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Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Contrevent Youkali album cover
3.05 | 3 ratings | 1 reviews | 33% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1989

Songs / Tracks Listing

1- Mallorca
2- Mémoires de Perles
3- Trapezoide
4- Café Noir
5- Le Bois De La Cambre
6- Youkali
7- Une main Qui Se Pose

Line-up / Musicians

Marc Vallée / guitars, synth, piano
François Beausoleil / Vibes, Kat, Perc
Russell Gagnon / cello
Gerard Paradis / bass, contrabass
Charles Paradis / drums

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CONTREVENT Youkali ratings distribution

(3 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(33%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(0%)
Good, but non-essential (33%)
Collectors/fans only (33%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

CONTREVENT Youkali reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!

Second offering from this quintet, released in 89, still led by main composer and guitarist Marc Vallée, but well-assisted by Beausoleil's vibraphone and Gagnon's violin and cello playing. The Paradis brother made up the bass & drums rhythm section. Graced with a proggy artwork, the album sports seven instrumental tracks, fairly close to what they'd done in their first album, which dated from four years before.

What's actually refreshing for the era was that Contrevent never fell in the ugly musical trappings of the industry, not playing with sampled beats and ugly digital crappy synths as they presented a fairly acoustic sound, if you'll except some electronic drums in Memoire De Perles. Vibraphones were actually quite popular in Quebec as Maneige had featured them, then later L'Orchestre Sympathique, and of course Uzeb, and in Contrevent, they were also one of the main ingredients, sometimes filling the role of keyboards. I spoke of instrumental JR/F, but actually there are some wordless female chants in Trapezoide, but that's about it in the album. Don't expect much energy in Youkali, but it's very European in spirit. They probably spent some time in Belgium apparently since one of the tracks is named Bois De La Cambre (where yours truly lives right next to), an acoustic guitar piece stuck somewhere between Django Reinhardt and Jacques Stotzem's respective styles. The title track offer a bit more energy than on the rest of the other track, but nothing to bang your head to, while the closing Une Main is the other highlight of the album.

Nothing really essential, but then again for the later 80's, it was remarkable enough that anything sounding like this actually managed to find its way into release. Actually, in some ways, you could've found Contrevent's Youkali light jazz-fusion being released on an ECM album of the era and it would've gone through like a letter through the post. Hopefully someday ProgQuebec will worry about this group, lost in an ocean of emptiness, with only Miriodor's faraway presence to mask the era's void in La Belle Province.

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