L Enfant Assasin Des Mouches Enhanced
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2008 mini LP sleeve reissue of this album from Serge Gainsbourg's right-hand man Jean-Claude Vannier, originally released in 1972. Recorded during the same sessions as Gainsbourg's highly acclaimed masterpiece Melody Nelson it follows in a similar avant-garde rock-opera vein. L'Enfant Assasin Des Mouches (The Child Fly-Killer) is a supernatural tale written by Gainsbourg depicting the journey of the young child travelling through a nightmarish "Fly Kingdom". Vannier narrates the story with sparse music concrete sounds coupled with choirs, funky beats, cowbells, wah-wah guitars and ethnic strings. Comparisons could be made with some of Frank Zappa's Hot Rats material and Alain Goraguer's creepy Le Planet Sauvge. Warner. 2008.
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But, ya know something? This would have to rank as my first favorite discovery of 2007--the hype turned out to be worth it. "L' Enfant Assassin des Mouches" is just as twisted, graceful and psychedelic as the liner notes and tons of hipster critics say it is--it most definitely qualifies as the "psychedelic symphony" it claims to be on the cover.
If you need an idea of what to expect, loosen yourself up with some music in a similar vein--music like Aphrodite's Child's "666," the "Fantastic Planet" soundtrack and (of course) Serge's "Melody Nelson." If you can get down with those three albums, this one'll take you on yet another tour through those same trippy landscapes. Votel's picked another gem...check it out.
Who needs labels when we have sound, tons of it. Jean Claude Vannier
s 1970 aural skyscraper is filled with holy cross guitars, LSD courses, music concrete', a huge post-psychedelic mess of an album: the strings here are particularly rich, and if you have heard Vannier's arranging on Serge Gainsbourg's Histoire de Melody Nelson, you'll hear this and understand why he was hired.
I can't find a lot of logic in how this is sequenced, but that may be the idea. After you play this for two or more minutes, you surrender, lay back and go where the sound takes you. If the journey is random, the impact makes it more than worth taking.
What I'm trying to say is that this album is a pretty difficult listen and offers few rewards for the casual listener. Make sure you listen to some of it before you make the purchase.
This is an album you have to be in the mood for but when your mood is right, the music will carry you away. It is useful to the listener to read the outline of the story of the child fly-killer contained in the accompanying booklet while listening to the album. That helps you to understand the progression of the music and its various discordant sounds. The album begins cacophonically and dissonance abounds as the child enters the fly kingdom. The dance of the child with the king of the flies is a whimsical number that segues into a middle-eastern mood. One of my favorite cuts is the title cut on which the percussion evokes the thrashing of the fly-king by the child. The next movement exudes a bit of mystery after which the fly-king's death is portrayed in elements of prog and psych rock. A stereotypical French musical motif then closes the story as the fly community takes its revenge on the child. Oddly enough, two of my favorite cuts are the bonus tracks which sound like they could have come from a Clint Eastwood spaghetti western and are in fact from a French film.
If you like an occasional musical journey into the bizarre, you are almost bound to like this excursion into the music of Jean-Claude Vannier. The CD comes with an attractive booklet containing the story outline, a Vannier career bio (in English), and pertinent album information. Check it out while it is yet available.
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