Berry Lipman

Star Maidens: The Girls from Space

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When Star Trek became a fixture of worldwide television thanks to syndication during the 1970s, new science fiction programs began to pop up in its wake. A European example of this phenomenon is Star Maidens, a co-production between Germany and Great Britain that focused on the adventures of some Earth-born astronauts who come into contact with a planet where women rule over men. The musical score for this show was penned by Berry Lipman, a German musician who blended the smooth easy listening sound he was known for with elements of disco and synthesizer-driven futurism. The end result is a kitschy but quite listenable slice of retro-futurist lounge music. For a good example of this set's overall style, look no further than the "Star Maidens Theme": this lounge cocktail mixes mock-orchestral horn arrangements, soaring synthesizers, and a discofied hi-hat rhythm to giddy effect. Other highlights include "Akam on the Move," a fast-paced cut built on some funky keyboard work, and "Outsmart the Maidens," which juxtaposes a jazzy, Vegas-style horn arrangement with an ethereal synthesizer backdrop. There are also some vocal cuts, the most notable being "Sex World," a dance-ready hymn of praise to the pleasure planet described in its title. On the downside, some of the cuts on Star Maidens settle for imitating their influences instead of synthesizing them into something new and interesting: the big culprit in this category is "Starship Strut," which shamelessly recycles the melody and arrangement from Isaac Hayes' "Theme From Shaft." However, derivative moments like these add to the disc's goofball appeal instead of tarnishing it, since the album is so out there to begin with. In the end, a listener's interest in Star Maidens will depend on his or her tolerance for kitsch, but it will provide a good time for those who can appreciate the sillier side of lounge music.

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