51 Incredible Exotica Videos

Don the Beachcomber ad

  1. Koo Mei – Movie MV
  2. Jungle Book Opening
  3. Arthur Lyman Clip
  4. Arthur Lyman at the Makai Bar
  5. Connie Francis – Misirlou (1965)
  6. Debra Paget: Beauty and Glory in the South Pacific
  7. Afro Mood
  8. Desi Arnaz – Similau
  9. Desi Arnaz – Tabu
  10. Efialths (voodoo dance)
  11. Hoton me aisi baat- Jewel Thief
  12. Karle pyar karle
  13. Korla Pandit
  14. Leon Berry – Beast in the Basement
  15. Criborn plays Polynesian Village disc
  16. Ethel Smith Live The Breeze and I
  17. Three Caballeros – Baía
  18. Mambo Brazilero
  19. 1954 (Mambo)
  20. Josephine Siao movie 1/4-dance
  21. clip 5/5
  22. not in current char set
  23. Thelonious Moog – Take 5, 6 &7 The Long Version!
  24. Ukulele – After the Fox
  25. Ukulele & Melodica – Tequila
  26. The Raymond Scott Quintette – War Dance For Wooden Indians
  27. Soy Cuba clip: floorshow
  28. Setsuo Ohashi – Ebb Tide
  29. Santo & Johnny- Moonlight Serenade
  30. Stranger in Paradise – Violin Solo in stereo
  31. Keroncong
  32. Raquel Welch: Space-Girl Dance
  33. Exotica in Space
  34. Pagan Love Song
  35. Reg Kehoe and his Marimba Queens
  36. The Lawrence Welk Show: Hindustan
  37. 196x
  38. (not in current char set)
  39. Misora Hibari in Shichihenge Tanukigoten (clip 2)
  40. Nat King Cole – Caravan
  41. Miserlou: an Egyptian girl conquers America, Greek Song Music
  42. Martin Denny – Quiet Village (from Hawaii Calls)
  43. Les Baxter Music of the 60’s
  44. Les Baxter – Tahiti A Summer Night At Sea
  45. The Tikiyaki Orchestra – Exotique
  46. Movie MV
  47. GeLan / Grace Chang
  48. 1950s Dancing Hillbilly Boys – Vintage 8mm Home Movie
  49. Blue Bossa vibes solo
  50. KTown Heroes ft. Jake Shimabukuro – Bodysurfing (cover)
  51. Ernie Kovacs Nairobi Trio (original music)

Waitiki Videos from European and American Shows

Waitiki live in Berlin, 2008

Waitiki live in Berlin, 2008

Check out the videos Waitiki put up on the web. Some from this summer’s Wassermusik, which took place in Berlin. I was there, and it was very special and otherwordly and beautiful.
The following is quoting professahhummingflowah / Randy from the opening post in a Waitiki video thread on Tiki Central.

As you may know, this summer Waitiki launched a new project that has been christened The Waitiki All-Star Exotica Septet. In other words, a 7 member ensemble dedicated to the preservation and performance of classic and modern exotica.

The group is comprised of: Abe Lagrimas & Randy Wong (Waitiki co-founders; drums and bass, respectively), Tim Mayer (‘The Mayor of Exotica’ – sax/flutes), Jim Benoit (Berklee vibraphone wunderkind, of the Phil WIlson Rainbow Big Band), Helen Liu (dazzling violinist, a.k.a. “Ms. Helenini”), Zaccai Curtis (Latin jazz pianist with Paquito D’Rivera, Christian Scott, Wallace Roney), and Lopaka Colon (percussion and birdcalls; son of original Martin Denny percussionist and birdcaller, Augie Colon).

For your listening & viewing pleasure, here are some selected videos from our two recent performances—The Wassermusik Festival (Berlin, Germany) and the Retro Cocktail Hour’s 500th Broadcast Anniversary (Lawrence, Kansas). We will be mixing and mastering audio from the Retro Cocktail Hour show, as well as recent studio and other live performances, for an upcoming commercial release. Stay tuned.

In the meantime:

From our European debut – videography by Jochen Hirschfield of Armchair Travelling and ‘The DVD of Tiki’

Coronation, shot in Berlin. Featuring Lopaka Colon (son of original Martin Denny percussionist, Augie Colon), bongos & birdcalls.

