Benoĭt Piouland - Précis [Kranky Records - 2006]Précis mixes folk rock with electroincia and pop elements to varying effect- some tracks seem to click and run just fine, others seem to muddled and strained. Sadly the problem is Benoĭt Piouland often doesn’t know where to stop with adding of sounds, leavening a few tracks sounding frankly messy and overbearing.
The album starts up with the building wall of guitar strum cum string harmonic loop and building drone of LaGuerre De Sept Ans, which almost feels like it’s going to explode as more depth is added. Then we move on to the first vocal track Togeather & down which mixes this sand like brushing sound, vibe like tones and guitar strum, With Benoĭt bellow from an echo chamber sounding like a more psychedelic Badly Drawn Boy. The album alternates between more instrumental / sound scape tracks and the often overcrowded vocal tracks, which strangle all seem to have his vocal echoed in a really strange manner- it’s like he just above the music and off to the side, it’s difficult to explain but sadly pretty much every track he uses this effect on, which does become a little tiring.
This been Piouland first album I think I’ll give him the benefit of the doubut and hope next time round he’ll think a bit more about sound design, a passable debut with some promise for the future.Roger Batty