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Sloche - Stadaconé CD (album) cover

STADACONÉ

Sloche

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.26 | 91 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Second and last release by Québécois quintet Sloceh, Stadaconé signlalled the culmination of a great jazz-related progressive rock career that ended too soon (like so many other cases... fellow Québécois act Et Cetera even released only one album). Stadaconé in many ways follows in the vein of the debut effort J'un Oeil, only this time Sloche chooses to prioritize its jazzy side more noticeably. Influences from return to Forever and Weather Report leave their patent marks in the way that the fivesome channel their compositions through their exquisite performative dynamics and agile arrangements. The melodic ideas are not usually tha tcomplex, but the band's inherent drive to bring colorfulness and muscle to their performances allow the guys to take full advantage of the material's potential. The sonic amalgam tends to be stronger in comparison, but by no means Sloche stops inserting delicious passages on the softer side of things. The rhythm duo reminds me a lot of the Shulman-Weathers scheme that had meant so much for the enhancement of the best GG songs. The long opening instrumental (it lasts 10 minutes) bears a clear hint at the line of work preferentially pursued in the entire album: developments of well-ordained jams, candid melodic bases, evident yet constrained complexity in the various guitar and keyboard solos. One weird moment is the brief passage of orga nand chorale that emulates a Gregorian chant: there is an edge of refined satyre in there, but it is pretty much controlled... don't expect a Zappa extravaganza. The next three tracks continuously reinstate the jazz-oriented drive, which by now has to be quite familiar to the listener. There are especially accentuated funky puntuations in the rhythmic sturcture of 'Ad Hoc'. Track no. 5, entitled 'La 'Baloune' de Varenkurtel au Zythogala', travels trhough serene trends, even solemn. The melodic framework is sweet and evocative, providing a powerful connection with the eerie side of the Canterbury tradition (Gilgamesh, mostly), as well as Happy the Man. The closing track has to be described as a tremendous 11 minute prog apotheosis. It is indeed the most pompous piece in the album, and I am tempted to state that it is Sloche's most accomplished compositional effort. The use of Gentle Giant-ish counterpoints and some Bardens-meets-Watkins powerful keyboard orchestrations assure the presence of a tight lyricism all through the jams. In some passages, I can also notice some relatedness with the peculiar majesty that Yes delivered in their Relayer days. All in all, despite the symphonic tendencies alluded in these specific words, Sloche basically remains loyal to the album's integral prog-jazz direction. In conclusion, Stadaconé is an album full of colors and warmth, created with inventiveness and performed with total finesse, enjoyable all the way. Sloche is a mandatory name in any good prog collection.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |

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