Primativa, shot in Berlin. Featuring Tim Mayer (Waitiki’s Mayor of Exotica), saxophone.

Tiki, shot in Berlin. Featuring TIm Mayer (sax) and Zaccai Curtis (piano).

From our American debut

Sweet Pikake Serenade, shot in Lawrence. A composition by Randy Wong, in the style of Arthur Lyman’s great exotica ballads. Featuring Lopaka Colon (birdcalls/percussion), Jim Benoit (vibraphone), and Zaccai Curtis (piano).

Left Arm of Buddha, shot in Lawrence. Arrangement by Tim Mayer, of Martin Denny’s classic. Featuring Tim on alto flute and Jim Benoit.

L’Ours Chinois (‘The Chinese Bear’), shot in Lawrence. A composition by Randy Wong, in the style of Fritz Kreisler, Martin Denny, and Maurice Ravel. Featuring Helen Liu (Ms. Helenini) as violin soloist.

Firecrackers, shot in Lawrence; the encore to our show. Arrangement by Abe Lagrimas Jr. and Jim Benoit. Features Abe on drums and Jim on vibes.

Hope you like the videos. Sorry that some of the audio isn’t completely synced to the video; I’m still learning how to use Final Cut Express!! Let us know what you think of the group!!

– Randy & The Waitiki All-Star Exotica Septet

Tiki Central Forums – Topic: The Waitiki All-Star Exotica Septet: videos from our European and American debuts.

Loudness and Old Exotica Recordings

When I was asked to DJ Exotica music on a boat recently I had to burn some vinyl of mine to CD. So I could see the sound waves and made two screenshots of the perfectly mastered Arthur Lyman album Bahia.

The reason I chose this one was that the loudest and first track I ripped peaked at 0dB without the limiter catching it. I just left the dials to their own devices and hoped I can capture the entire album with this “magic” setting. It was just plain luck. So I ripped this particular vinyl record without any additional limiting or compression, peaking at 0dB and all the music of that album perfectly relative to that peak.

When you see the soundwaves you will recogn that each one has got its own shape. This means that the creativity of the musicians is reflected in the volume at any given point in time, allowing for drama, surprises and expression. Sure there was some kind of processing going on even in those days, but it was to get a good, hi-fi sound at the end-consumer, with the goal being a natural room impression – heavy compression doesn’t allow that. See that one very quiet track – it’s meant to be that way. How they made it? They played their instruments softer. You have to be quiet yourself to clearly hear it, you start interacting with the music.

It all made me realize on a new level, what beautiful works of art music masters can be.

Here are two Heavy Metal soundfiles for comparison. It’s the same track, the upper, more dynamic one was given to a game company, the lower one is from the CD album. Wether this was a mistake or the less dynamic sound was considered more desireable I don’t know.

related posts:
Turn Me Up! | Bringing Dynamics Back To Music
Loudness Wars Explained
Article on Metallica‘s new album at Wired.

Spectacular Exotica Special at Lux

From Luxuriamusic:

Monday, July 21st from 7 – 10 pm PST
Aloha!!! Strike brings yet another spectacular Exotica special to the Kitsch Niche! 3 hours of luscious, undulating, mysterious music from the Pacific rim. They’ll be lots of favorites along with plenty of rarities, too (like unheard Tiki Room music)!

Be sure to tune in right at 7:00 as Strike has concocted an Exotic cocktail of an intro unlike anything you have ever heard!

And, Strike will be announcing the winner of the Arthur Lyman 9 cd set courtesy of Collector’s Choice Music. Each CD contains 2 amazing Arthur Lyman albums!

There’s still time to enter to win. All you have to do is donate $5 or more anytime between now and 6:00 pm Monday, July 21st. Go to www.luxuriamusic.com for more details. Aloha!!


My Playlist at Wassermusik Preview

I could have played all night, the audience was great, but since the public transportation was going on strike in the morning people made the effort to catch the last rides. This list is not in the correct order, I will find a way to ensure the correct posting order for my next playlist.

