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Contrevent - Terre De Feu CD (album) cover

TERRE DE FEU

Contrevent

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.12 | 6 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

By the time of release of the present Terre De Feu album in 1993, Contrevent was a very different group, with only guitarist Marc Vallée remaining from the original album, but all of the original instruments are still present, but having found new players. Gone are the Paradis brothers, but Blouin and Martel sounding like they're brothers as well. With Longsworth replacing Gagnon on cello and Bouliane taking over the vibes from Beausoleil, but also the keyboard duties from Vallée, you'd imagine the Contrevent soundscapes are respected and somewhat safe. Coming with a fascinating Fire-like brown background over the group's black silhouettes, the general Contrevent aesthetics are somewhat respected despite very different production techniques, probably because this was their first CD release (I'm extrapolating here).

The 62.5 MPH Kilometre Heure is an excellent intro to TdF (their final album), but the surprise comes from the sound level (much louder), but also the drum and keyboard choice and sound. The title track features the Bouliane's vibraphone, but Martel's fretless bass is a perfect sidekick. Most of the remaining tracks are in the same general spirit and musical mould, but the album's overall feel is much rockier than their previous two albums' gentle jazz-fusion. Indeed, Vallée's electric guitar solo on Nutella is infinitely more Fripp-ian and metallic, but well-accompanied by the band's dark setting. Victims is a somewhat Ponty-ish, and not just because of Longsworth's violin. Only a couple tracks like Le Miroir are somewhat reminiscent of the old Contrevent, in part due to Vallée's finger-picking his acoustic guitar and the vibraphone's almost Rhodes-ian feel. You'll find another somewhat Crimsonian moment in the darker depth of Smog, and in some ways, one can think of their countrymen Pangée's only album Hymnemonde, which in itself is quite a reference.

If Contrevent's previous two albums could've sonically found some place in the ECM catalogue, this would be a tad more difficult for their last Terre De Feu album, because it's ironically somewhat more synthetic (in the 80's way), than their two 80's releases. And despite this big production and sonic difference, you can safely invest into TDF, if you've liked their first two albums.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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