Song Of The Day 9/29/2015: The Forbidden Five – “Enchanted Farm”

Vital Organs – Song Of The Day is exactly three and a half months old today, and in all that time I’m not sure I’ve done one single entry on lounge music. A few reasons for that. I don’t think the form has ever really worked outside its own limited parameters. Kitsch sort of works that way. You spend two or three hours inside its amplified kookiness, everything’s great, you wear some of your best shoes and you get a couple phone numbers, and you’re done. The next morning you pick right back up with postpunk. Lounge music is the closest thing to new age music without being boring: It’s a tool for crafting a very specific environment. Outside of that there’s not much to analyze, unless it’s by Esquivel. It’s pretty much all about the pursuit of leisure, a lot like disco and EDM to a certain extent, except those two forms leave a little room for danger, subversion and calamitous misunderstanding. The most danger you come across in lounge music is a misplaced martini olive.

Whether you like lounge music or not, or like me you’re overwhelmed by ambivalence about it, Capitol Records’ Ultra-Lounge series is, just on paper, one of the best various-artist reissue campaigns in the history of the business. Each of its 25 or so volumes is so thoughtfully and beautifully put together I was compelled to obtain all of them (even the ones I didn’t market in the late ’90s). Volume 11 is Organs in Orbit, and it contains the Forbidden Five’s “Enchanted Farm” from 1959. What can you say about “Enchanted Farm,” but that it takes the exotica of Martin Denny’s many South Pacific tributes and places it square in Old MacDonald territory. The ambient bed of clucking chickens really packs a punch. I wasn’t entirely sure it wasn’t satire until about 1:14 when the atom bomb drops. Yet the animals live on for another forty seconds. Enchanted? You bet.

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