Peter Thomas Soundorchester, Warp back to Earth (Bungalow) CD

The general idea: provide due recognition for 60s/70s spacesonic pioneer Peter Thomas by way of some tribute project that is more than just a formulaic remix album. The specific plan: unearth some archive clips of unused original material, supply it to fans of the man and stand well back. 29 such snippets were found (and are included as a bonus disc on the CD version of this album) and 17 new tracks were produced.

Peter Thomas is famed and feted for his theme for the cult German TV show "Space patrol Orion" so it's no surprise that many of the tracks here feature Star Trek theremin whines or deep space ambient noise. Mina comes up with the best of the former, welding the squealing effect to a cramped dirty disco boogie; Brezel Goring, Stereolab and Coldcut all opt for the former, augmenting the bareness with smooth atmospherics and lazy galactic bubbles. The High Llamas find that Thomas's source music fits their current electronic bias like a glove and turn in a track that could easily be on the recent LP. John McEntire creates a proto-Kraftwerk beatbox piece while Momus and Schneider opt for space'n'bass. Best of all the outstanding work, however, is the closing clash between 77-year old Thomas himself and Bungalow stalwart The Maxwell Implosion. Together they let rip some planet rockin' beats with a heavy dose of gravity-free electro.

Listening to Thomas' originals it's easy to see how this album has (unlike the High Llamas or Pastels remix records featuring much the same personnel) turned out so strong: his 20-30 year old compositions are still highly contemporary and even futuristic, ambient/jazz/space tracks in their own right. Reverence for the composer and a determination to do justice to the music has resulted in a storming set. Respect due, and paid.

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