The ExoticaRing is a group of people who have committed to sharing music amongst themselves, specifically music that falls under the general classification "Exotica". Members create mixes and mail them out to a member of the list. Each member of the chain who receives a mix has the opportunity to audition the mix at leisure and then pass it on. We feel this is a great way for newbies and old hacks alike to be exposed to novel, interesting music that exists on the fringes of the musical mainstream and is usually not even generally available to the music-purchasing public. It also gives those with intimidating collections a chance to show off. In short, itās all about sharing music with people who have similar loves, those interested in exotic, groovy, percussive, bizarre, finger-snapping pop gems.
This project has worn many crowns since itās creation. Itās known as The Exotica Daisy Chain, The Audio Learning Laboratory and The Exotica Ring. All appellations refer to the same group, though throughout this document it will be referred to simply as the Ring.
The Ring was started by Bump Stadelman, who took the idea and backed it with the initiative to put it all together. Others have helped Bump along with some of the more mundane details and administration. The real group behind it is the collection of folks who signed up and who are willing to invest some time and a bit of cash in order to reap the benefits of a constant stream of wild music.
How can you define exotica? Itās a broad reaching term for a music that primarily consisted of South Seas influenced 50ās instrumental pop, like Martin Denny, Arthur Lyman and Les Baxter. In its broader sensibility it represents any sort of backwater thrift finds in the instrumental pop category from say, the early fifties to the mid seventies, though naturally thereās stuff worth discussing before and after that period. In this sense itās also known as Space Age Bachelor Pad Music, Hi-Fi music, Lounge music and so on. Some genres that fall under the general banner of Exotica are: exotica, soft pop, now sounds, hi-fi recordings, organ music, sixties soundtracks, percussion explorations, moog showcases, brass projects, production music, blaxploitation, psychsploitation, outrageous religious propaganda, high school band records, spoken word, industrial promotions, and anything general wacky or off-key. The core sensibilities behind exotica seem to be novel arrangements, a distinct pop sensibility and a concentration on high-fidelity sound. This is often paired with a (possibly failed) attempt to be hip or a sincere attempt, with varying degrees of success, at something which in retrospective seems quite bizarre.
The Exotica List is a mailing list that was created to celebrate and discuss this musical phenomenon. Itās grown into a thriving community, with lively discussions about new finds, old classics, record care, places to shop and the like. You can find more information about the list and other exotica-related sites at: http://www.studio-nibble.com/lists/exotica.html
(The preceding information is an excerpt from the official ExoticaRing FAQ)
You can subscribe to the Exotica List at http://www.studio-nibble.com/lists/exotica.html but the ExoticaRing is a closed shop. However, if you ask nicely Philip might make you a copy of some the amazing Cd's he's received from the Ring so far.
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