The Horrors synth player, Tom Furse, discusses some of the tracks he picked from the Southern Library of Recorded Music for his new project based on the exotica genre: Tom Furse Digs
This is the opening track of the compilation and features many of the hallmarks of exotica, without actually being exotica. The flutes, tune and Latin percussion are all totally reminiscent of Martin Denny, whom I believe coined the term in the first place. I guess I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for the kitsch, I think it was being into The Cramps and B-52s when I was young and impressionable. They embraced the trashiest aesthetics and turned them into something weird and alien, just as John Waters did in his films. Some people use the term ‘elevator music’ when they hear this, but that’s bollocks – show me the elevator that plays this and I’ll immediately take up residency in that building… I hope that by listening to the compilation people might be able to move beyond such crass terms for music and maybe start to appreciate what beautiful sound worlds this kind of music invokes.
When I went to the Universal Publishing Production Music archive, where they keep all the vinyl library records, I was expecting to find a library full of fat drum breaks and proto-techno Moog nonsense. Instead, I was confronted with tracks like this, simmering hot beds of jungle jazz. That suited me just fine. I’d been into exotica and surf since The Horrors began and here was a chance to do something a bit different within the library compilation world. A lot of this music had never been publicly available before, so it was like being an explorer in an uncharted land. Like all my musical activities, putting this compilation together started to filter through into my own music-making. Library music is all about creating an atmosphere, about lending a scene the perfect soundtrack. When I was making my ‘Child Of A Shooting Star’ EP, that idea was very important. Each track had to have a scene, a story, even if was just imagined. Through that the music took on a meaning beyond musicality, for me anyway. The listener has to make their own scene up, but hopefully I’ve given them a push in the right direction.