And then I got the “Exotica” bug.
Exotica is a loosely-defined genre, it arose after WWII, featuring vaguely oriental or pacific islander musical themes, a fair amount of Latin and even some African influences, all thrown into a simmering musical stew of percussion and provocative vocalizations. It was popular with bachelors, played in their “pads” on their new hi-fi systems. By the mid 60s it had devolved, morphing back into the MOR pop genres from whence it had emerged. The genre has been around the block a few times, most notably in the mid 1990s, when Capitol Records introduced their Ultra-Lounge series of CDs (and digital download albums.) Some are better than others—there is usually a clinker or two on each one—and usually an outlier or two but, overall, I find them enjoyable. I could probably find a Spotify channel for this, but part of the fun is getting used to a particular CD and the way it is sequenced.
Each CD comes with a little booklet describing the music and the artists who performed it, as well as some cocktail recipes. I wish I could partake, but the imbibing of spirits has never been my strong suit, especially not with the addition of sugary syrups.
I got most of the series via Amazon but the other day I was at the thrift store where they had four large bins of CDs on a cart, waiting to be shelved. It was a plethora of easy-listening jazz and sprightly pop instrumentals, with many of the same artists that were featured on my Ultra-Lounge CDs. I picked out several titles and when I went to inspect the discs I noticed that, on the inner tray of all of them, was an address label.
When I got home I looked up the name on the label and found an obituary. He was about the same age as me when he died a few years ago, his heirs must have finally dumped his collection of hundreds of titles.
That cocktail party is over.