Dionysus Records, 2004
Texas would seem like a strange place to find one of the swankest new exotica/space-age
pop groups out there, but that’s where the talented tiki outfit Clouseaux
hails from. Clouseaux prove in their latest release Lagoon!
that exotica is strictly a state of mind. What they’ve done is pour equal
parts Martin Denny, Les
Baxter, Arthur Lyman, Henry Mancini,
Edison, and Don Tiki into
a bar blender and hit puree. Then they added a splash of surf guitar, tossed
in a couple of cubes of prog rock, garnished with an umbrella, and served
in all up in the coolest tiki mug they could find.
music is filled with that wonderful mix of hi-fi happiness and savage jungle
sophistication. It’s epic and playful all in the same breath. There’s a
frantic energy that pulsates from every track. Their jungle is one of exotic
beauty and sizzling sensuality…but is also a place of hidden danger and
mystery behind every palm tree. Picture a Moai head surrounded by dancing
island girls all singing for you during the climax of a torch-lit ritual
while headhunters hide in the background.
The album really comes
alive on the tracks “The Kiss of Ku,” “Krakatoa,” and “Noctopia.” Earlier
versions of some songs like the afore-mentioned “Krakatoa,” “Reum with
a View,” and “A Most Excellent Flying Death” appeared on Clouseaux’s
self-titled debut. However, their Lagoon! versions seem more
fleshed-out and developed. There has also been a stylistic shift between
that first album and the current one—an evolution between the space-age
side of things to the exotica one. This happened during their E.P. Destination:
Oasis. (The E.P. features a lot of the Lagoon! material
and is well worth searching out.) With Lagoon!, Clouseaux
have truly found their tiki spirit—their Aku-Aku if you will—and we are
all the better for it.
You can find out more
about Clouseaux at their website: www.clouseaux.com.
You can also hear Clouseaux often on the Bachelor
Pad Radio Show.
Buy this album from