2 x 10" Boxset: LVN [2004]

Messe Solennelle
Marche Funèbre


Les Joyaux de la Princesse's name evokes staggering scrambles for ebay sales well in the realms of hundreds of dollars. Not just music, there is aesthetic fundamentals in concept and in artwork and ultimate presentation that draws such undying allegiance.

"In Memoriam" is no less a package to love, the artist's first full length work since the duet of Absinthe. Yet despite the clamour for those who now see investment in the purchase of LJDLP, the music is far removed from the corrupting reach of capitalism and "In Memoriam" is a work of shimmering brilliance. In keeping with the previous themes of LJDLP, heavenly classical grandeur coils itself about French language, in this case radio commentary by Philippe Henriot, Secretary of State Information/Propaganda during WWII.

The first track is a solemn exposition of stringed emotions lulling one another with austere ephemeran until the oration of P.H. warbles aged remembrance of static-laced radio listened to in dark days, bequeathing the underlying score a stature more might than blight, that is until P.H. voice fades away into the cascading blush of the ambiguous. 'Marche Funèbre' continues saddened strains but curdling the surface of the organs, flutes and other instruments is the resolve of timpani marching a grim meter in step with a niggling chaos of other symphony. Horns signal an end to the march and the music subsumes into morbid accompaniment.

The picture disc, with both tracks untitled, side one is more mutable than the first disc delving into vocal old-time radio samples, scoriaceous metal underpins this, gently like a lullaby. LJDLP ominously preludes the evocative sampled speech and responding crowd furor, stepping booted feet as rhythm to the rigourous discourse that is soon accompanied by other distorted speech, all sweeping the track to a penultimate finish. The last track, and longest, is also the poorest of quality, the samples flanging sprays of bleating noise due to the age of the samples that lends an antiquated air to the whole release.

Purists will find a wealth of printed, visual and aural imagery to scrutinise, while Sensualists can be buoyed on what is another flotilla of LJDLP excellence. The only flaw would be the sound quality on the picture disc, of a much lower grade than the 10" grey vinyl.

The packaging is in a double vinyl 10" box similar to "Absinthe" as released by Athanor. Matte black with silver inlay and interior wallpaper. Two reproduced printed leaflets are within, a four page Editoriaux by Philippe Henriot (No. 15 Dernier Editorial, Le 27 Juin 1944) and a bulky A5 booklet of some 18 pages folded of C'est la France Qu'il S'agit De Sauver by Henriot (Discours Prononce a Lille, Le 29 Janvier 1944). Three postcards accompany the printed material, two of which are normal size featuring Henriot deceased for viewing and a snapshot of his gravestone. The other is double sided, a shot of wreaths laid and ceremonial honour of Henriot. All postcards are stamped with the box's wallpaper on the reverse. The first 12" vinyl is grey, of excellent heavy quality, and the other is a picture disc of Henriot in life and on the reverse in death. As a limited edition of 350 copies purchase of this product is best done via subscription.



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