The Joup Friday Album: Jean-Claude Vannier – L’Enfant Assassin Des Mouches

jeanclaudevannierHey guys, it’s scary out there.  And it’s only getting scarier.  So, why not get lost in an oddball record of orchestral pop?

After providing the arrangements on Serge Gainsbourg’s legendary 1971 album Histoire de Melody Nelson, French composer Jean-Claude Vannier followed up that landmark with a record of psych-tinged soundscapes that were like nothing else out there.  Ignored and lost to time upon its initial release, years later the record became rumor to salivating collectors in the know, a legend, a ghost, something entirely too amazing to actually exist.

But exist it did, finally rescued from obscurity in 2005 by English musician, DJ, and crate digger Andy Votel and the always impeccable Finders Keepers Records, and made available to masses.  And L’Enfant Assassin Des Mouches (or The Child Assassin of The Flies if you’re nasty) still sounds completely unique.

Beginning with an array of noises and sounds, random hits of percussion, and fuzzy ambience, the record feels like you’re listening to someone’s home recordings, tape recorder experiments meant to confuse and disorient.  And then, as if from out of nowhere, a funk-fueled psychedelic guitar lick lays waste to the ambience before eventually giving way to a lusty, burlesque horn section.  And then it’s gone again, replaced by a swirl of orchestration, piano balladry, more noise, and an up and down parade of notes and melodies that sound like some maniac’s mixtape.  It’s like a cut-and-paste assembly of musical bits, almost as if that same maniac spent an afternoon sampling sounds and songs from an endless supply of French films, television programs, and advertisements and then combined them with random, weirdo field recordings.  At times the whole this is otherworldly, at others it’s so familiar you’d swear you’ve picked it up on radio somewhere before now.  Somewhere in the ether.  Somewhere in time.

Seriously, Vannier’s opus has everything: jazz, psych rock, classical, avant garde, funk, and enough sample-ready sections to make a DJ’s head explode.  Jim O’Rourke and Jarvis Cocker are fans, and you should be too.

So let’s all slide into a comfortable chair and escape for a little while.  This scary world will still be here when we get back.

Tag KJ.


Thomas H Williams

Thomas H Williams

From a bunker somewhere in Central Texas, Thomas H. Williams spends most of his time with his wife, his two sons, and his increasingly neurotic dog. He listens to a lot of music, drinks a lot of excellent beers, and gets out from time to time. For even more shenanigans, visit

2 Responses to The Joup Friday Album: Jean-Claude Vannier – L’Enfant Assassin Des Mouches
  1. zain Reply

    More than risky for the nation. His stance on nat gas alone ensures this maniac will never become POTUS. He behaves more like a Russian useful idiot and stooge than the governor of a state as his “resistance to fracking and pipelines makes Putin smile daily. Let”s pray the Republicans get someone to run against the aforementioned maniac and wins the governorship.

  2. […] good friend Keller came over last Friday and, after we listened to Tommy‘s pick for last week&...

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