Various artists Ė Pure Exotica as dug by Lux and Ivy (CD Righteous)
I suppose itís somewhat of a misconception that Exotica is just fluff and easy listening and while itís easy to find plenty of that from those that jumped onto the Exotica bandwagon in the late 50s and early 60s there is, if you dig a bit deeper, plenty of music to enjoy.
This 2 CD set is one of a series based around what the compliers believe Lux and Ivy of the Cramps (avid record collectors) would have found most enjoyable from a number of different genres and youth cults.
With this exotica collection you have a set split into two different moods. One Cd of lite and one of dark. Amongst the artists featured you have the expected, with the inclusion of no less than 4 Martin Denny (regarded as the originator of the style) tracks (all on the lite disc) three from Les Baxter and a couple by Arthur Lymans. The surprising omissions here being Esquivel, and Yma Sumac.
Of the two discs the dark one is the one that holds the more appeal. Itís less likely to come across as background listening and is a much more complex set of pieces most of which almost straddle exotica, big band and film soundtracks.
As a primer for the genre this is a handy 34 track collection and while itís not going to be something Iíll drag out and play every week or even month itís been getting enough plays to make me think Iíll be revisiting it regularly enough. DB