Jean-Claude Vannier

We all like a bit of prog-rock, right? Concept albums? And we all love 70’s psychedelic orchestral funk? With choirs? In French?


Jean-Claude Vannier

Of course, the answer to all the above questions is yes. I bet your music collection is bursting with stuff like that. Well you’re going to have to make room for one more. I’ve been listening to Jean-Claude Vannier’s ‘L’Enfant Assassin Des Mouches’* (which of course translates as ‘The child assassin of the flies’), and it is mental, and I think you’re going to have to buy it.**

It apparently tells the tale of a boy who finds his way into the kingdom of the flies, kills the King Fly (hope I’m not spoiling it for you) and then at the end… I’m not sure what happens at the end, my French is a bit crap. The plot doesn’t really matter, it’s almost all instrumental, with mad sound effects.

If you want an idea of roughly what it sounds like, listen to ‘Melody Nelson‘ by Serge Gainsbourg – Vannier did the bonkers arrangements for that album (and for other Gainsbourg stuff, so I hear). What do you mean you haven’t got ‘Melody Nelson‘? Ok. It sounds like early 70’s orchestral psychedelic funk, with big choirs going ‘ooo’ and frazzled fuzz-tone guitar and the weird French bass sound that goes ‘thunk’. And maybe a bit of jazz in there too. Rather good stuff.

* Probably
** This is yet another wonderful album i have discovered by listening to Stuart Maconie’s ‘Freak Zone’ on BBC 6Music, a radio show I cannot recommend enough)

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