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Melodium - The Island

  by Maarten Schiethart

published: 21 / 4 / 2012

Melodium - The Island
Label: Audio Dregs
Format: CD


Wonderfully evocative latest album recorded in his parents' isolated Bordeaux holiday home from Melodium, the project of French musician and composer Laurent Girard

Inspired by the television series 'Lost', Laurent Girard stayed at the Isle of Oléron, some 100 kilometres north of Bordeaux and recorded 'The Island' in the isolation of his parents' holiday home. It includes subtle use of field, or rather beach, recordings, his keyboards plus guitar and his warm and quiet voice. Melodium is a studio musician only and all of his music is performed and produced with the greatest care. In spite of the very earliest support in 1999 from John Peel for his debut single on Static Caravan, Melodium kept a modest profile. With much greater elaboration across each album, 'The Island' joins together three red threads; isolated melodies, insular introspection and idyllic epics. It is very much the dreamscape storytelling music that in German goes by the snappy term 'Kopfkino'. It is headfilm music for headphone people unless you live in an extremely quiet place and can let these calming sounds melt with the natural background sounds. A desert island disc indeed, the album portrays a great sense of longing and builds a wonderful set of modern compositions. Melodium's vocals initially set out softly, almost like whispers and in the course of the album become firmer, with a charming, slight lisp you'd sooner link to a Flemish or Dutch than to a French singer. The track 'Gaisma' brings a new aspect to the music of Melodium, modern chamber music and is set in contrast to the gentle disturbance of an electronic beat. And set against the next track 'The Pseudo Friends' with its acoustic percussion, you have the full spectrum of music made from the very basics. The deep groove from the cello and violin in the closing 'Sine Ictu' leads into an organ which brings the album to a fitting end. Someone please get Melodium the keys to a big church with a grand organ. His sense of composition deserves not just a larger audience but a larger studio as well. 'The Island' collects folktronica, Summer holiday 'carols' - no beach campfire noodlings - and surprising sidesteps of sound. It works on shuffle and repeat play, but is best heard from start to finish.

Track Listing:-
1 Lacrymae
2 The Dark Home
3 Supervacuum
4 The Feeble Light
5 In Deserto
6 The Little Robot
7 Balanci
8 The Outside
9 Gaisma
10 The Pseudo Friends
11 Sine Ictu

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