The Perfect Tiki Party Soundtrack

Staff Writer
What to play for a get-together, South-Pacfic style

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

The right music is vital for any party, but it’s especially important to hit the right notes (literally) when you’re hosting a tiki party. Tiki culture’s companion music genre is known as exotica. This jazzy style, complete with jungle sounds, bird calls, and unusual instrumentation, is exemplified by the following artists:

 

Arthur Lyman

Hawaiian vibraphone player Lyman’s recording called Taboo is melodic and rhythmic; it’s an aural adventure that musically transports you to faraway ports of call.

 

Martin Denny

Bandleader Denny’s popularity has led many to dub him the Father of Exotica. For the ultimate in mood music, check out his early Exotica releases.

 

Les Baxter

And finally, don’t overlook the seminal exotica record, Ritual of the Savage; here, Baxter paired orchestral arrangements with tribal rhythms to create the cornerstone album of the genre.