Easy Listening » Exotica/Lounge » Exotica

Exotica is a form of easy-listening lounge music that draws upon world music, but it doesn't aim for authentic replication. Instead, exotica's primary concern is lightweight entertainment, gathering readily identifiable ethnic sounds into a smooth, easily digested pop form. The music typically conjures up images of exotic foreign tourist destinations geared toward white Americans, and in that sense, it's sort of the equivalent of a pre-packaged resort vacation -- fun, inauthentic, and safely familiar. Exotica is usually arranged for standard orchestras, with instrumentation added according to the location being evoked (ethnic percussion, string instruments, etc.); some exotica also borrows the weird, otherworldly sound effects that define the space-age pop style. Even in its '50s/early-'60s heyday, exotica was often derided as cheesy and contrived, but its '90s revival among alternative music fans embraced those very qualities (albeit ironically), and also brought a sincere reassessment of the music's inventive production techniques. The Pacific, the Caribbean, Latin America, Brazil, and Africa are among exotica's most popular regional musical sources; major exotica artists include Les Baxter, Martin Denny, Esquivel, and Yma Sumac.

Exotica Artists Highlights

Mort Garson
Mort Garson
Les Baxter
Les Baxter
Yma Sumac
Yma Sumac

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Exotica Album Highlights

Exotica: The Best of Martin Denny
Martin Denny
Exotica: The Best of ...
Provocative Percussion
Enoch Light
Provocative Percussion
Esquivel!
Esquivel
Esquivel!
Baxter's Best
Les Baxter
Baxter's Best
More of the Best of the Arthur Lyman Group
Arthur Lyman
More of the Best of the ...
Exotica [Vols. 1-2]
Martin Denny
Exotica [Vols. 1-2]

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Exotica Song Highlights

Title/Composer Performer Stream
Stone God Martin Denny
Whatchamacallit Esquivel
Quiet Village Les Baxter
Quiet Village Martin Denny
Harem Silks from Bombay Les Baxter
Quiet Village Martin Denny
Voodoo Dreams Martin Denny
Coronation Martin Denny
Baia Martin Denny
Simba Les Baxter

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Other Styles in Exotica/Lounge