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SLOCHE

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Canada


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Sloche biography
Founded in Quebec, Canada in 1971 - Disbanded in 1976 (?)

They got their names from the dirty snow amassed in the streets (sleet or slush) but in the Quebec form. SLOCHE is one of those incredible bands from Quebec progressive explosion of the mid-70's that sadly only managed two albums. They sound like a cross of MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA, a bit of GENTLE GIANT but mostly like their compatriot the incredible MANEIGE or the emotional OPUS-5. Both their albums are absolutely successful, the former being slightly more symphonic than the second being more fusion. The lyrics are sung in French but they are not to present and do not have too strong Quebec intonations (accent).

If you like the above-mentioned groups and are not afraid of a little adventure this is highly recommended. There are a few copies left at a well-known dealer on the web. Both albums have been released as CDs.

: : : Hugues Chantraine, BELGIUM : : :

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SLOCHE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.25 | 190 ratings
J'un oeil
1975
4.32 | 163 ratings
Stadaconé
1976

SLOCHE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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SLOCHE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Stadaconé by SLOCHE album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.32 | 163 ratings

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Stadaconé
Sloche Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

5 stars SLOCHE had done fairly well in its native Quebec with its unique blend of progressive rock and jazz-fusion on its debut album "J'un Oeil" which was released in 1975. The band enjoyed a lively tour and in the process found a new legion of dedicated fans who were still very much into the prog scene however the peak of prog had already waned and it the musical tides were turning but nevertheless SLOCHE continued on to crank out one more album before finally calling it a day due to financial hardships. Between the debut album and this sophomore release, drummer Gilles Chiasson had quit the band and was replaced by André Roberge and in addition the quintet became a sextet with the addition of Gilles Ouellet who played the celesta and additional percussion.

STADACONÉ which refers to an Iroquois village that once existed where Quebec City now lies came out in 1976 to critical acclaim. The band had already experienced radio airplay with the previous album and the more accessible sounds of STADACONÉ only guaranteed that this good fortune would continue. After a highly complex debut that intricately mixed up jazz, classical, progressive rock and electronica that developed multiple themes and zigzagged around erratically, STADACONÉ offered a more streamlined sound that kept the compositions more rooted in the Herbie Hancock style jazz-funk sounds present on the debut but on this album became the centerpiece. While the debut already was sparse in the vocal department, STADACONÉ tamped them down even further thus making it practically an instrumental affair although a few vocal parts do jet out of nowhere offering a wild contrast when least expected.

The opening title track sets the mood for the entire album with a catchy upbeat jazz-funk groove that never really leaves the main theme behind and unlike the debut's ability to drift off in unexpected directions. STADACONÉ in contrast to the debut focused on myriad variations on a unified theme. The result is a more uniform sounding album that offers more soloing and technical wizardry to jam around the central groove. The opening title track features adventurous guitar parts, varying keyboard parts as well as a few curve balls in the form of trippy space rock moments and Gentle Giant vocal harmonies that pop in and out from time to time. The following "Le Cosmophile" starts out rather like space rock but then whips itself back into jazz-funk mode with extraordinary keyboard wizardry bringing the early 1970s symphonic prog vibe into the mix however the Yes time signature frenzies of the debut have been abandoned. This track features some great vocal parts as well.

The most proggy track of the album comes smack dab in the middle with the shortest "Il Faut Sauver Barbara" which DOES feature some of those proggier-than-thou time signature freak outs plus some mighty fine keyboard sounds. The band mastered the art of note bending and sustain unlike many others of the day. The dexterous control of speed, dynamics, silence and chord progressions became even more prominent on STADACONÉ. "Ad Hoc" is the funkiest track with a "weeping" guitar sound along with a groovy funk bass and Canterbury-ish keyboard roll which had mostly been abandoned on this album as well. More guitar antics are let off the leash with soloing on par with some of the hard rock and early metal bands of the era. "La "Baloune" de Varenkurtel au Zythogala" is probably the most jazz sounding of the album existing somewhat in the Weather Report department but rocks more than that band ever did. The closing track "Isacaaron (ou Le démon des choses sexuelles)" is the longest track at 11 1/2 minutes and is the most like the material presented on the debut. In its wake it wends and winds all over the place brashly and boldly with time signature frenzies, stylistic shifts and EVERY musician gets to prance his technical prowess like a proud peacock.

