Thursday, June 17, 2010
Jean-Claude Vannier - L'enfant Assassin Des Mouches (1972)
I have a sneaking suspicion that there are other reviewers here better suited to review this album, but I've been listening to it for the last few days and figured I'd give it a shot. This is the 1972 debut album by Jean-Claude Vannier, a musician and composer responsible for the orchestration on Serge Gainsbourg's Histoire de Melody Nelson, which had been released the previous year. On L'enfant Assassin Des Mouches, Vannier crafted a grandiose and sprawling epic, one that begins with engaging and catchy instrumental rock compositions, yet frequently (particularly in the second half) moves in unusual, avante-garde directions. This lack of cohesion, (I'm assuming) reflective of a desire to showcase his range as a composer, reminds me of Goblin's soundtrack work, albeit with real instruments rather than synthesized ones. And like Goblin, Jean-Claude Vannier's music walks the line between playfully light, and epically pompous. For me, the album feels directionless after the first few songs, but that may be simply because the first songs are very gripping, and I hadn't anticipated the somewhat more sombre and experimental tone the rest of the album would take. I don't really see it as a problem- the less melodic stretches are interesting as well- but it does give the album an odd and disjointed flow, overall.
Els (of breadxbread) brought this excellent Jean-Claude Vannier and Yves Saint-Laurent video to my attention: