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Jean-Claude Vannier - L'enfant assassin des mouches CD (album) cover


Jean-Claude Vannier


Eclectic Prog

4.30 | 39 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 4.5 stars. I officially announce that today (June 13th) is hereby called "Logan Day", but since I have no authority to make such a proclamation this will only be so in my little world.The Canucks winning the cup tonight would be the icing on the cake (Logan lives in B.C.) but unfortunately I have no control over that. Why "Logan Day" ? Well my review this morning and the one i'll do tonight are of two albums that Greg (Logan) recommended to me and he gave them both 5 stars, that's why. It's karma yo ! Okay that made no sense at all but please just play along.

Jean Claude Vannier is from France and he was (is) a very successful composer of film scores but not only that he was a producer and arranger of some of the biggest pop stars in Europe. So while he might be unknown over here in North America this is not so in Europe. He's a genius really when it comes to arranging and on this his first album he blends many styles in a seemless manner. It's like he tricks the listener because he is so good at what he does.He uses a string quartet, a brass and reed section, a choir, samples and many, many instrumentalists to accomplish this master work.This is a concept album (although completely instrumental) based on Serge Gainsbourg's story called "The Child Fly-Killer". I'm going to use the English song titles because it will be faster for me as the French ones are quite long.The story is about a boy who tries to burn flies with matches.The one fly he hurts leads him into the fly kingdom where the boy sees the king of the flies playing billiards.The king asks the boy to dance and in an act of treachery the boy dumps a pot of rose jam on the floor which covers the king.The king manages to drag himself to the beach in an effort to get this jam washed off him, but the boy meets him there and torments him by hitting him with a rod. A troop of flies tries in vain to save the king but alas it's too late as the king has been beaten to death.The flies plot their revenge and get the child stuck on this child-paper (like fly paper but for humans) where they cover him as he breathes his last. This is not based on a true story in case you were wondering. I should mention that it's very cool to hear Claude Engel playing guitar on this album, that's the same guy who played on MAGMA's debut as well as the UNIVERIA ZEKT record also with MAGMA.

"The Child The Fly And The Matches" opens with faint sounds before you can hear the matches being lit, one after the other. Outbursts of sound come and go then church bells.The music comes in after 2 minutes and I really like the guitar here. Sax is followed by drums then dissonant horns.The guitar is back before 4 minutes then more horns. "The Child In The Fly Kingdom" sounds so good when the vocal melodies join in around 1 1/2 minutes.The guitar becomes prominant then we get a calm before 2 1/2 minutes before it kicks back in. Great sound here.The sound of water takes over then an abrasive sound. "Dance Of The Black Flies,The King's Guards" sounds amazing with the horns, strings, drums, piano and more.You can hear the sound of someone playing billiards after 3 minutes to end it.

"Dance Of The Child And The King Of The Flies" has these vibes that are very upfront on this silly sounding tune. Lots of strings,horns and piano as well. "The King Of The Flies" opens with samples then this exotic Eastern flavour takes over with lots of percussion. Some loud noises before 5 minutes. "The Child Fly-Killer" has these classical instruments that come and go then it kicks in at a minute. "The Guards Fly To The King's Rescue" is such a great sounding track with those vocal melodies, drums and bass leading the way. It does get fuller at times as contrasts continue. It ends with percussion and heavy breathing (poor king) as horns and loud outbursts arrive.

"Death Of The King Of The Flies" has this incredible sounding guitar that reminds me of Krautrock but it changes quickly. It is back at 1 1/2 minutes. Nice. "Spidery Scrawl / Fly Legs" opens with eerie sounds then this haunting atmosphere envelopes the soundscape.Time for some revenge ! "The Paper Child-Killer" has this swirling almost circus like melody with accordion then it turns waltz-like. "The Death Throes Of The Child Murderer" starts with flute and piano then the guitar, drums and organ take over.

One question. Why is there this bare assed guy on the album cover ?! Happy Logan Day everyone !

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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