LIZARD (CALIFORNIA, USA)

Lizard Records was a small independent label operating out of California, USA. There are few releases attributed to the label and they are as rare to find as information on the company itself. However, all seven of the releases listed on Discogs are connected to songwriter, musician and producer Jean-Pierre Bernard Massiera and his Studio Antibes in the South of France.

Mixing-desk wizard, disco-freak, psych-rock Janus, Jean-Pierre Massiera was a man with many faces. In the words of London-based label Finders Keepers:

“Massiera is, above all, a lover and purveyor of Musique Fantastique, and is willing and able to hijack whichever stylistic vehicle that passes him buy in order to do feed his lust.”

Finders Keepers released a comp’ of his freakiest sounds from his zillion different aliases & groups titled Midnight Massiera: The B​-​Music Of Jean​-​Pierre Massiera in 2016.

Some sources say Massiera grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina others say Nice, France. In 1966 he set up the SEM Studio (Studio d’Enregistrement Méditerranéen) in Nice, then moved on from SEM to set up the advanced 16-track Studio Antibes in La Fontonne (between Nice & Antibes) in 1972 after garnering awe for his psychedelic mixing-desk magic. His aliases, involvement in groups and contribution to cosmic Euro-experimentation are endless: Atlantide, Friends, Grand Prix, Herman’s Rocket, Horrific Child, J.P.M. And C°, L’Experience 9, Les Chats Renaissance, Les Maledictus Sound… all groups Massiera supposedly had involvement with… but the list is endless.

Without any solid evidence, one comes to the conclusion that Lizard Records appears to be a late 70’s disco project of Massiera’s, set up to promote his music stateside releasing in the US, Canada & home-base France.

Drops of Massiera’s magic acid on Lizard:

  • Human Egg – Human Egg LP (1978)
    • Human Egg released one album and featured only French musicians for its solo release. Representing Massiera’s wild scope of styles, each track has elements of disco, psych, chanson, jazz and even a hint of folk. Check the disco-jazz groove Love Like This, funk of You Keep Me Warm My Lady and Feeling On My Mindand strange traces of Horace Silver’s Song For My Father in track I Got a Dream of My Own. A rarer release but not going for crazy money (yet), the album was reissued by Favorite Records in 2010.
  • Jean-Pierre Massiera & Bernard Torelli ‎– Bons Baisers D’Antibes 7″ (1978)
    • A promo 7″ released on Lizard and translating as Kissing Good in Antibes, it’s naughty (check the artwork *mwah”) Euro-disco at its freakiest with big-band sounds & strings galore. Check the French national anthem dance-floor style in track Discocorico. Torelli was bassist in Human Egg and Massiera’s half-brother. Vive La France!
  • Brasa Brasil & Helena ‎– Supertango / I Go to Bahia 7″ (1979)
    • Another weird one as Massiera dips into Brasilia & MPB with this space-age sex-disco release. A rarer find on Lizard, this 7″ came out in Canada in ’79. The soft, breathy vocals & sex sounds of an obscure Helena contrast with the melodramatic male chanteuse that sound suspiciously like Tony Bonfils, one of the lead vocals with Human Egg.

References

1 year ago