Reissue of the week: Jean Claude Vannier – L’Enfant Assassin des Mouches

Ten years ago, Finders Keepers Records reissued the impossibly rare (100 copies, given to members of a wedding party, if I remember correctly), 1972 LP, L’Enfant Assassin des Mouches (The Child Assassin of the Flies). It’s the first solo release from composer Jean Claude Vannier, and particularly notable as it immediately follows Vannier’s work, as arranger/director, for Serge Gainsbourg’s legendary, Historie de Melody Nelson, and allegedly features the same band.

Love Melody Nelson? Well, L’Enfant drops the pop structure for a more experimental, genre blending approach, that still retains alotta the touchstone elements of its beloved antecedent. An essential piece of French musical history, available again thanks to Finders Keepers Records celebrating the ten year anniversary of their original reissue.





Songs of The Day: Boozoo Bajou – Same Sun (Andy Votel’s Music Minus Music Mix) , and Same Sun (original version)

Continuing my Andy Votel production kick, here’s his fully psychedelicized Boozoo Bajou remix that seems to have largely, and unfortunately, slipped through the cracks.

And the original, where the Astrud Gilberto influence is a little more pronounced. Downtempo Psychedelic Samba.

Check out the Proto-Metal madness of Geoff Krozier’s Indian Medicine Magik Show (and, yep, it’s a magic(k) show), from 1970!

Awesome heavy sounds from Australian magikal madman, Geoff Krozier and band. Imagine Arthur Brown (not only flaming head, but fire eating, as well) performing Heavy Metal Magik, while a band bash away in full on Sabbath freakout mode (complete with Gibson SG and a fucking digeridoo, coz Australia, motherfuckers!). Fire, a live chicken, smoke machines, face paint, shit this show sets the stage for a generation of acts to follow, not the least of which would be the theatrics of Alice Cooper, Kiss, Motley Crue and WASP, and this is on an Australian national television performance! I can barely express how glad I am to have discovered this.

Krozier would later perform with Von Lmo’s groundbreaking No Wave act, Kongress, and record a series of synthesizer based music, some of which is to be released on Finders Keepers Records, as Krozier & The Generator.

And here’s some footage of Krozier with Kongress…

And a couple of solo Magik Art performance clips, in the first of which, he greatly resembles Lo Pan from Big Trouble In Little China, which would not be released until five years after his death. Maybe John Carpenter saw a Krozier gig ( I can dream, at least).

Belladonna of Sadness soundtrack to receive reissue

Less than a month ago, I posted that the animated Japanese Psychedelic film, Belladonna of Sadness, was receiving both a restoration and eventual home video release. Well, according to Andy Votel’s twitter, his label, Finders Keepers Records, will be granting Masahiko Sato’s original score a much needed reissue, as well!

Check out the new Jane Weaver video, I Need A Connection

In my continuing posts of new Jane Weaver videos, I present the third video from her sixth LP, The Silver Globe, which recently received a deluxe issue with an extra ten track EP, The Amber Light. Technically The Silver Globe came out last year, but with this reissue, I’m not gonna let that stop me from putting it on my Top Ten new releases of the past year, a fact repeated on the singles list with Don’t Take My Soul (I admit, kinda obsessed with that one).

Jane Weaver has been turning out delicately crafted, high quality releases of Acid Folk and Psychedelic Space Pop, predominantly on her on Bird Records, since the late nineties, but The Silver Globe is, without question, her most fully realized work to date. With a production team that includes her husband, Andy Votel, and fellow obscure record hoarder David Holmes, Weaver’s psychedelic tendencies are on full display, seamlessly incorporating Pop sensibility with dreamy lysergic hallucination, and that’s the real genius of the album. It veers from the Pop to the Psych so subtly, that you don’t realize the amount of each in the other. Quite a feat, and it’s how the album can shape shift from the Krautrock of Argent, to the synth, almost New Wave (think The Cars meet Robert Calvert) of The Electric Mountain, followed by the ghostly Badalamenti vibes of Arrows, then the Kate Bush update of Don’t Take My Soul, all sequenced as though on a precious mixtape, one song meaningfully segueing into the next. It’s a classic record in that sense, best listened to from beginning to end, in order to truly grasp it’s strength.

Oh, and she just released an extended 12″ of experimental synth work in collaboration with synth pioneer, Suzanne Ciani! (search the archives here for great vintage footage of Ciani at work)

There’s a documentary on synthesizer pioneer, Suzanne Ciani, coming soon. Until then check out these amazing vintage clips

In the editing stage currently, A Life In Waves, hopes to expose the groundbreaking work of Suzanne Ciani to a larger audience. If the name is unfamiliar, you have probably heard her work in various advertisements for some of the world’s largest companies, or possibly on the classic pinball machine, Xenon. Or maybe you caught her on Late Night With David Letterman, 3-2-1 Contact, or on the Peter Ustinov hosted Omni (which features her working on Xenon!), where she was a spokesperson for innovations in keyboard sound and design. “Missed those”, you say? Well, here they are for your viewing pleasure, decades later.

Here’s a video from this year of Ciani performing on a the Moog System 55 modular

There’s also footage of Ciani working on her album, Seven Waves, in 1982

and the fully funded Kickstarter for the doc

Song Of The Day: Jane Weaver – Don’t Take My Soul

Produced by Andy Votel, adding his requisite trippiness, Don’t Take My Soul is a modern pop take on a psychedelic Kate Bush sound. Bewitching.

If you dig this, I suggest checking out her bandcamp page.
Her take on the state of independent music, in which she name checks Amon Düül II as a primary influence on her latest record.

Valerie and Her Week of Wonders, to be issued as part of The Criterion Collection

The surreal, Czech New Wave, fever dream of a fairy tale, takes it’s well deserved place in the famed Criterion Collection.
The soundtrack by Lubos Fiser, perfectly compliments the visuals. Issued for the first time in 2006 by Finders Keepers Records, the soundtrack is unfortunately out of print, but thankfully youtube is picking up the slack

Serge Gainsbourg’s, Melody Nelson: Promo film of the entire record!!! And Jean Claude Vannier!

Felt like I had to separate this from the Jane Birkin post, although the video features her heavily, and her vocals are on the album. Melody Nelson, released in 1971, stands as the masterpiece in the vast and diverse catalog of Serge Gainsbourg. Clocking in at under thirty minutes, the album has an organic flow and feel, ably abetted by the arrangements and orchestrations of Jean Claude Vannier. The fact that there’s a promo video for the entire album is an anomaly for the time, and something that only a man of Gainsbourg’s renown would have been able to execute. Though the album saw only mediocre sales, it’s influence has far outstripped such meager beginnings. A reissue on Light In The Attic Records, has similarly gone out of print.
Here’s an amazing treasure trove of pics, articles and ephemera related to Melody Nelson, from which many of these pics were taken
serge melody comic 1971serge melody comic 1971 b

serge melodyserge melody pink

jc vannier
The aforementioned Jean Claude Vannier, a respected composer/arranger in his own right, composed his masterpiece, L’Enfant Assasin Des Mouches, following his work on Melody Nelson, and features many of the same players. The album, originally released in an edition of only 100 (as a wedding gift, if memory serves me), was made more widely available in a reissue from Finders Keepers Records, which is currently out of print, but obviously highly recommended.

CD’s of these may still be available. Either way, check out both websites as they are fantastic labels, with lots of rarities that need to be heard.