Peter Thomas Sound Orchester / Peter Thomas

Raumpatrouille (Space Patrol) [Original TV Soundtrack]

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This intriguing disc collects the music for Raumpatrouille, a 1960s German science-fiction television show. Despite its vintage date, the music doesn't conform to usual "orchestra plus theremin" clichés of most 1960s television science-fiction music. Instead, composer Peter Thomas takes the soundtrack in a much more interesting direction by using jazz as the musical basis for his score and adding all sorts of avant-garde electronic effects to keep things interesting. The result is a fun, lounge-y soundtrack that remains fresh and interesting today thanks to its quirkiness and groove-oriented style. Raumpatrouille sets its tone and style with its opening title music, "Space Patrol"; this piece starts with vocoder-drenched vocals leading the listener through a countdown, then launches into a brass-heavy slice of lounge jazz punctuated by catchy organ riffs and ghostly choral vocals. Other standout cuts include "Bolero on the Moon Rocks," which effectively balances ethereal wordless vocals with moody brass riffs over a slowly stuttered beat, and "Moontown," which layers spacy keyboards and atmospheric bursts of white noise over a percolating, horn-driven pop groove. Elsewhere, the music moves further in a jazzy direction: "Lancet Bossa Nova" is a keyboard-driven excursion spiced up with some swinging horn arrangements, while "Shub-a-dooe" and "Take Sex" prominently feature energetic scat vocals in their melodies. Not everything on the album is as melodically strong as these highlights, but all the cuts benefit from a consistent musical style and energetic, well-recorded performances. There is also a lovely, thick booklet filled with eye-catching black-and-white stills from the show. In the end, Raumpatrouille is a solid and engaging collection of lounge instrumentals that will appeal to Peter Thomas fans and anyone who enjoys classic lounge music at its most space age.

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