  1. La Mer d’Hawaii – Die Gitarros
  2. Sake Rock – Martin Denny
  3. Blue Rain – The Islanders
  4. Beach Boy – Martha Shanklin
  5. On Your Marks – Santo & Johnny
  6. Sansar Ki Har Shae – Van Shipley
  7. Phantoma – The Silver Bullets
  8. Beauty Hula – Ray Kinney and his Famous Hawaiian Orchestra
  9. 55 Days of Peking – Rob-E. G.
  10. Atlantis – Norrie Paramor and his Orchestra
  11. Rosarita Surf – Jerry Cole
  12. Hero – Kai Winding
  13. Taboo – The Keymen
  14. Main Title From: Ride The Wild Surf – The Astronauts
  15. Volare – Santo & Johnny
  16. Adios – Xavier Cugat
  17. He Ain’t Heavy… He’s My Brother – Basil Henriques and the Waikiki Islanders
  18. Perfidia – Xavier Cugat
  19. Spooky – Santo & Johnny
  20. Rockambo Baby – Tarragano & his Orchestra
  21. Tequila – Lloyd Lindroth
  22. The Twist – The Parleys
  23. La Paloma – Ken James
  24. Hawaii Five-O – Roberto Delgado
  25. Doin’ The Cha Cha Cha – Preston Epps
  26. Caribbean Nights – Arthur Lyman
  27. Staccato – The Eliminators

I also played a track by The Stylers and The Melodians (Maurice Patton) each, but don’t know the titles since they are set in chinese on the covers and labels.

It was really great to see hawaiian slack-key master Harry Koizumi, with his traditional hawaiian music. Very beautiful. Berlin Surf-band Space Dog showed much potential. They rocked so well towards the end. They just need to hit the stage more often.

Arthur Lyman Re-Releases

I knew about this big back-catalogue re-issue being planned before, but I somehow never could view the web-page until now.

Arthur Lyman died a couple of years ago, and it was a great loss to the people into Exotica and Tiki as he was still performing. He used to play with Martin Denny before he ventured out with his own group. Both artists released similar styled albums, but Lyman kept more Hawai’i in his music as the sixties went on, being hawaiian might be a reason. He had some of the deepest, most atmospheric and soulful Exotica recordings, combining authentic ethnic instrumentation with modern jazz. Another interesting point of note are humorous tunes he often selected to appear towards the end of his LPs. He may not have had a Sandy Warner on the covers, but many are very beautiful, classic Exotica designs. Taboo 2 had an authentic shrunken head on the front, until it was repackaged with a shot from the Pele roll of film.

Kevin Crossman writes on the Exotica list:

Collectors has released 18 Lyman albums in their entirety as 9 two-fer CDs.

Don’t be fooled by lame, generic cover art. each release has the cover of both LPs printed in full color. All you have to do is take the front booklet out and fold it backwards to show the cool orig Lp cover art! The CD also contains a reprint of one of the Lp back covers

Look for the double titles separated by a slash. Steer clear of the Greatest Hits package – it is not bad but I’m sure you would rather have the full experience of a Lyman lp in its original format

go to Collectors’ Choice Music

Jeff Chenault’s Exotica Seminar

Jeff Chenault on the Exotica Mailing List writes about his upcoming appearance at this year’s Tiki Oasis. Quote:

Aloha Exoticats,

It hasn’t been formally announced yet but I will be presenting a seminar on Exotica Music at the Tiki Oasis event in San Diego this year. The dates are August 14th-17th 2008. More info can be found at www.tikioasis.com

Below is a brief description of my presentation…….

Jeff Chenault presents Sounds for Sophisticated Savages

Exotica researcher Jeff Chenault has become a well-known figure in the Exotica world. His extensive research comes from a lifetime love affair with music and his consummate passion for unusual sounds. For the past two years he has presented his Exotica seminars to enthusiastic crowds at the Hukilau event in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. His ultimate goal is to share, educate and enlighten people with this extraordinary and fascinating form of music.

This year Jeff will present an ever-expanding version of his music seminar. The show will include an introductory overview of Exotica pioneers Martin Denny, Les Baxter and Arthur Lyman, and also chronicle more obscure artists such as Eden Ahbez and Jimmy Namaro. As an added bonus Jeff will highlight the career of Hollywood film composer Robert Drasnin. Bob’s quintessential first album Voodoo is considered by many to be a masterpiece of the genre. Bob will also be making a special guest appearance.

