giovedì, febbraio 05, 2009

Sloche (superb canadian jazz prog)

Ancora per voi 2 dischi che a mio avviso sono solo mezzo radino sotto allo essere spettacolari!non amo troppo i generi "puri" ma amo invece le fusioni tra diversi generi, e questo disco unisce un'anima hard progressive con l'improvvisazione jazz...spettacolare l'opener del primo disco!!!!

Che diavolo aspettate a sentirli???

Sloche - J'un Oeil (1975)

Sloche - J'un Oeil

Sloche apparently got its name from the dirty slush or sleet found on Quebec streets, these days Sloche is also a type of slushy ice drink similar to the 7-11 Slurpee sold at Couche-Tard, a Quebec convenience store (but of course I don't live in Quebec, or even Canada, so I can't say how Sloche compares to the Slurpee).
Sloche (the band), from Quebec, is regarded as one of the finest progressive rock bands to come out of Canada, and they have a point there. They formed in 1971, but no albums until 1975. J'un Oeil is their debut and perhaps one of the finest prog rock albums I have heard in a long time, certainly from Canada. They were a five piece band with two keyboardists, Réjean Yacoula and Martin Murray, plus guitarist Caroll Bérard, bassist Pierre Hébert, and drummer Gilles Chiasson. All credited to percussion and vocals. I dig both the froth and back cover, there's some silly stuff on it. For one thing, the "Sloche" logo itself looks silly, especially how they made the letter "S" look like a green swan. Then there's the back cover with various cut and paste pictures of various band members and their instruments. One of my favorites was Carroll Bérard, where they show him with his guitar and he has his both arms sorta stretched out and his hands waved out, and he's looking and grinning at his guitar like it was a prized possession. Then you have Pierre Hébert giving this weird solemn expression while playing his bass. The album consists of five cuts, with some fusion influences (especially the keyboards that tend heavily to electric pianos, Moogs, string synths and clavinets). They tend to have a sound of their own but there's the occasional cut that will bring to mind Yes or Gentle Giant. "C'Pas Fin du Monde" is such a wonderful opener. Starts off electronic with tons of synth, then the band starts kicking in with some truly wonderful keyboard work, and some funky clavinet. I love how this piece ends so different from how it started. "La Karême d'Eros" is basically a piece with three movements, the first part is played strictly by Réjean Yacoula, an all-piano piece with a strong jazz feel, but some classical influences. Next is a full band piece with some vocals in French, and I love that solo where Caroll Bérard plays his guitar, and then one of the keyboardist repeats on the Minimoog what Bérard did on his guitar. Then the third part starts off with some bizarre synth pieces and then the band gets more quirky. The title track is rather Yes-like, especially the vocal harmonies, imagine if Yes tended heavier to electric piano rather than Hammond organ and Mellotron, and they sung in French, this would be the answer. "Algébrique" finds the band in Gentle Giant territory, although all instrumental, it's as quirky as they come. The last piece is "Potage aux Herbes Douteuses", back to more of that great Sloche sound without reminding you of any particular band. This band certainly isn't as dramatic as say, Pollen (another excellent Quebec prog band worth looking in to), and doesn't have the folk influence of Harmonium, it's definately a must have in your collection!
This band really is deserving of more attention, it's already known by proggers in Quebec, so I am one of the few non-Quebecers (or even Canadians, as I live in America) to appreciate the greatness of Sloche. This album is truly a five star album, for one thing there isn't one bad spot on this album or any spot where the band goofed up and recorded something that should have been left. Oh yeah, and the band, to prove they were no slouches, went and gave a second (and final album) with Stadacone which delivered another winner (although a bit more difficult to get into than their debut). Sloche sure proves there is music from Quebec that is so much better and so much more interesting than that stomach-turning mush of Celine Dion, that's for sure!


Sloche - Stadacone 1976

Sloche - Stadacone

If you live in Quebec, you probably seen this disgusting TV ad advertising for Sloche (a slurpee-like ice slush drink) in which a doctor performs liposuction and you seem him inserting a tube in a patient's belly, and you expect the tube to be hooked to a machine, but instead you see a kid, sucking the fat, and the ad ends with "Liposuccion". I don't live in Quebec (or Canada, for that matter), but I did see this ad online. Turned out Sloche also made gummy candies as well with gruesome packaging (like gummy mice, spiders, scorpions, etc.).
Well, thirty years before, the name Sloche meant something else (not the ice drink and gummy candies sold at Couche-Tard, besides that convenience store did not exist in '76), it was the name of one of the great prog rock bands of Quebec (the name, apparently, French-Canadian for "slush", which if you live in Quebec, you should be totally familiar with every time winter sets in). Stadacone was the second and final album by this band. Drummer Gilles Chiasson had left, replaced by André Roberge, plus Gilles Ouellet on additional percussion, while still retaining the duo keyboards of Réjean Yacoula and Martin Murray, with guitarist Carrol Bérard and bassist Pierre Hébert. This album is more difficult to get into than their debut, but after a few listens, this album also proves that Sloche is simply one of Canada's all-time great prog rock bands! The album is mellower overall, having a stronger fusion feel, and having the band's most ambitious, complex material here. The title track shows the band doing extended jamming. But when you think it's just an extended jam, then comes a few changes, including a nice choral passage, and some experimental passages too. The next cut, "Le Cosmophile" goes through several changes, before the piece ends up sounding just like the German group Passport, complete with Klaus Doldinger-like sax (courtesy of Martin Murray), I find it hard to believe that Sloche hadn't heard their share of Passport, like Looking Thru, Cross-Collateral and perhaps Infinity Machine, which was their latest album when Sloche put out Stadacone. "Il Faut Sauver Barbara" shows the band exploring more complex prog, with some cool use of synths. "Ad Hoc" finds guitarist Carrol Bérard using a talk box, the kind that Joe Walsh and Peter Frampton made famous to allow their guitar to "talk". This piece still hardly resembles Frampton's "Do You Feel Like I Do", but the fusion-influenced prog you expect from these guys. "La 'Baloune' de Varenkurtel au Zythogala" is a nice, rather pleasant number, that leads up to "Isacaaron (Ou le Démon des Choses Sexuelles)" is by far the quirkiest and most complex piece Sloche had ever done. It's no doubt that Gentle Giant influenced these guys (as seemingly endless other Quebec bands like Maneige, Et. Cetera and Pollen). I have to say, get J'un Oeil without hesitation, simply because it's one of the finest Canadian prog albums I've ever heard, but if you want more, get this one.


1 commento:

Anonimo ha detto...

hello!thx 2 sloche great jazzrock music!!
Sithlord from Hungary

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