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Exotica LPs

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Hi guys, I write from Europe, I'm trying to build a good collection of Exotica LP vinyl records but I'm finding really really hard times to find these records. There are few reissues, small availability, high prices, etc. All of this is also complicated by the fact I live in Europe, in fact I see on Discogs it would be more easy for US people. So, just that, have you some advices or tips to help me? Thanks

[ Edited by tambooer on 2023-01-03 15:38:56 ]

rupe33 posted on Tue, Jan 3, 2023 5:21 PM

That's quite the dilemma, as my guess is the classic exotica trinity of artists (Les Baxter, Martin Denny, Arthur Lyman) were probably more well-known in the USA than in Europe. That said... some suggestions:

  1. Discover the modern European artists creating this kind of music - there are bands over there we expect a slim chance of seeing here in the US: Ixtahuele, L'Exotighost, Los Tiki Phantoms, I Belli Di Waikiki to name a few, and the Subliminal Sounds label is worth exploring: https://www.subliminalsounds.se/product-tag/ixtahuele/

  2. Discogs can be very tempting - maybe set alerts for just a couple albums you're looking for, to see when they become available. Check if those sellers have other titles by artists you're collecting, save on postage.

  3. Watch for reissues - Jackpot Records has done a bunch of Martin Denny's albums. Of course shipping from the US could be steep, but you can split postage by ordering a couple together. Check out those here: https://jackpotrecords.com/search?type=product&q=martin+denny

  4. Thrift or secondhand stores - I would bet cities where there have been American bases might possible still have some vintage exotica records around.

  5. If you (or your friends) are traveling to the US, naturally take advantage of that (or ask them for a favor!)

  6. Maybe you can work a trade with someone in the USA - they can hunt some LPs down for you, and you can return the favor?

Been collecting 20+ years myself, and the hunt of it all is the most fun part of it - so don't be in a rush to gather up the discs you're looking for. I see your Les Baxter icon - just found a copy of "Young Pops" yesterday, never having seen it in the wild before.

Never know what you might find as you're looking - or where you'll find it. Good luck to you on your quest!

[ Edited by rupe33 on 2023-01-03 17:29:56 ]

Hi rupe, Very thanks for your answer!

At the moment I'm just interested in vintage Exotica (50s-60s), all the artists I like are american.

Discogs is where I'm looking from some times but I noticed that the good pressings in good conditions (VG+) are from US.

About pressings, I search only for Stereo since I read and think they're better. What do you think?

Yeah, already saw the Jackpot Records reissues! ;) Already tried from their website but the shipping cost is huge! It increases as you add records...

In general (same on Discogs) shipping cost from US is very high, beyond my possibilities.

Thrift or secondhand stores is the next step. Anyway here in EU these type of stores are way less popular than in US where I know they're very popular (I follow Tuco @VinylHunter on YT :) ). In any case I'll try but I probably will find just old european music that it's not good as the american one.

Trading with someone in the USA would be good but there's always the shipping cost problem...

Unfortunately it's hard for us in EU! :(

I'll let you know. Thanks!


Hi Tambooer - That's so funny you mentioned Tuco's YouTube videos: just discovered those on the holiday break here. He definitely has a lot of patience and persistence to find the gems!

On the stereo/mono question - that's a topic subject to each person's opinion of course. For me, I like trying both because you may learn different things. For example, on here I learned that Martin Denny's classic "EXOTICA" could not be remixed into stereo because of the way it was originally recorded. So the first release was in mono, and the stereo release is actually an entirely different performance! They re-recorded the songs for stereo and by then the band lineup changed too: Julius Wechter plays vibes on the stereo, and Arthur Lyman on the mono. "Exotica" is one where both the mono and stereo LPs are worth collecting for sure.

Another suggestion I'd have is dropping a line to Jackpot to see if they have distribution anywhere in the EU for those reissues - there might be a way your local store could order them.

Good hunting to you! Rupe

[ Edited by rupe33 on 2023-01-04 12:30:57 ]


I concur! As a completionist, I am sometimes only satisfied in my collecting when I have both the mono and stereo release of a given album. (Or, in the case of Le Sacre du Sauvage, as many different formats as I can find!)

Another example of differing sessions between the mono and stereo release is Baxter's African Jazz. Some of the tracks between releases are the same session, while others are different takes entirely - Banana Boy, for instance, where the stereo take is rather sloppy in the percussion intro, the mono take is very much locked to the tempo.

Space Escapade is an interesting example, where the stereo version has a big reverb/delay effect applied, and the mono mix is almost completely dry. Personally, I get distracted by the oversaturated reverb, and actually prefer to listen to the mono mix, since I can more clearly pick out Les's masterful orchestration.

I will say this, if I see any album that has been "Electronically Re-processed for Stereo" or given the "Duophonic" label, I have no problem passing it up, unless it is one I have really been looking for. More often than not, the fake stereo treatment these were given just introduces awkward EQ, delay, and reverb to what had previously been a perfectly good and well mixed mono release. These were a gimmick to re-sell old mono albums to a new stereo loving audience, and in my experience, are best avoided in preference of the original mono release.

[ Edited by Bam Bam on 2023-01-04 20:15:35 ]


Thanks Bam Bam I've no historical notions about the advent of Stereo in records, but is there a range of years where we have to be careful where Stereo records are fake Stereo? I mean, a Stereo reissue from 1975 is most likely good, while a Stereo reissue from 1960 is at risk?

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