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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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5 stars Magic

Self-taught pianist, composer and arranger Jean-Claude Vannier is without a doubt responsible for one of the most imaginative albums of the 20th century. Ever since hooking up with the French film industry in 69, making a lot of soundtracks, this guy has been dishing out some of the most unique orchestrated music. This particular symphonic trade exudes through in his work, and you feel the panoramic girth of this man's vision like you're sitting with your nose pressed firmly against the cinema screen.

Vannier is in a league of his own. Taking seemingly unfamiliar pieces of music and taping them up together in a strange eloquent form of sonic origami. Whatever this man puts together, it works - and not only that, it flipping jumps at you like a small frog on epo. You just got to marvel at his genius - this is indeed a musician that does what he wants - directs others exactly like he wants and always manages to cook up something out of this world.

This masterpiece is a melting pot of rock orchestration, brass instruments, strings, heavenly choirs and what often sounds like the percussion kit from a scary Tom & Jerry movie. This record very casually and elegantly embraces so many different styles of music, that you at some point get lost in a sonic haze halfway between Singapore and Paris.

Opening up with cinematic effects, bell tower, clocks - a match gets lit, and you hear the ambient zoom of traffic and distant road noises. A deep slow breath cuts everything into a short blackness....nothing, and then the majestic funk prog emerges with low down bass stylings and wickedy wah wah guitar wagging its hazy tail like a happy dog. Somehow this thing then takes a complete u-turn ending up in the jungle-book's original theme music with some twisted reeds sounding particularly loopy.

Already by now you will probably have established the music to be highly eclectic, but boy you ain't seen nothing yet. Second cut gives away to a funky styled chant rock that goes into a real humdinger of a bluesy jazz piece, then metamorphosing into this grand symphonic creature with bonkers percussion features and the most gorgeous Atom Heart Motheresque choir you'll ever come across.

WOOUUHH and you get a huge startle with a big loud screech.....still breathing a little heavily from the shock you now sense a heroic ambiance coming to the fore, in a tune that could've assisted Rocky back when he was running up steps in Philly. This is deliberately pompous string sage-rated soundtrack music with some jumpy Lucky Luke piano alongside it. Had it not been for the subtle menace in the bass violins, this one could've been tasteless, but it's not - it's absolutely fabulous, just like the rest of the tracks. Whether it's a combination of RIO and cabaret rock in silly clown shoes - or the most astonishing track that starts off with a Floyd like RRRRIIING and leads you through the desert night on beautiful Arabic melodies and Indian rhythms - Vannier seems like a man that can do no wrong.

It's also about the little things. There's a tiny piece on here that only consists of a guitar, presumably rained heavily upon to the sounds of a humpback whale playing the sax, and I absolutely love it to death! Hell even the small ditty that conveys a kind of peyote fuelled Fantasia with brass instruments taunting the strings feels oddly in tune with the gist of the album.

If you're looking for the next best thing since Transformers and liquorice, you better run down to your nearest record dealer and demand a copy of the single most thrilling experimental rock album done with an orchestra. This is Sergio Leone meets Funkadelic. It's the album David Axelrod wishes he could've made. It's the kind of album that jets you through a gazillion movies in the mere time frame of 37 minutes. It's pure magic is what it is.

Guldbamsen | 5/5 |


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