Out of the two albums SLOCHE released, STADACONÉ is the one that's easiest to grasp with a single listening experience. It is far more focused and less scattered than "J'un Oeil" but for those who crave an even more adventurous fusion experience, the debut wins hands down. This second coming is no slouch though! Both albums excel in their own way. The fact that STADACONÉ is more focused allows the musicians to perform more sophisticatedly around the centralized jazz-funk groove. All the virtuosity present on the debut is in well abundance here if not more. While the debut focused more on unexpected developments, STADACONÉ is very much more about improvising over the main theme. By 1976 the prospects for progressive acts like SLOCHE making a living at their art become quite bleak as the shotguns of the punk and new wave era had already been heard and quickly brushing the world of prog aside. While it's a sad thing indeed considering how bloody talented this group was, we can only be grateful that SLOCHE released not one but two bonafide masterpieces in its short time and even more thankful that diligent revivalists such as ProgQuebec have remastered and rereleased these treasures that remained lost in time for many decades. SLOCHE is one of those best of the best and proudly sits on my favorite bands of all time list.

 J'un oeil by SLOCHE album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.25 | 190 ratings

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J'un oeil
Sloche Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

5 stars While Canada in general was a bit sluggish in the world of progressive rock during the 1970s (let's not talk about Rush!) along with its southern neighbor the USA, Quebec was without a doubt the most celebrated exception and single-handedly cranked out some of the highest calibre prog from the entire North American continent during that era. While not as successful as their European counterpoints, Quebcois prog nonetheless had its cult following and has become even more popular in the more recent years as the world discovers the long lost gems of the past. We can thank ProgQuebec for reviving many of these lost treasures.

Maneige, Et Cetera and Harmonium are well respected bands from this era but the band SLOCHE was perhaps the most unique and adventurous of them all. This band formed in Quebec City in 1971 by Pierre Bouchard who was a self-taught musician and whose parents were famous concert pianists. He was a self-taught musician who not only mastered his parents' classical roots but dug into their record collection filled with Frank Zappa, European prog and jazz. His vision of creating a unique mixture of all of the above led him to form the band SLOCHE which is a French term that roughly means "slush" but in recent years has also become a sugary frozen treat!

SLOCHE is also unique in the fact that of all the founding members: Pierre Bouchard (keyboards), Jacques Collin (bass), Fernand Paré (drums) and Marcel Périgny (guitar), not a single one of them would appear on SLOCHE's only two albums which would appear a few years down the road and this includes the absence of the founding member himself. Instead Bouchard seems to have handed over the project to the first future band member Réjean Yacola (piano, vocals) who would slowly add the new members until the lineup of the band's debut came to fruition. J'UN OEIL which emerged in 1975 would included Yacola with Caroll Bérard (guitar, vocals), Pierre Hébert (bass, vocals), Gilles Chiasson (drums) and Martin Murray (organ, synthesizer, saxophone, vocals).

While clearly in the jazz-fusion paradigm with a strong sense of Herbie Hancock styled funk fusion, SLOCHE was clearly one of those rare bands that excelled on many fronts. In other words the fusion was well beyond jazz as the members had a keen sense of Western classical music, jazz, progressive rock, Berlin School progressive electronic as well as excellent vocal harmonizing skills. Although the band released two albums before facing the harsh realities of declining sales for such adventurous music, much of the material on the two albums was written simultaneously with some finding its way onto this debut album while others shelved for the following "Stadaconé."

J'UN OEIL, French for "I Have An Eye" was met with enthusiasm by a small number of hardened prog fans but went over the heads of most due to the nature of the band's virtuosic skills that crafted compositions that were stuffed with multiple themes which meant the methodologies included intricate developments with abrupt changes of style that went down a completely different route with some finding resolution with a reprise of the original theme but oft completely derailing and becoming mini-suites in their own right. Skilled and thoughtful music taking the jazz-fusion musical style to a logical conclusion of sorts well beyond what the Mahavishnu Orchestra had conjured up.

Consisting of five tracks, J'UN OEIL is a marathon of exhilaration in all regards. Kept accessible primarily by funk-fueled jazz-fusion, the album meanders into myriad directions with the opening "C'pas fin du monde" alone featuring excellent group vocal interactions, outstanding guitar and bass jazz-fusion chops, Yes inspired prog rock time signature excellence and an intricate use of electronic effects for maximum contrast. "Le Lareme D'eros" follows with a lengthy classical piano recital which paves the way for the funky fusion feast to follow with the same dexterity and technical wizardry. In fact the entire album excels at these dynamic shifts and although primarily instrumental, the few vocal parts display a band that was every bit as talented as their anglo-counterparts such as Yes, Gentle Giant and ELP.

