Monday, 17 October 2016

Sloche - J'un Oiel (1975)



Fantastic canadian band whose sole 2 albums are classic Gentle Giant styled music with just as much  exemplary musicianhip. This is their first album.

Together with Maneige and Et Cetera, Sloche is part of the Quebecois Holy Trinity of 70s Prog. Their debut album is an outstanding musical work that fairly deserves all the good rap that it usually gets in the Internet. Definitely, Sloche is one of those many unsung prog heroes that most prog collectors only got to know through CD technology and WWW merchandising. Their music tends to be a bit more bombastic that their aforementioned fellows, while keeping a similar fusion-oriented vein as Maneige; meanwhile, the dual keyboard layers provide a symphonic feel every now and then. The fusion facet is clearly influenced by Return to Forever and Weather Report, albeit less pompous than the former and a more uplifting than the latter. I observe some Kerry Minnear and George Duke influences on both keyboardists, but generally speaking, it must be stated that Sloche never gets derivative. The optimistic spirit that is generally spread all throughout "J'un Oeil" allows the complex compositions receive a certain air of catchiness, and also gives a frontal freshness to the musicians' intricate interplaying - structural sophistication and warmth, all at once. 'C'pas fin du Monde' kicks off the album as a proper sample of the band's style, displaying an attractive intensity and a healthy variety of moods expanded along the succession of different motifs. Things get more solemn in 'Le Karême d'Eros', which starts with a 3 ½ minute majestic piano solo, until a brief chorale enters along with the whole instrumental ensemble; the sung parts are accompanied by a series of voices of people partying, acting as a funnily disturbing chorus, and so the solemnity is over. But not the seriousness, as the alternate solos on synth and guitar show: things can only get better with a piece like this, specially when the string synth layers go fading out while a spatial Moog effect drags in to announce the entry of the funk-jazz closing section. Brilliant! The title track is the shortest and catchiest one, keeping things uplifting and a bit gentler. and gigantic as well, since it is the most Gentle Giant-like piece in the album. The same gentleness is carried out by the last two numbers, albeit they're a bit more complex: 'Algébrique' and 'Potage aux herbes douteuses' contain the biggest dose of funky colours in the album, but always keeping a constant loyalty to the overall fusion-prog essence of the album. In conclusion: a masterpiece. Review from Progarchives.com


Songs / Tracks Listing

1. C'Pas La Fin Du Monde (8:45) 
2. Le Karême D'Eros (10:40) 
3. J'Un Oeil (4:41) 
4. Algébrique (6:23) 
5. Potage Aux Herbes Douteuses (7:05) 


Line-up / Musicians

- Caroll Bérard / acoustic & electric guitars, percussions, vocals
- Réjean Yacola / piano, Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzer, clavinet, celesta, Mini-Moog, percussions, vocals
- Martin Murray / Hammond B3, Mini-Moog, Wurlitzer, Solina, saxophone, percussions, vocals
- Pierre Hébert / bass, percussions, vocals
- Gilles Chiasson / drums, percussions, vocals 
Total Time: 37:34


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