1/  Short Circuit                              (Toop,Laswell)                2.09
        Bill Laswell
  2/  The Vending Machine                        (Toop,Schutze)                9.10
        Paul Schutze
  3/  Wing Beats                                 (DT,Hassell,Lockett,Eastley)  5.25
        Jon Hassell with Spirit World
  4/  White Powder/The Spiders                   (Toop,Peebles)                6.13
        Sarah Peebles
  5/  Ink Of The Ants                            (Toop,Mills)                  3.10
        Russell Mills/Undark
  6/  Immersion Gallery                          (Toop,Pemberton)              3.23
        Daniel Pemberton
  7/  Crimson Hood                               (Toop,Rimbaud)                6.39
  8/  The Ten Commandments                       (Toop,Oswald)                 2.39
        John Oswald
  9/  A Cartographic Anomaly                     (Toop,Roome)                  4.54
  10/ The Long Sleep                             (Toop,Recchion)               5.43
        Tom Recchion
  11/ Neo-Noir                                   (Toop,Cuni,Durand)            7.16
        Amelia Cuni/Wener Durand
  12/ Pink Fluffy Cubicle On Mercurius Port      (Toop,Singh)                  5.57
        Talvin Singh
  13/ Dream Fluid Laboratory                     (Toop,Chatham)                3.18
        Rhys Chatham
  14/ Art Of Ruins                               (Toop,Gita)                   1.26
          Music Compilation and readings by David Toop
          Produced by David Toop, April 1999, London, England.
          Music on track 1 created at Orange Music, West Orange, New Jersey
Stories edited and extracted from "Exotica; Fabricated Soundscapes in a Real World" by David Toop.

          1999 - Barooni Records (Netherlands), bar 020 (CD)


Beware once more, for here we have spoken text and music. Welcome to the apocalyptical world of David Toop, writer composer, visionary. Toop reads from his latest work Exotica which he terms "the art of ruins." The word itself was 'invented' by Toop to describe the Hollywood misappropriation of pan Asian African musics, restyled to an easy listening format, courtesy of the likes of Les Baxter and Martin Denny in the late 1950's. The word that comes to mind with Hot Pants Idol is apocalyptic. Toop's world is partly comprised of imagined spider creatures who entice worms with high frequency hypnotic signals, visions of burning islands, new world maps, decaying ecologies, worlds reversed, Charlton Heston and Cecil B. Mille's film masterpiece, the once world of drive in theatres, Ringo Lam films philosophies- no money no time just do it. < "That was the kind of art I liked, the kind of art that fed my own inner despair.">, the birth and death of mysterious islands off Sumatra, conspiracy theory, mass suicide of the cartographers of this new world, Japanese haiku collides with Les Baxter lounging by the pool haunted by the memories of too long ago to remember. It's a somewhat confusing jungle of thoughts, which takes time to find your way through, let alone to be comfortable with what you are hearing, vocal or musical. I really like what I'm hearing. Initially seduced into purchasing this by the prospect of hearing some new material by Jon Hassell, it is the contributions by the other musicians who make this such an equal and enjoyable experience. Oswald's lush string arrangements on The Ten Commandments are first rate but at 2'39" far too short. Laswell himself opens with a short piece of insect noise, Gamelan chimes and ambiences, followed by the futuristic soundings of Paul Schutze. This segues nicely into the Jon Hassell piece Wing Beats, where Toop joins in playing flute and wah guitar. Hassell is of course his usual shamanic self, creating more fourth world fusionscapes to lose yourself in. I wonder why Toop didn't get more involved in terms of musical content, after all he has been recording for quite a number of years now. Toop's narrative style is low key, at times it sounds like he is muttering to himself. It took some time to comprehend what he was going on about, though thankfully the cd comes with texts. It's almost like the ghost of Kurtz has come back to haunt us all. I can hear him now still whispering the truth....The horror, the horror. I guess if you think you can do better, Toop invites you to do it to your own soundtrack if you're that way inclined. It all melds so effortlessly that it becomes difficult to hear where one track starts or finishes. Oddly enough as there are so many contributors with varying styles on this recording, you almost expect this project to be eclectic and all over the place, but this is not the case here. Possibly because there are so many musical inter connections here between the musicians, that it sounds complete and unified. Everyone influences everyone else, and the whole entity feeds off itself as it evolves. It's a recording that will divide listeners for various reasons, not the least due to the spoken word content. I'm very impressed by what I'm hearing. History will no doubt judge Toop for the visionary that he really is.

Hans Stoeve (courtesy of the Nadabrahma website)


The outer limits of music and consciousness are fearlessly explored upon Hot Pants Idol (Barooni). A captivating extrapolation of estranged literary exoticism, the multiple layers of sound and meaning are sumptously displayed like hallucinatory veils, as a fictitious netherworld is sculpted into a global surreality. Narrator David Toop and a supporting cast of sympathetic musical nomads (Jon Hassell w/ Spirit World, Paul Schütze, Bill Laswell, Talvin Singh, Russell Mills/Undark, Scanner, Amelia Cuni/Werner Durand, Rhys Chatham, Witchman, Tom Recchion, Sarah Peebles, John Oswald, Daniel Pemberton and Slipper) meticulously amplify the sound of independent mindstates but miraculously produce a cohesively seductive jackanory for opium eaters on a diet of Paul Bowles and Max Ernst.

Kevin Martin (courtesy of the Motion website)