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Peter Thomas: Moonflowers & Mini Skirts

Douglas Payne By

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Peter Thomas (b. 1925) is a German film and television composer who's known for his scores to Chariot of the Gods?, the 1965-68 series of Jerry Cotton films (German James Bond knock-offs, now available on a 2-CD set from Crippled Dick), 18 Edgar Wallace horror films and German TV hits like Raumpatroille (or Space Patrol, a German Star Trek series with a soundtrack out now on Caroline).

The German maestro has now retired on his forward-seeking laurels. But his brand of "Future music" - explored on countless "Sound Orchestra" recordings — is now receiving deserved worldwide recognition on the German compilations Filmmuzik (Polydor) and Easy Loungin' (Polygram) and the even better and easier to find American collection, Futuremuzik (Scamp).

Thomas was always reaching for unusual sounds: exploring synthesizers well before everyone else; taking familiar jazz and rock formulas and bending them to his whim; and discovering talent that went on to make history in their own right: Klaus Doldinger, Jan Hammer and an array of vocalists including Donna Summer (who appears here on "Black Power," her 1969 vocal debut).

Moonflowers& Mini Skirts is the greatest - and grooviest - Peter Thomas collection yet. Taking 19 themes devised between the late 1960s and early 1970s, compilers Stefan Kassel (owner of Marina Records and designer of Moonflower 's smart packaging) and Matthias Kunnecke (an exceptional production man at Germany's progressive Motor Records and a devout Thomas expert) have crafted a collection of unusual, exciting music that is cool, sometimes corny, sometimes jazzy, sometimes funky, sometimes kitschy and quite often brilliant.

Much of the music here is "library music," used as cues in films and television, and never before available on CD. Set highlights include the Thus Spoke Z funk of "Opium" (destined to be a dance classic), the loping disco of "Milky Way," the driving "Under Control," the colorful "Rockin' Computer" and the Lalo Schifrin-esque "Beige Turtleneck." The remaining tracks are seasoned with the tasty variety found in more imaginative composers like America's Henry Mancini or Lalo Schifrin, Britain's Tony Hatch or Roy Budd or even Italy's Piero Umiliani or Pierro Picconi.

Totally wild. Put on Moonflowers& Mini Skirts if you want some fun (and funk) in your music.

Songs:Opium; Multi-Kolored Mini-Skirts; Black Power (vocal: Donna Summer); 11 Uhr 20 (Main Theme); Pozzolico; Milky Way; Under Control; Moonflower Q 70; Vergiss' Mich, Wenn Du Kannst (vocal: Senta Berger); Rockin' Computer; Power Boost; Spiral Angst; Meeting palermo; Flash Point; Mein Wochenende (vocal: Uschi Glas); Happening In White (main theme); Beige Turtleneck; Malaparte Sinus; Minoti on the Run.

Available at Dusty Groove (www.dustygroove.com) or from Marina Records (www.marina.com)


Title: Moonflowers & Mini Skirts | Year Released: 1998 | Record Label: Marina-Germany

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