Monday, April 2, 2012
Flash Strap Presents: Roger Roger & Nino Nardini- Obsession Exotique
When Roger Roger and Nino Nardini got together to record Jungle Obsession, the two old friends were doing more than just creating the finest Exotica record since the heyday of Exotica. They were also making a brilliant tribute to a genre they held dear-- a culmination of years of personal exotic obsession. The influence of Exotica, perhaps most specifically Les Baxter, can be found throughout both's body of work: from straight Exotica numbers with full orchestras, to "Exotica" homages in a groovier library style, to jungle funk, latin jazz, synth safari, lush pastorale, etc.
indeed, some of Roger Roger's earlier work (Musique Des Iles and Méditerranée, as well as an EP labelled Roger Roger 2) basically are unqualified Exotica, albeit a bit lite in tone and saccharine in string.
There's scarcely a record I like better than Jungle Obsession. But there are some stray tracks out there that are just as good as any on Jungle Obsession, so I started thinking about compiling them in a little .zip for you all. As I went, scouring all the various disorganized output of Roger Roger and Nino Nardini (and their various aliases- Cecil Leuter, Eric Swan, Dave Sarkys, to name a few), a larger picture began to form, with multiple facets of Exotica influence and exotic themes. The result is not the tight little masterpiece of latter-day Exotica that Jungle Obsession is, but its broader scope and crazy detours make it, if I may, an excellent companion piece.
Obsession Exotique: I have it, they had it, and won't you, too, share in our dark safari?
The cover shown above is an appropriated and altered from the original cover for Roger Roger 2 (a 4 track EP which is included, by the way, in its entirety on Obsession Exotique). All tracks include a parenthetical detailing the album from whence they came and whatever alias they were done under, if any. Some of the tracks are rather rarely seen, while others are likely to be very familiar to blog-crawlers and library-hunters (the Stringsonics material is hardly "rare" at this point, and Nardini's "Pop Riviera" material is on more than a few rare-groove comps), but I'm striving here to include every major piece of the puzzle-- and tracks like "Safari Park" and "Latinova" are too awesome and essential to leave out.
Put this on. Clamber into a luxurious hammock. Let somebody blow smoke at your face as you dream.
1. Jungle Call (Call Him Roger Roger)- Roger Roger
2. Chanson De Lima Du Film L'empire Du Soleil (Roger Roger 2)- Roger Roger
3. Anastasia Du Film Anastasia (Roger Roger 2)- Roger Roger
4. Escapade (Mood Music Vol. 24)- Roger Roger
5. Sortileges (Musique Des Iles)- Roger Roger
6. Tears (Méditerranée)- Roger Roger
7. Viva (Conroy BMLP 006)- Nino Nardini
8. Coconut Coast (Jazz Dramatic)- Roger Roger
9. Mango Girl (Jazz Dramatic)- Nino Nardini
10. Jungle Mood (Nature Nocturne)- Nino Nardini
11. Soothsayer (Jazz Dramatic)- Nino Nardini
12. Passion Fruit (Jazz Dramatic)- Nino Nardini
13. Bossa-Rhythm (Afro, Spooky/Rhythm, Percussion)- Nino Nardini
14. Ectoplasm (Afro, Spooky/Rhythm, Percussion)- Roger Roger
15. Poltergeist (Afro, Spooky/Rhythm, Percussion)- Roger Roger
16. Roger-Rhythm II (Afro, Spooky/Rhythm, Percussion)- Roger Roger
17. House of Echoes (Afro, Spooky/Rhythm, Percussion)- Nino Nardini
18. Afro-Beat/Afro-Syn (Afro, Spooky/Rhythm Percussion)- Nino Nardini
19. Afro-Samba (Stringsonics- Mindbender)- Nino Nardini
20. Safari Park (Stringsonics- Mindbender)- Roger Roger
21. Strange Motion (Nature Nocturne)- Nino Nardini
22. The Search (Drama And Suspense)- Roger Roger
23. Moondust (Nature Nocturne)- Nino Nardini
24. Perdition (Stringsonics- Mindbender)- Roger Roger
25. Latinova (Pop Riviera, No. 7)- Nino Nardini
26. Dark Secret (Trumpet Mexico, as Eric Swan)- Roger Roger
27. Pop Riviera (Pop Riviera, No.7)- Nino Nardini
28. Tropical Haze (Altitude 3000, as Cecil Leuter)- Roger Roger
29. Exotica Nights (Altitude 3000, as Cecil Leuter)- Roger Roger
30. Expectation (Roger's New Conception: Informatic 2000)- Roger Roger & Nino Nardini
31. Velvet Clouds (Melodies with a Beat)- Roger Roger
32. La Desirade (Music Around The World Vol. 1)- Nino Nardini
33. Love Me Tender Du Film Love Me Tender (Roger Roger 2)- Roger Roger
34. Pour Toi Seul [Friendly Persuasion] Du Film La Loi De Seigneur (Roger Roger 2)- Roger Roger
35. Malta (Conroy BMLP 006)- Nino Nardini
R E • U P P E D
Don't hesitate to drop an appreciative comment, or alert me to further nuggets of RR&NN's exotic oeuvre. And for god's sake- if you don't have Jungle Obsession, get it already!