The title track which appears smack dab in the middle is perhaps the most "normal" track on board as well as the shortest. It features a rather Gentle Giant-is rhythmic and melodic display only steeped in fusion overtones and the most vocal track of all which like all of the Quebec scene finds the band singing in its native French language. This of all tracks makes me think of how fellow Quebecers Harmonium may have sounded had they engaged on a heavier rock trajectory. "Algebrique" displays the bands uncanny ability to craft an dark eerie mood with slow creeping guitar arpeggios and a minimoog before getting abstract for a brief moments and then breaking out some of the most progged out time signatures frenzies approaching the avant-prog workouts of Henry Cow only to reel things in a bit with some humorous almost Canterbury inspired vocal performances!

The closing "Potage Aux Herbes Douteuses" begins like a funkified Doobie Brothers sounding tune but slowly transmogrifies into a prog rock fusion beast! While i took an instant liking to SLOCHE, i have to say that it took me quite a few spins to digest the craftiness that lies beyond the accessibilities but once i cracked this nut i find SLOCHE to be one of the most creative bands of the entire 1970s prog scene much less Quebec. This band not only exhibited that joie de vie that Francophone regions of the world display but they also captured all of the best of what the English scene had cranked out while this band was undergoing its extreme makeovers. Given that all of the musicians on board earned impressive conservatory creds only guaranteed that their lofty visions were brought to fruition with creative compositional flow, outstanding technical wizardry and a perfect sense of balance. While many prefer one SLOCHE album to the other, personally i find them to be of equal caliber although J'UN OEIL took me a bit longer to more fully appreciate.

 J'un oeil by SLOCHE album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.25 | 190 ratings

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J'un oeil
Sloche Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Squire Jaco

4 stars No need for your hip-wading boots to get through this sloche...whatever that is. (I did read that "sloche" is a French-Canadian term for the icy slush that the Quebecois find in their streets during the winter, but I can neither confirm nor deny that.)

Sloche's debut album "J'un Oeil" from 1975 is just a FABULOUS example of what many refer to as progressive jazz fusion. The jazz part is not that hard to imagine, since the Quebec music scene has so many great jazz artists. But the rock drumming (Jon Hiseman-ish?), synthesizers and complex piano (lots of piano) put this squarely in the progressive genre. At their jazziest, they resemble Mahavishnu Orchestra; at their proggiest, they sound like Gentle Giant (especially when they get that funky GG vibe going).

I love this album, as well as the 1976 follow-up "Stadaconé" (which was a bit jazzier). The music is just so interesting and fresh sounding, despite the references to other bands. This is mostly instrumental music, though all five band member supply vocals in French. For brief intervals, the vocals can even get a little zany or Zappa-esqe - easy to handle, given all the other great stuff going on in their music.

Unfortunately, this little gem is only 37:34 long, and loses a half-star for me right out of the blocks. But this is a great find; indeed I'm loving almost everything I've found from the province of Quebec. Start here and slog forward through other bands like Pollen, Opus 5, Et Cetera and Maneige. 4-1/2 stars

 Stadaconé by SLOCHE album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.32 | 163 ratings

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Stadaconé
Sloche Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by nivon

4 stars Very good prog-jazz music.

The music is complex yet very accessible, and there are many interesting and beautiful hooks to enjoy. Plenty of groovy solos, and almost all the album is instrumental (with some french decorations here and there).

Many times it reminds of Gentle Giant and similar progressive rock bands from the 70's, and it's very heavy with keyboards. The bass is very crispy, well played, and has many complex parts that combines perfectly with the rest of the band.

There are some funny and unique parts, served with a wink, just to return to that good jazz lines.

I'll recommend this album to every prog lover, especially to those into jazz/fusion.

