Album: Kham Meslien – Fantômes… Futurs

Photo by Michel Delage.

From the mind of band leader and double bass player, Kham Meslien comes his first solo album, Fantômes…Futurs is a stunning display of his talent both on the string instrument and as a musician. In the same vein as Petter Eldh, Sélène Saint-Aimé, and Rosa Brunello, Meslien proves what underground fans have known forever: the double bass is cool as hell.

Fantômes…Futurs begins with “Ta confiance,” the start of which almost sounds as if Meslien is warming up, unsure where he’s about to go with the record. As the track continues, it’s clear that, although much of his riffs are improvised, Meslien has clear vision as an artist. About two minutes into the song, the tempo picks up with percussion, and the back and forth from full instrumentation to only double bass continues throughout the rest of the album.

His work has a healthy balance of longer and shorter tracks, a couple of which are accompanied by videos that give us visuals of Meslien’s world and the message he’s trying to communicate to us, one of sadness and yearning as he searches for hope, moments of which he finds in tracks like “Kar kar kar.”

Fantômes…Futurs’s true lyrics come from Meslien’s improvisations, but we are gifted spoken word on “La couleur” thanks to lauded poet Anthony Joseph. Tracks like “F comme” add further intrigue to the whole of Fantômes, taking us to different enclaves in Meslien’s stylistic mind.

Though he’s clearly a true artist, Meslien’s deepest talent lies in his fingers when they touch the double bass, and that’s especially evident in tracks like “Le saule pleureur.” Meslien is unparalleled on the instrument and Fantômes…Futurs is proof.

Acacia Deadrick

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