I Marc 4 ‘Nelson Psychout – Original Library Music From The Vaults Of Nelson Records’ LP/CD (Vampi Soul) 3/5

Italian library music is a specialist sub-genre for sure, but one that operated at a prolific level in the 1960’s and 1970’s, invariably in conjunction with the Italian film industry. However, this compilation features music that dates chronologically between 1970 and 1976, when the quartet were at their creative peak. In fact, Nelson records itself was only founded in 1970 by a quartet of musicians including Maurizioo Majorana on bass, Antonello Vannucchi on piano and Hammond organ, Roberto Podio on drums, and guitarist Carlo Pes. Collectively, the sound is early 1970’s psychedelic rock with a gentle nod towards jazz in places. That is amply illustrated on the laid back guitar lead on, ‘Leslie love’, which is also notable for some flute playing straight out of the Charles Lloyd/Roland Kirk drawer. On another number, ‘Underground’, the music hints at progressive rock and funk. Funkier beats are to be found on, the dissonant guitar and Hammond of, ‘Suoni distorti’. Fans of the Jean-Claude Vannier sound may be interested in the music as a whole, and the rolling bass line in, ‘Fast bass’, with psychedelic organ effects could just as easily have come from an early 1970’s French film soundtrack. While not groundbreaking in respect of the inventiveness of the music, it is very competently performed. I Marc 4 recorded some twenty albums in total between 1970 and 1980, and they are, perhaps, best remembered for their film soundtrack recording collaborations from the late 1960’s and 1970’s with Armando Trovajoli.

Tim Stenhouse