 Stadaconé by SLOCHE album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.32 | 163 ratings

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Stadaconé
Sloche Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Walkscore

3 stars Sloche continued in a similar mode as their first album for this, their second and unfortunately, last, album. This one is slightly more complex and polished than the first, showing they had fine-tuned their chops, but otherwise represents little change in style. The first track starts off the album in clear jazz-fusion mode, with some good solos, but it also contains a few sections with silly singing (at one point they are singing something like "diggy-diggy dog dop"!). The second track "Le Cosmophile" also contains vocals, which appear close to the start of the song, before the sax solo kicks in. There are also some choir-vocals ('ahh ahh') on the fifth track. So, note that while other reviewers have characterized this album as completely instrumental, with vocals on three of the tunes this is not correct. But the vocals are, like on the first album, only appearing for short spurts, so I can see why someone might not remember them after only one listen. I am not as keen on "Le Cosmophile", nor the silly singing on the first track. But the remaining tracks are better. "Ill Faut Sauver Barbara" shifts between slow moody Rhodes piano themes, and Zappa-inspired complexities. "Ad Hoc" combines 70s minor funk with some nice guitar lines. The fifth track ("La "Baloune" de Vernkurtel Aug Zythogala") comes closest to the weather-report-like jazz fusion, but has a few interesting twists. The last track, "Isacaaron", at over 11 minutes is the longest track on the album, and indeed the longest in the band's discography. While the shifting between many themes on this last track fragments the composition, many of these themes are, like much of the rest of the album, still quite musical. After years of putting this on, I rarely want to listen to it all the way through, mainly due to the issues with the first two tracks, and the fifth track is not quite as musical. But the highlights here are quite good. I give this album 7.6 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to 3 PA stars.
 J'un oeil by SLOCHE album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.25 | 190 ratings

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J'un oeil
Sloche Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Walkscore

4 stars Inventive and Diverse

A number of great progressive bands came out of the francophone scene in 1970s Canada, often with names that evoked the wonders of interacting with our natural environment, for example 'Maneige' (my snow), 'Cano' (which sounds like canoe in French), 'Garolou' (which sort of translates as wolf guys), and here 'Sloche' (ie Slush in English ' the melting snow and ice often mixed with dirt we have to walk through every winter). Sloche only released two albums, and unlike the other bands I just mentioned, has a progressive fusion orientation. But I would not really characterize them as playing jazz fusion, especially on this album. Indeed, this is pretty diverse music, shifting among quiet piano parts and RPI baroque-ish segments, through synth-laden Tangerine electronica, Zappa-like RIO interludes, 70s funk, Canterbury-esque keyboard solos, bluesy electric guitar solos, Gentle Giant-like quirky parts, and ELP-like organ themes, all wrapped within an easily identifiable 70s francoprog sound. This album, their first, is also the more rock-oriented of the two, with vocals on every track (although the vocals are pretty sparse, and on the last track are only in the form of background choir). After multiple listens, I prefer this first album to their second album 'Stadacon', as I think it is more musical and fits together better than that album (I will post my review of that in a second). Every track here on the first album is great, musical, and completely distinct. I still enjoy listening to this album all the way through after years of listens. The first track 'C'Pas Fin Du Monde' (in English 'It is not the end of the world') starts off the album in a great way with some compelling synth-washes before introducing the main themes of the album and the vocals. The second and longest track, 'Le Kar'me D'Eros', begins with three minutes of excellent unaccompanied acoustic piano that is very nice. I also like the looser guitar and organ solos in the middle of this track. The third track, 'J'Un Oeil' ('I'm an Eye' in English), is a short and more typical francoprog rock tune, but quite musical. The fourth track 'Alg'brique', moves between quiet and thoughtful introspective jazzy sections, complex Zappa-like interludes, and quirky 70s funk with a silly 'strudel ping' vocal. I really like the second half of this piece ' reminds me of Roxy-era Zappa. The last track 'Potage aux herbes douteuses' wraps up the album very well, with both some faster odd-signature playing and a nice choir vocal. This is one of the often-overlooked gems of the 70s Quebec scene, and one I still listen to often. I give this 8.3 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to 4 PA stars.

 Stadaconé by SLOCHE album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.32 | 163 ratings

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Stadaconé
Sloche Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Kingsnake

5 stars This is really essential stuff.

Not only for fusion-lovers, but also for Canterbury-scene-enthousiast, because the music reminds me a bit of Caravan and Soft Machine but also Kraan and Gentle Giant.

There's not much guitar (except on Ad Hoc, wich is mostly a rock-song), but loads of keyboards (hammond, clavinet, rhodes), drums/percussion, bass and saxophone.

The music is mostly instrumental and has lots of rhythmic chances but it all flows so naturally, that it's disturbing. The songwriting and musicianship is impeccable.

A real must-have for lovers of Canterbury, jazz/fusion, instrumental sympho/progrock and light psychedelica. The Québec-progscene really delivered some of the greatest bands in the 70's (Sloche, Maneige, Harmonium). Great stuff and they can hold their own in comparison to the Krautrock and Canterbury-scenes.

