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Visitors was the brain-child of French producer/composer/genius, and enfant terrible Jean-Pierre Massiera. In 1974, he recruited a group of nineteen musicians (most notably jazz violinist Didier Lockwood, who made an indelible mark on Magma's 1975 live album), to record his latest compositions. Massiera had been impressed by violin-fronted jazz-rock acts such as the Mahavishnu Orchestra and Jean-Luc Ponty. He decided that his new psychedelic nightmare should be a concept album on the theme of extra-terrestrial contact. It is a truly startling mix of prog, psych, fusion and zeuhl elements, with complex arrangements and grandiose vocals. Massiera kept the basics: keyboards (Hammond organ and mini-Moog), guitar, and rhythm section. That said, he also insisted on a type of vocal polyphony, with voices singing in unison or performing call-and-response echo effects in the style of Vanilla Fudge. To push it further, Massiera peppered the album with special effects. Samplers were non-existent, which meant that he had to transfer location-recorded “found sounds” onto the master-tape by hand. The Visitors album which resulted from this musical alchemy is a dark and doom-laden psyched-out masterpiece: other-worldly, with outer space violins, burning guitar leads, layers of lysergic organ, and twisted choral voices creeping up on you from behind the shadows.