Peter Thomas Sound Orchestra
Although the lounge trend rolled through a year or so ago and flooded the market with their sounds, much of the music that was released had absolutely no soul and was even less inspired. About the same time that this revival was hitting its prime, Scamp released this disc of soundtrack material from the Peter Thomas Sound Orchestra. Instead of being cheap knockoffs of cheesy, lounge music, this collection is the real deal. Created in the 1960s for German television shows, b-grade movies, and all kinds of other little projects, the 16 tracks and over an hours worth of music on this release is truly vintage schmaltz.
Not that it's a bad thing, though. Like the music for Vampyros Lesbos, it's older music that is slightly ahead of its time and has even been an influence for electronic artists such as today (more well-known praises has come from Air, Richard Dorfmeister, Coldcut, Pulp, and Dimitri from Paris). The crazy thing is that after listening to this release, you can actually hear little bits of the Peter Thomas Orchestra sound in the work of the above mentioned artists.
The actual music on the disc spans about a five year period betweeen 1965 and 1970, but despite being 30 years old (or more), it really does have its moments and the recording quality of it all sounds great as well. In the liner notes, Peter Thomas notes that most of the recordings he did were written over the course of only a couple days, then scored in a week or so, and that fast-and-loose style comes through and gives sort of a light touch to the proceedings.
Whether it is the swanky and slow "Bolero on the Moon Rocks" (with great horns, female chorus and twanged-out), the spy-theme sounding "Curse of the Hidden Vault," or the spaced-out funk of the intro to "The Hound of Blackwood Castle," there are some genuine moments of originality and catchy-ness. Not only do the organs and horns blare, but Thomas isn't above throwing in cheesy sound effects (like screaming or gunshots) over the mix for another added element of sound. Some tracks even have vocals, and they range from sounding like Screamin' Jay Hawkins to an over-dramatic female karoake singer. Basically, if you like the cheese of lounge and want something that was innovative for it's time (and definitely still has its kitsch value firmly intact), check this out.