all those morbid kohled up and para-booted industrial blackshirts? (after all, even The Sisters of Mercy felt the need to bait their fans a little when Eldritch turned up in that Man from Delmonte white suit and started pretending to be Elvis).

C'mon...it was never in doubt was it? You just have to look at the new Imac / Sumac Genesis P Orridge to see that the love for the weird and wonderful world of exotica was honest and long-lasting.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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