Gorgeous analog sounds courtesy of composer Bruhn and cohort Kristian Schultze rule the roost, but a full backing band that includes then-Triumvirat drummer Curt Cress give the music on this fantastic reissue even more muscle. Timm Thaler was a 1979 kids' show that concerned the "sale" of young Timm's laughter to a creepy, wealthy baron (the fee: the ability to win any bet) and the former's efforts to win it back after discovering life is no fun without a good laugh.
Bruhn's music certainly doesn't sound like it was married to a youngster's drama—this sounds like stuff for a '70s Euro cop show or "giallo film." Kristian Schultze's name should be instantly familiar to old school electronic fans—no relation to Klaus, even their surnames are spelled differently. The simple dialogues between synths and rhythm instruments spell out their own private dramas; pulsating bass semiquavers, fuzz guitar, and sultry sawtooth warmth make many of these cues doppelgangers for vintage Goblin, like "Der Vertrag" and its ominous bass swells or the uptempo "Timm's Escape" which juxtaposes strummed acoustic guitar and a baroque synth melody. Driven entirely by bass and drums, "Das Boot" is a dead ringer for a Droga–era Goblin cut. "Wetten, Dass…?" will make your shoulders oscillate: in-the-pocket drumming, funk bass, and a Jan Hammer-esque monophonic lead won't have it any other way—if only it weren't under two minutes! "Die Höhle" and "Das Studio" each bring us four minutes of percolating effusiveness a la Schulze and mid-80s [Steve] Roach—the Germans have always been the best at this sort of thing. Select tracks like "Anatol" and "Timm Wird Gejagt" reprise earlier motifs, but there's no love lost.
Careful with those bonus tracks, though; any connection to the film score proper remains unsanctioned. Entirely by Bruhn, the quartet constitutes music for a circus—in space! Faux-accordion melodies, straight two-fourths and four-fourths beats, ostinatos, and a synthetic waltz. "Smutje-Slapstick" lives up to its title in spades.
Timm Thaler is available from MovieGrooves.com or select special order CD outlets in the States (good luck with those…it's just better to order from Movie Grooves—they're in the U.K. but they ship fast!)
1. Timm's Theme Timm's Theme
2. Aravanadi – Der Baron Aravanadi – The Baron
3. Timm Auf Der Flucht Timm's Escape
4. Der Vertrag The Contract
5. Wetten, Dass…? Do You Bet That?
6. Die Höhle The Cave
7. Trauriger Timmy Sad Timmy
8. Anatol – U-Bahn-Schrecken Anatol – Underground Frights
9. Die Schwarze Nelke The Black Carnation
10. Das Studio The Studio
11. Timm Wird Gejagt Timm Is Chased
12. Das Boot The Boat
13. Timm's Thema Timm's Theme
— Bonus Tracks —
14. Die Nonne The Nun
15. Devil's Tango Devil's Tango
16. Smutje-Slapstick Smutje-Slapstick
17. Valse Diable Diabolic Waltz
Total time – 39:00