Like a tropical cocktail, if you take one part diverse players with intense focus and killer chops, and one part neglected mid-century multi-ethnic hybrid music with orgins on America's harmononious island paradise, add a dash of Technicolor dreamscape, a twist of wild bird calls and there you have Waitiki 7. As their name might suggest, this group of skillful musicians takes the Exotica genre puts it in a Delorean and brings it Back to the Future. Their album, New Sounds of Exotica is a fantastically enjoyable trip down memory lane if you were born in 1961 and hung out with Peter Sellers at his Party.
Taking easy listening and adding a modern jazzy twist to it, The Waitiki 7 create a lush blend of sounds that oozes tropical breezes, tropical drinks, and doing absolutely nothing. The band's creativity, musicianship and ability to pay tribute to the past while moving things forward is truly awesome. These guys create an atmosphere that would make folks like Don Ho, Martin Denny, and Arthur Lyman jealous. By fusing Latin sounds, Asian sounds, folk, classical influences, and what ever else they could cram in their tiki glass The Waitiki 7 embrace what was once an American phenomenon and make it their own.
New Sounds of Exoticais a vacation on a five inch disc and after the last two years who couldn't use a vacation...aurally or otherwise. While the lounge music revival has come and gone, it's nice to see that The Waitiki 7 are keeping the fire burning for exotica and doing a bang up job of it. While at times the group does venture into something that could be a bit to Kenny G-ish for it's own good, most of the times New Sounds of Exotica is full on Hawaiian shirt bliss. I love this record and even my parents love this record. Being of the generation of the cocktail set New Sounds of Exotica is right up my parents alley and they could even name records that it sounded like. We bonded over this record!
If you've ever been to Maui, Waimea Bay, or wanted to be lost on Kuai, New Sounds of Exotica is the perfect album for you. The Waitiki 7 are fabulous musicians and dedicated exotica followers and it shows on each and every song of this record. New Sounds of Exotica is a labor of love and a whole lot of fun and if you're going anywhere near an island this summer, make sure you take this record with you.