Classic Day – King Of Exotica

While film scores are not something that often even grace the record player personally, there is something that is both fascinating and somehow reminiscent of the styles from Les Baxter and his adaptation of the genre, Exotica.

While orchestral, his 1951 release Ritual Of The Savage is more flair to the dance flavor and a flash in the pan of creating tribal drum melodies that blend seamlessly with the wonder and intrigue of flutes and strings. His arrangement and direction on Ritual Of The Savage may divulge somewhere into the culturally diverse side of Hollywood in the ’50s, but immediately images of jazz clubs and the emotion of big-time stage shows where bulbs of white and red etch against Los Angeles’ sunken skies.

Baxter opens with “Busy Port” which is synonymous with a scrolling film score that pulls back the main credits and begins pointing the audience into this shuttle boat of almost militant style. As the ship leaves the port, Baxter is elusive in his progression, but the runs on the flute and the flutters of strings give more comfort to the instrumentation than any hesitation or fear. Played mostly in these major chords where the bright and illustrative performances are almost as if they were paintings in a children’s book where the jungle renditions of sound give into mental images that burn with the bright, midday sun.

The following piece, “Jungle River Boat” sounds almost in the bay of Asian instrumentation with these plucked high-pitched strings but slowly these congo drums and rhythms are worked into the process. Eventually, the Pacific influence falls to the wayside, and Baxter is left with the motion to move further and further into the brush, losing the listener and separating them through isolation tactics.

These tactics come in the form of fear with “Barquita” where the increase of intensity is gradual and does not rocket quite like the other tracks on Ritual Of The Savage. Instead, “Barquita” is almost calming in the way the earth is settled before a raging storm follows. With underlying but still quick rhythms on the percussion, the audience really has to turn their ear in to hear some of the playing here.

The orchestra drops the subtly act, and follows “Kinkajou” into the sun’s new dawn with once again, these cheerful placements of woodwind instruments and warm but never engulfing horns. Baxter is a maestro to the B-movie but also manipulates Ritual Of The Savage as the nearly entirely instrumental record of one’s daydreams. Describing on the record’s liner notes, “Do the mysteries of native rituals intrigue you…does the haunting beat of savage drums fascinate you? Are you captivated by the forbidden ceremonies of primitive peoples in far-off Africa or deep in the interior of the Belgian Congo?”

While the instrumentation never really takes the audience to these foreign lands as much as the final track, “The Ritual” which is nothing but percussion for the first minute and gives the idea where the movie comes to a climax and either danger or escape lies with the listener. These drums on “The Ritual” are some of the most exciting pieces of performance coming from Baxter and his orchestra on Ritual Of The Savage, leaving more of an intimidation factor in the final moments.

Baxter thrills and gives even now 70 years later a piece of gentle, but still fierce introductory backing sounds. Over the 12 tracks and 32 minutes, Ritual Of The Savage won’t create the same emotional output that it did on its initial release, but the Exotica prime minister still is accomplished by his arrangements and rhythms that are still used today.

Listen To Ritual Of The Savage Here!!! – Spotify/Amazon/iTunes

STREAMING // (Video) NPR Tiny Desk – Vince Staples

Listen/Watch Here – Youtube

Bass: Kenny Beats

Guitar + Vocals: Gio “Dutchboi” Ligeon

Keys + Vocals: Reske

Drums: David Meyers Jr.

Vocals: Fousheé

Video: Keaton Kinnaman, Jak Bannon, + Jess Colquhoun

Audio: Tyler Page

Executive Producer: Corey “Blacksmith” Smyth

Producer: Emily Hillgren

Creative Directors: Travis Brothers + Bryan Rivera

Director of Photography: Charlie Owens

Production Assistants: Meghan Matthews + Colin Martin

STREAMING // (Track) Sierra Sellers – “Need You Bad”

Listen Here – Spotify/Amazon/iTunes

Produced By: Jeremy Rosinger


Listen Here – BandCamp

Recorded By: Ryan Bram

Mastered By: Brad Boatright

Album Art By: JGA

Track List: Void Below, Force Fed, Overdose, Slave

STREAMING // (Video) HOUNDS – “PG(H) Short Film”

Listen/Watch Here – Youtube

Executive Produced By: Clay McCloskey + Cole McCloskey

Directed By: Ben Petchel

Cinematographer + Editor: Jordan Armstrong

Creative Director + Voice-Over: Mars Jackson

Co-Produced By: Maxwell Shavers, Garrett Yurisko,+ Matthew Mullan

Director Of Voice-Over: Corey Carrington

Misc. Day – Synthpunk God

It only feels fitting after nearly getting firebombed last night to cover one of the artists from the Dead City show. N8NOFACE has been in the rotation of artists but I never dived headfirst into the blood-caked disco with a magnifying lens until now.

