Dig That Crazy Dionysus Beat
01 Jan 1970 |

Robert Drasnin

Robert Drasnin
Genres
Exotica

drasninphotoRobert Drasnin‘s budget label “Voodoo” a/k/a “Percussion Exotique” came to the attention of Dionysus Records through our pal Skip Heller who heard the lost classic and sent a cassette over for Lee Joseph to check out. We both agreed that this gem was as good as any Martin Denny or Arthur Lyman record and Skip proceeded to track Robert down via the Musicians Union in Los Angeles. This lead to the ’90s CD reissue of “Voodoo” and in 2007, the issue of “Voodoo II”. Robert found himself with a following of tikiphiles and even performed his classic exotica tunes at Hukilau and Tiki Oasis to many new fans of whom did not know of his deep musical past.

The following text is from Wikipedia and is pretty darned accurate!

Robert Drasnin spent the vast majority of his career in music composing for films and television shows. He composed or supervised scores for well over 100 films and TV shows.

Drasnin PercussionIn 1955 Drasnin scored the film One Way Ticket To Hell. Drasnin later went on to score incidental music for such notable TV shows as The Twilight ZoneMission: ImpossibleWild, Wild WestHawaii Five-0Time TunnelLost In SpaceMannixThe Man From U.N.C.L.E. and Voyage To The Bottom of the Sea.

Robert Drasnin served as music supervisor for such TV shows as GunsmokeWagon TrainThe Twilight Zone and a host of made for TV movies.

DrasninVoodooIn 1959 Robert Drasnin received his M.A. in Music from U.C.L.A in Los Angeles. That same year, while working at Tops Records, Drasnin was approached by David Pell, the head of the label, to create an Exotica album. Pell wanted a record that would cash in on the popularity of the Exotica genre made popular by Martin Dennyand Arthur Lyman. Drasnin created 12 original compositions and would spend the later part of 1959 recording the record. Among the musical personnel was a young pianist by the name of John Williams who would later go on to score such notable films as Star Wars and Jaws. The LP was released on Tops/Mayfair records in both mono and stereo versions. The cover artwork for the LP featured a photo of a woman in a leopard print bikini dancing as two loin cloth-clad men play bongos in a dark jungle-like setting, bathed in red light. The original cover art was not used in the two different compact disc reissues of the album.

DrasninVoodooDionysusIn 1977 he became Director of Music for the CBS Network.

In 2002, three selections from the 1959 Voodoo album were used in the soundtrack for the documentary film Cinemania: “Desire”, “Jardine de la Noche” and “Chant of the Moon”.

In 2005 Robert Drasnin was invited to perform at The Hukilau—a 3-day Hawaiian/Tiki festival in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. A 16-piece orchestra was assembled for the performance. The show consisted of selections from his 1959 album Voodoo as well as new Exotica-styled music that he composed after Voodoo. These new pieces would form the basis of the Voodoo II album, released in 2007.

In 2007 Robert Drasnin recorded and released Voodoo II, a follow-up album to his 1950 recording Voodoo. The initial recording was made in February, 2007, at Pierce College in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, California. The orchestra was recorded live to multi-track digital hard disc using Digital Performerrecording software and Mark of the Unicorn (MOTU) digital interfaces. The CD was produced by Skip Heller and released on Dionysus records in June 2007. Immediately following the release of Voodoo II, Robert Drasnin again performed at the Florida, Hukilau event with a 16-piece orchestra. The 2007 performance comprised compositions from both the Voodoo and Voodoo II releases.