Jean-Pierre Massiera (at board) & Bernard Torelli (right) at Antibes Studio 16
Jean-Pierre Massiera's name should be familiar to anyone into heavy duty psych/prog/experimental musick. Composer, arranger & producer extraordinaire, JP is a shadowy figure involved in much of France's most arcane musickal output. He had a hand in everything from Visitors's surrealist sympho-prog & Horrific Child's deranged rock to J.P.M. & Co.'s discombobulated disco & his pinnacle achievement, 1968s studio project Les Maledictus Sound (a holy grail in French underground musick).
Jean-Pierre Massiera was born in Nice. Early on he was a guitarist with two local rock bands in the sixties, Les Milords & Les Monegasques. From there he gravitated to the recording studio, becoming a noted sound engineer, involved in various ways with the French rock scene in the sixties, seventies & eighties. As early as 1966, he had opened his own eight-track studio in his home town, recording some of the pioneers of the local rock scene there such as: Les Pyranhas, with drummer André Ceccarelli, later to become a well-known jazz artist; & the female singer Jessie Joyce. In 1972, he opened his new 16-track studio at La Fontonne between Nice & Antibes, which became known as the Azurville studio (a.k.a. Antibes Studio 16).
Bernard Torelli is half-brother of Jean-Pierre. Bernard had been guitarist in numerous outfits & Jean-Pierre naturally asked Bernard to participate in planned Antibes Studio 16 ventures. Bernard accepted enthusiastically, having his own ideas for new projects & compositions.
Turn Radio On is illuminated by Torelli’s funk/rock guitar work & Massiera’s phenomenal studio wizardry. Many Antibes 16 alumni guest on this mélange of musickal marmalade. “Turn Radio On” TRO’s opening track is a perfect slice of funky 70s R&B. From there this album somehow touches on: popcorn disco; Earth, Wind, & Fire style soul/jazz fusion; syrupy orchestral dance tuneage; blaxploitation soundtrack; Village People Indian tomfoolery; pseudo-classical; & acoustical folk funk. “Radio Galaxia” offers up some twisted French cosmic Funkadelic slop while “Special Night” is all sci-fi hi-jinx. There something here for everyone to dig. Ya gotta love this OOP treasure.
Massiera-Torelli – Turn Radio On, Marcy Music – 27 12 76 002, 1976.
Turn Radio On