His 2020 release, Just Here To Die is an abrasive but instrumentally cheerful mix that without the horrid existential lyrics, could be something that mothers and fathers could fall in love with. That is some of the cheer and charm coming from N8NOFACE as he commands the ears with engaging production but pushes the crowd away as the circle becomes smaller.

Opening with “Frontline,” the quick and warping stitchwork makes N8NOFACE feel light as a feather on his feet. With these simple one-two snaps on the percussion disguised as drum and bass, these side sections of drum breaks create a period pricking up the ears and intently listening to shouts. Describing, “Pray for me on the frontline, pray for me on the frontline,” the short-lived near minute falls to radio static before the boost of “Synthpunk God” bursts through the speakers.

Matching some of that intensity from the introductory track, “Synthpunk God” is rigid but built to splinter when the lo-fi vocals from N8NOFACE fly in. More of a spoken word, the monotone delivery is an opposite display from the instrumental that is more complex, but still has a beat that is easy to follow.

On Just Here To Die, the sounds and texture that N8NOFACE works with are more akin to start a mosh pit or craft fireworks near the stage rather than standing around and listen. Never fearing a boundary, Just Here To Die is a quick nearly 20 minutes of motion that uses a breakneck car crash like the track, “Don’t Die Dtla” to rocket past the audience and burn out in a blaze of excitement.

“Don’t Die Dtla” is the Los Angeles anthem for exploration and avoiding the pitfalls of dying in one of the most congested cities in America. The hometown for N8NOFACE, his love letter is a little bit different describing, “I don’t want to die, here in Downtown LA. Babe, keep me away, away.” Uniting some of the strangest ideas of bedroom synth and the beauty of hardcore elements, N8NOFACE finds some magic on Just Here To Die.

With 19 tracks total on this beast of a listing, one of the final tracks, “Like We Are Gonna Die” is a real change in the emotional tonality on Just Here To Die. It trades the rapid-fire machine gun of an instrumental and peels apart to find a tank which is more sluggish, but hits much heavier. Like a bomb attached to a cinderblock, the bass cracks the shell of the chest first and then explodes in this arrangement of hi-hats and frantic snares.

While N8NOFACE’s delivery is calming in an odd but drained way. Leading Just Here To Die into the tunnel of everlasting light, “Like We Are Gonna Die” sends the listener off into this stoned, but relaxed and accepting nature of the music being cut off and everything going black.

Listen To Just Here To Die Here!!! – BandCamp/Spotify/Amazon/iTunes

SUNDAY SAMPLER // (Playlist) “07/25/2021″

Listen Here – Spotify

“A playlist of tracks that were featured on from the week of July 19th – 25th. From Reviews to Streams, never miss a track with these playlists that are uploaded every single Sunday till I drop dead.”

Featuring: Puzzle, Half Waif, Lingua Ignota, Pink Siifu, Liquids, Peggy Gou, Dead Kennedys, Warning, 21 Savage, Metro Boomin, Big Jerm, Chief Keef, Home Is Where, BONES, Thouxanbanfaui, Wiki, The Devouring Void, LLNN

Track List: Dice, Excelerate, Horse Racing, PERPETUAL FLAME OF CENTRALIA, lng hair dnt care, Life Is A Pain Idiot, I Go, Terminal Preppie, Moon Over Marin, Footprints, Brand New Draco, EASTSIDE 4 LIFE,  The Talk, Long Distance Conjoined Twins, InLovingMemory, SawedOff, THERMAL, Never Know, Phosphene, Interloper


Listen Here – BandCamp

Full Release On: September 24th, 2021

STREAMING // (Album) The Devouring Void – “Hypnagogic Hallucinations”

Listen Here- BandCamp

Composed + Recorded By: Nuno Verdades

Vocals + Lyrics By: Timothy Clay

Cover Artwork By: Ikzanwb

Track List: Oneirology, Hypnagogic Hallucinations, Phosphene, Paracusia, Lucidity, Pavor Nocturnus, Peduncular Hallucinosis, False Awakening

STREAMING // (Track) Wiki – “Never Know”

Listen Here – Youtube

Produced By: Subb Beats

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