I’ve probably mentioned it once, twice, thirty-three times already, but one of my absolutefavouritealbumsofalltimeohyes is ‘Precis‘ by Benoit Pioulard. Benoit Pioulard (real name Thomas Meluch) has released two full-length records on the legendary Kranky label, as well as a decent handful of 7″s, eps and a collaboration with Praveen, called ‘Songs Spun Simla’.
I can’t emphasise enough how amazing his music is – and how utterly beautiful, heartbreaking and goosepimple-inducing 2006’s ‘Precis’ (his debut on Kranky) sounds. I go through Pioulard phases every few months where I immerse myself in his music for days, and each time I’m left astonished at how I still adore each song – perhaps even more than the first time I heard the album.
While ‘Precis’, and its follow-up, ‘Temper’, have fully-formed songs as their backbone, when Benoit/Thomas performs live he brings out the ambient side of his music. Out come the layers, the fuzz, the reverb, the static. The ‘songs’ become one long song, with music slowly undulating, gently going through shifts and changes. Like Windy and Carl or Stars of the Lid, he takes the idea of drone – and then deftly weaves melody and vocals through it.
Snatches of folk-tinged finger-picked songs can be heard throughout his live performances, but it’s like hearing it through a piece of ripped gauze.
Here are some recent interviews with Thomas Meluch: