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This week's featured album on Azucar y Candela (WED 6-8p):
WAITIKI 7, "Adventures in Paradise"
Martin Denny first gave an exaggerated tropical feel to Latinesque lounge in the 50s, adding bongos and bird sounds to gentle Hawaiian melodies. Now, Lopaka Colon (son of Denny's bongocero Augie Colon) is part of a band called WAITIKI 7 that is out to prove that exotica is "not some formaldehyde-preserved relic but a viable, living genre." READ MORE>>>>>
This vibes-ridden* groove evokes the intimate, bygone acoustics of Cuba's Egrem studios with hints of afro and swing, never veering into arch caricature or postmodern distance. Whereas exotica often evoked sonic stereotypes that quickly seemed kitschy or untenable, this band (whose members share Native Hawaiian, Chinese and Puerto Rican heritage), has found a way to return these sounds to a realm of unironic pleasure and cultural respect.
Exotica is back, baby. Not your typical "salsa dura," nonethless, the Latin backbone is authentic, the musical approach pure jazz. This album is a special liqueur. Recapture your own personal cocktail hour (drink recipes are included with the liner notes) and go with the wave.
*using a rare 1927 model Vibraharp 145