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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Blue Phantom - Distortions (1971 italy, fascinating heavy psych with a mushroom cloud, 2012 Kismet extra track edition)

This legendary 1971 album was recorded by unknown musicians in Milan, for use as incidental music in films, television and radio. Almost each and every track is a short, heavy acid rock symphony ... Disturbing, dissonant, and even downright menacing.  An astounding blend of creepy grooves and distorted guitar, it was released in tiny numbers in Italy, France and the UK, and is highly sought-after by collectors today. This welcome reissue comes complete with the only other track released under the Blue Phantom name. 

1. Diodo - 3:48
2. Metamorphosis - 2:59
3. Microchaos - 2:43
4. Compression - 2:46
5. Equilibrium - 4:00
6. Dipnoi - 2:50
7. Distillation - 3:44
8. Violence - 3:08
9. Equivalence - 2:35
10.Psycho-Nebulous - 4:53
11.Uncle Jim (Bonus track) - 2:46

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Remy said...

Thanks Marios, I'm looking forward to this! Great album cover, too.

DanP said...

Wow, I have to check it out!

kenrub said...


Gobbledygook said...

Weird and wonderful - thank you!

adamus67 said...

Many of the tracks from this album are used in the movie "Sinner: Diary of a Nymphomaniac", directed by Jess Franco and released in 1972.

This music was originally recorded by a composer named Armando Sciascia (under the pseudonym "H. Tical" who was renowned as an Italian film composer, editor, producer in mid-60s, and simultaneously an owner of an Italian label Vedette Records) and performed by unknown session musicians in 1971. Its original release was on Spider Records, which was a subsidiary of Sciascia's own Vedette Records label which was distributed not only in Italy but also in UK and France. Although 'Distortions' can be thought as a psychedelic progressive gem worldwide, it had never been re-released for a long while - an Italian independent label AMS reissued this album in 2008 finally.
I would assume that the name "Blue Phantom" was coined to give it more visibility in record shops considering that this is one of the rare library music albums that was released to the general public. "Distortion Pop" is the same album as "Distortions". Apparently, Sonimage was connected with Vedette Records, who released it as a library record. Regarding Jean-Michel Lorgere, that may be a pseudonym for either Jean-Bernard Raiteux or Jean-Claude Pierric, as psueudonyms frequently pop up with alarming regularity in library music. Regarding the use of "Distortions" in the films of Jess Franco, that was the decision of his editor at the time, Gerard Kikoine. Many of the Franco films that used the music from "Distortions", "Trafic Pop" and "Harlem Pop Trotters" were produced by Robert de Nesle. Franco would send black-and-white silent workprints to Kikoine to work form. The music was his choice as he had access to all the library recordings at the time. Very trendy track titles such as Distillation, Equivalence and Psychonebulous (all credited to H. Tical), as well as the lack of info on the sleeve, are more often than not a bad omen. This all-instrumental exploitation album, however, has some hidden surprises for us. The ridiculous liner-notes (mentioning life before birth, no less) notwithstanding, almost each and every track is a short heavy acid-rock symphony which make the title of the album ring true. Disturbing, subtly dissonant and even downright menacing, I wouldn't recommend to listen to this daily, but I would certainly recommend it in small doses. A good soundtrack to your worst expectations, this is an unclassifyable hybrid of orchestrated pop and trips gone awry. For the strong-souled among us.

Thanks Marios,I hope this was of help to you.

Philipp said...

You're just wonderful!

sparkler said...

excellent! thank you!

Bob Presto said...

Thank you Marios for posting this rare album, I enjoy it.

Mick Cantone said...

@adamus67, I would like to say that you lifted your comment wholesale from a post I madeon the WE FUCKING LOVE MUSIC blog entry on Blue Phantom.

Raul Andres Alfonso Montañez said...

Muchas gracias :)

Marios said...