Join us for an entertaining and educational journey into the world of Exotica.

Cheers and Mahalo,


I would go and have a good listen!!

New Exotica CD

I don’t have it, but judging by the blurb alone it’s a sure shot.

Various Artists-Paradise Lost & Sound

Here’s what they say at Fleamarket Music:

Flea Market Music recently discovered a treasure trove of Island-inspired songs written in the 1950s and early ’60s by well-known LA studio musicians Ken Darby, Perry Botkin Sr., Mel Henke and others. Many of these tunes (“Legend Of The Rain,” “Hana Maui,” “Leis Of Jazz,” “China Clipper”) were originally recorded by Hawaiian exotica king, Arthur Lyman. Paradise Lost & Found features new recordings of these songs by WAITIKI, a group of extraordinary musicians who have a passion for this kind of jazzy exotic music. Other guest artists include uke sensation Abe Lagrimas, Jr. playing Perry Botkin’s 1950 instrumental “Ukey-Ukulele” and Chris Kamaka (of Kamaka Ukulele and Ho’okena fame) singing the Ken Darby classic “Legend Of The Rain.” Other standout tracks include “Duke Of The Uke” with Four Preps lead singer Bruce Belland. Rounding out the project are a few Jim Beloff songs including “Sunrise At Haleakala,” “The Hawaiian Turnaround” (with music by uke master, Herb Ohta) and “I’m Carrying A Tiki Torch For You” performed by King Kukulele and the Friki Tikis. Ukulele is featured on about half the tracks but it’s all fun. 14 tropical tracks!

Thanks to Tiki King at Tiki Central

New Luxuriamusic Shows

Here..s what Domenic Priore wrote about the new Luxuriamusic shows:

Friday: Dom, Kari and Becky 3-9 pm on Luxuriamusic.com

hey there all youse MySpace pals…

Domenic Priore reporting here; I shoulda told you sooner, but I’ve just started a radio DJ gig on Friday afternoons, between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time… that means my New York friends can tune in at 6:00 p.m…. as for England etc., it starts at something like 10 or 11 p.m. (In Hawaii, it’s on at noon)

This can be heard here, every Friday: Luxuriamusic.com

My show is called Volcanic Action, and the music is primarily Exotica and Surf… whatever works in that context, including West Coast Jazz, Bossa Nova, Hawaiian, Surf instrumentals and Surf movie soundtracks, ’60s Beach Boys/Jan & Dean-type things (Gals made those kinda records too!), Indo-Rock, records from Australia and South Africa, ethereal Joe Meek, Arthur Lyman, Martin Denny… lotsa groovy stuff to dance to, to relax with, and to take you far out into the oceanic stratoshpere. Remember what Lloyd Bridges said on Sea Hunt; “75% of the world is covered in water, so learn to live with it, and enjoy its many riches”

K.A.O.S. a Go Go with Agent Kari follows at 5 p.m. PST with Psychedelic Go Go music, deep and rich. To find out more about who Agent Kari is, see pages 200-205 of PAD (Chronicle Books)

The evening gets really gone, to happy-land, with Bubblegum & Other Delights from 7-9 PST. DJ Becky Ebenkamp (also known as Penelope Pitstop, New York Becky and more) gets down with the whole Joey Levine/Kastenez-Katz/Archies vibe… it’s better’n a thrilling game of chutes and ladders. (You can read tons of Becky’s work in the Kim Coper/David Smay book Bubblegum Music Is the Naked Truth, from Feral House).

Please be with us; we’re here every Friday, your mutual friends of Dumb Angel, spinnin’ on Luxuriamusic.com

Domenic Priore

Fridays on Luxuriamusic.com
3-5 pm Volcanic Action hosted by Domenic Priore

Pop historian Domenic Priore (of Dumb Angel Magazine) has got a new weekly show on my favorite radiostation, Luxuriamusic.com.

Each saturday 0:00 cet, 3:00 pm pst.

Now, this is the show if you have any interest in Surf music. In his first show last friday he played the direct LA roots of Surf, where it went and some mega-rare tracks from the 61-64 heyday, you wont hear anywhere else. Together with the other styles he spins it makes for very entertaining and interesting four hours.