Meloduim (the nom de guerre of one Laurent Girard of Nantes, French) seems to know a thing or two about a thing or two when it comes to making experimental music. As well as choosing really long song titles, Girard effectuates his ability to throw down some basic pop from the indie-electronic genre as well as some IDM adjacent to a variety of classical and pop soupcons on tracks such as “Gamm-Recompse” that flourishes with a minimal choral arrangement. La Tete Qui Flotte also happens to model Girard’s endowment of skills on an ample rage of instruments that may seem a little obscure to experimental electronic music, such as melodicas and balafons, just to name a few. As near similar artists such as µ-Ziq can churn out tracks like it’s a bodily function, La Tete Qui Flotte took Girard a year and a half to complete.
“Hello Music” officiates as a befitting commencement to the album with a snap, crackle and pop beat, accompanied by an Astor Piazolla accordion riff that is the cherry on top of a sundae of tranquil acoustic guitar melodies and what sounds like a mini Playskool toy-xylophone. The techno ballad “La Creux Est Ma Matiere Premiere” has some deep, intellectual jargon similar to a Spalding Gray lecture, before some celestial crooning and the echoing tribal beats of a djembe drum.
If the Teletubbies were always on drugs (who’s to say that they aren’t) and they were just a tad bit more twisted, then they would definitely be singing and prancing along to songs like “Les Psychotropes Sont Mes Amis, Puis Mes Ennemis” which is evocative of an album recorded in the backseat of a car speedily driven by Stereo Total on a bumpy road. “Se Rayer Provisoirement De La Liste Des Vivants” is like a cool breeze with some chunky laptop flare held together by bits of static and the noise that a vacuum cleaner makes when it is clinging to its last thread of life. On “La Chanson De Lais-Salome” Girard even manages to throw in the goo-goo gaa-gaa baby talk of his toddler niece.
Le Tete Qui Flotte explores the realm of outer space on “Kill Me with a Smile” that has the alien-funk breakbeats similar to a DJ Icey mixtape, a folky strum and a digitally scrambled vocal chorus in which either Girard is sputtering out subliminal messages or I just can’t understand what the fuck he is saying. If the Postal Service were actually just a bunch of Martians, they would be putting out songs like “La Fin De Tout.” It also contains an added cha-cha strut courtesy of some flamenco guitar.
Now let’s talk IDM. “Emptykuerten” is courteous mix of some Miami booty bass and the whizzing electronic madness of Aphex Twin with a supplementary helping of a pussy-cat purr. Squarepusher devotees will indulge in the blips of “L’attachment Aux Symptomes” as it goes nowhere but feels like it’s already somewhere.
Melodium cruises into his classical side with “Interlude Pour Depressifs” that has a repetitious yet hollow beat amidst a dismal piano serenade. “Marcher a L’envers Dans Nantes-Atlantique” has some doleful violin playing and a metronome-type beat resembling the sound of an old Yamaha keyboard that runs on D batteries. The most impressive cut is “Greg Davis > Craig David” (named after the guy who mastered Melodium’s previous effort, Anaemia) with some bossa nova string arrangements on a harp with a samba beat and a Celtic tin whistle. Be sure to check out the tin whistle again in “La Vie Est Plus Belle Depuis” along with an added harmonica and a bit of hoedown harmonica.
This album may only to serve with those who have a specific acquired taste in music. But those who may not have acquired that taste as of yet should be sure to give it a listen, anyway. You just may be invigorated by a very unique style composed by a mixture of familiar yet alien sounds.
Air – 10,000 Hz Legend
Stereolab – Emperor Tomato Ketchup
Plaid – Not For Threes