 J'un oeil by SLOCHE album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.25 | 190 ratings

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J'un oeil
Sloche Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by maryes

4 stars If you like songs which reserves in anytime the bigger surprises, certainly you will feel a great pleasure when you hear this album, still more if you are fan from GENTLE GIANT, YES, CAMEL, RETURN TO FOREVER or some other jazz-rock bands ! I lament the very few number of reviews (only 14 for an 1975) album and slightly disagree from my friends of P A community which concede a superior quotation to their next album "Stadacon'" ( I think this one be fairly superior). The best tracks in the album are Track 3 "J'un Oeil" wiht a clearly introduction in GG style and the lyrics part very similar to OCTOBRE (mainly in the album "Survivance", of the same year), Track 4 "Algebrique" and their initial sequence in YES "vein" ( a "Heart of Sunrise" citation ) the very frenetic middle theme and the "cranky" final part and Track 5 "Potage Aux Herbes Douteuses' mixing GG, YES and their symphonic final with fantastic vocals ! The other 2 initial tracks also are good tracks ! My rate is 4 stars !!!
 J'un oeil by SLOCHE album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.25 | 190 ratings

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J'un oeil
Sloche Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Sloche were a jazz rock fusion band out of Quebec in the seventies and they released only two albums. This one, "J'un Oeil" (I, an eye) was their first and features a band that makes excellent use of their rock side to deliver some very exciting music steeped in a strong concoction of jazz.

The album opens with spacy effects and space music, nothing like what the rest of the album is going to be like. Some semblance of a tune emerges at about 1:20 and by 1:35 we get some pretty groovy music going with wah-wah guitar, bass, drums, and keyboard. This is more like what the album is going to be like: a cross between jazz rock fusion that skirts the edges of symphonic prog here and there. All the tracks include vocals yet three of them are vocals only without lyrics.

Now sit back and listen to this band move and groove with organ and synthesizer solos, guitar solos, and some very lively and deliciously cooking music. Of the five tracks, four of them are longer than six minutes, the longest being "Le Kareme D'eros" at 10:56, and each of them go from section to section without coming back to repeat anything. Only the title track seems close to a normal song with lyrics that have almost as much relevance as the music. "Le Kareme D'eros" also includes a part with lyrics but it's mostly instrumental with the first 3:40 devoted to a classical piano composition.

While there is much for me to be excited about with this album, the track that has won me over completely is "Algebrique". The beginning is innocent enough with two electric guitars playing slowly like a ballad while some synthesizer adds a few trippy notes. An organ comes in with some weirdo notes and then suddenly the band jumps on with a very original-sounding meter. How can I describe it without a degree musical theory? The vocal part is next and a bit weird as they sing, "Schtoo-doop, ding! Schtoo-doop, di-a-wing!" No matter the music from here on in goes into something that I can only say must have inspired bands like Wobbler and Seven Impale. There's sax and this rock out part with guitar. And all that comes down to the awesome break with drums as the main feature and I tell you, the sound of these drums is so well captured. These days I don't hear anyone recording drums like this and it's like my head is inside the tom toms. I listen to this track several times a week lately and the highlight is always this drum part. And then things get heavier and the Wobbler similarities increase. Brilliant piece of work this one is to me!

But the whole album is really quite an exciting and vigorous collection of music. I am definitely going to track down their other album. A very highly recommended jazz rock fusion album if you prefer the rock side to have a firm presence.

 Stadaconé by SLOCHE album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.32 | 163 ratings

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Stadaconé
Sloche Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by HoldsworthIsGod

5 stars In general, this album is like a more listenable Mr Bungle album that was released 15 years too early, and by Canadians, no less. Sloche leaves the Yes-influenced tracks from the previous album by the wayside, in favor for what I would call bipolar Dadaist jazz funk. On tracks like "Il Faut Sauver Barbara", the band coasts effortlessly from every idiom of Prog possible: an intro that has the harmonic sensibilities of a Canterbury scene artist like Gilgamesh, Pink Floyd-esque phase-shifted and Leslie guitars, and sonic hijacking a la Frank Zappa or King Crimson. Songs like the title track or "Ad Hoc" show that the band can groove like there's no tomorrow. All in all, I can't really find a weak track, except for "Le Cosmophile" possibly. There aren't many bad things I can say about this album at all. A band with TWO keyboardist deserves a five-star rating
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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