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Maneige - Ni Vent... Ni Nouvelle CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.05 | 142 ratings

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3 stars Well, better late than never for Maneige, as far as I'm concerned. The great thing I like about Quebecois prog is many original LPs from many acts are not going for ridiculous prices the way Italian prog goes for. So I can get a nice little collection and not have it break my bank account, even if I do live in the States and usually have to pay extra for S&H to get them shipped from Canada. At least I got my first Maneige LP from a dealer in South Dakota (via Discogs), of all places. Maneige LPs, for the most part are pretty inexpensive (unless you want to seek out the "removed from the market as fast it was released" original cover of Libre Service, the one with the cartoonish gas pumps billowing smoke). Ni Vent... Ni Nouvelle was their first album on Polydor, after two albums from 1975 on Harvest. Apparently the group had a lineup change so it also affected the change in the band's sound. The group now focused on shorter songs, but a lot of them are segued anyways. Aeon Music (defunct prog rock mail order catalog, now an eBay seller) described it as "Good progressive fusion that reminds of Gentle Giant at times". Given the highly percussive nature of the music, I can see where that catalog was coming from (and it's not likely a coincidence given GG's popularity in Quebec). The band moved away from the chamber approach of their first two albums for a more jazz rock/prog approach, with more emphasis on drums and electric instruments, including electric piano. There is a bit of quirkiness where the Gentle Giant comparison comes in, and more melodic moments to gets one thinking of the Catalan band Gotic and their 1978 album Escenes (but it's unlikely Gotic heard of Maneige, given how Quebecois prog bands were usually not known outside of Quebec, even the rest of Canada, never mind in a place like Spain). There's perhaps a bit of a reminder of Sloche as well, that probably wasn't as much of a coincidence, as that band was also from Quebec, and already released both their albums before 1977. There's also a bit of a reminder of Zappa's instrumental stuff (when the xylophones dominate) or even Pierre Moerlen's Gong (because they too had a heavily percussive approach). I do believe the album is a bit overrated, as there's a few insipid moments I could do without. Still, it's worth having, but didn't quite set my world on fire.
Progfan97402 | 3/5 |


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