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Sean Trane View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Maneige and Conventum released by ProgQue
    Posted: May 17 2006 at 11:35
Great little label ProgQuebec is re-issuing some real gems this month
 
 
Everyone (or a lot of progheads) know of Maneige, and both Ni Vent Ni Nouvelle and Libre Service are truely superb. These two albums had received a previous release on the small and defunct Kozak label, but there are live bonus tracks coming from the live album Composite (probably means that this album will not get a re-issue, though)
 
Those not familiar, please check out my reviews to those albumsWink
 
 
More confidential but just as essential are the two albums Conventum released  in the late 70's. These guys were an impressive cross between chamber music and prog folk.  Both A L'Affût D'Un Complot and Le Bureau Central Des Utopies are absolute must if you love pre-classical music and Gryphon or Anthony Phillips. Both albums come with many bonus tracks , but if you had the previous Kozak
 
Entered two weeks ago in the Archives with the help of Proglucky (thanks RonWink) , I have reviewed the albums this week
 
 

CONVENTUM — À l'affût d'un Complot

Review by Sean Trane (Hugues Chantraine)
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog-Folk Specialist

4 stars While this debut album was released on Le Tamanoir label, it received two CD release both with the original stupendous debut album, but also the much weirder live show they held on April 17, 1977. For this album, Conventum presented themselves as a sextet, but were often enhanced by many more – including Kaczinsky, Forestier and Leger (Orchestre Sympathique). Their mostly acoustic sound is very impressive, highly cultivated (very inclined on semi-medieval and old folk music), half of it instrumental, and is best described as avant-folk-prog.

So this release could be presented as two different albums and actually are quite different. As much as the original album is superb, full of delicate ambiances and delightful folk and classic fusion and can be used by any proghead to clear his mind of his problem and escape into a wild world of beauty, as much as the live album is demented, demonic, weird, lurking, somber , macabre (at times), demented and frightful, but very impressive and theatrical.

After a short intro, where Coventum ask you if you are comfortable (you are in for one hell of a ride), a flood of guitar arpeggios is overwhelming you as the small piccolo flute and alto sax are accompanying the superb vocal duet (Les Criticotteuses is a superb play on words combining criticizing and knitting) when two violins are underlining this bed of desire: spine-chilling, yet, no-one will resist it. The following title track is much in the same vein, but become slightly more urgent and inquietant, but the lyrics are about as grandiose as Gabriel or Hammill could ever get, and the guitars oscillate between Anthony Phillips and Fripp’s The Crafty League Of Guitarist. La Bataille (the battle), the next track is also the poignant theme track from a movie from a member of Le Conventum artistic circle. The mood is dark, grave and beautiful, with the strings setting such a splendid bed of dreams for the guitars to lay it on thick the drama. Le Piège (the trap) is also from the same movie, but is rather quieter but still quite impressive although, it is quite schizophrenic too, with its wild choirs appearing from nowhere, blowing up a storm and disappearing as quick as they came. The next three tracks are instrumental and still in the line of the album reaching from chamber music to slightly modified jigs. Last track was also a theme for yet another colleague’s film and it is yet another flamboyant success around a very modified jig>> absolutely masterful.

The second part of the record is a live concert and presents a very different facet of Conventum, much more tense, nervous, slightly more aggressive, very theatrical, but also just as dramatic (if not more) than the studio album. Although still excellent, (but maybe less immediate without the accompanying images), these tracks suffer from the proximity and superb beauty of the studio album tracks. Here the mood is more to a nervous Stravinsky or psychedelic Prokofiev (Peter And The Wolf). Very impressive, but for this party, French language becomes almost mandatory, but their prose is impressively poetic. Clearly Conventum was a forerunner of sorts for future Quebecois groups such as Miriodor and Interference Sardines. Their capacity at making this acoustic chamber music but rendering incredibly rock with just a few ingredients is immense and Conventum deserves to be re-discovered to its true value. Clap

CONVENTUM — Le Bureau Central Des Utopies

Review by Sean Trane (Hugues Chantraine)
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog-Folk Specialist

4 stars Down to a quartet, Conventum attacked this second album is the same verve as they had, their first and the results are as flamboyant as on their debut. As their previous album had gathered a confidential success, conventum persevered in the direction they had chosen, but they avoided making a carbon copy of the debut. Gone are Bouchard and vocalist Painchaud, but the overall sound remains unchanged, almost completely acoustic. This record was recorded just a month before the first Independence referendum regarding the Quebec separatism, and one can feel that “utopist” issue dominates this album (at least partly).

Lead off track is halfway between a jig and a Ritournelle and outlines the definite Folk flavour that will characterize this album from its predecessor. Atelier is a delightful piece very reminiscent of the medieval ambiances heard in the previous album, somehow fairly close to Anthony Phillips’s late 70’s works on arpeggios. Fondation is a rather arduous (and lengthy) piece with an uneasy construction (reminding you of the nervous live bonus tracks of the debut), and not my favorite track even if the progression is impressive. Next up is the cornerstone Choregraphie Lunaire, which starts very slowly, hauntingly and creepily grows to a solemn atmosphere that maybe only Harmonium in the Histoire Sans Paroles could approach crossed with a Frippian electric guitar and a Hackett acoustic guitar >> awesome and spine-chilling! Ending on a short jig-like trad folk, this first side offers moments of pure delights, but it is uneven.

Fanfare (opening side 2 ) has a deceiving name , but is well in the line of the album as well as Trois Petit Pas (more reflective and somber). The music sometime comes to early Univers Zero’s chamber music, or more likely Julverne. Tic and Tacs actually wake you up from a certain torpor, that you had settle you, but the tracks quickly turns into the least interesting and folkiest track of the album. But soon comes the title track that is certainly the centerpiece of the album. A rather gloomy landscape unfolds in front of yours ears, with a haunting cello, a few vocals (another change compared to the debut album: the vocals are much less present) and a splendid atmosphere. Once again the album has some bonus tracks which are valuable (they come from Conventum’s 82 reunion, recorded live) and as interesting they might be, could’ve been coupled with the previous album’s bonus tracks to make a full album. I believe this is important to mention, because the worthy bonus tracks are however breaking away from both album’s spirit. If PaysDu Bryuit isvery much a theatrical thing much the same way the other bonus track of the debut album Commerce Nostalgique is a superb track meddling medieval guitars , a jazzy bass and a solemn cello. Overall, this album is slightly less superb than its predecessor (less accessible also), but still very much worth your investment. Both albums have been recently re-issued by ProgQuebec, which all progheads will agree is very much worthyof supporting. Run for it! Clap

 
 
 
Very much worth the hunt if you love Folk Prog (after all I have been pigeon holed as a specialist of that genreWink)
 


Edited by Sean Trane - May 17 2006 at 12:17
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 17 2006 at 12:17
I am glad to hear this regarding Maneige.

Sean, do you know perhaps is there is any chance that Les Porches will be released on CD?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 17 2006 at 12:19
Originally posted by avestin

I am glad to hear this regarding Maneige.

Sean, do you know perhaps is there is any chance that Les Porches will be released on CD?
 
I think that they (PQ) are blocked by financial discussion with EMI for the first two albums (which were released on Harvest)
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 17 2006 at 12:43
I will go to see Nathan Mahl in Ottawa Saturday and i will probably see Stephen from ProgQuebec...
I will ask the question about that and i will post the response monday
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 18 2006 at 23:14
Hello,

Stephen will not be there but I will be.

We have not scheduled Maneige S/T or Les Porches for release at this point because things with EMI are very slow. We have the artist on side, and EMI is cooperative in spirit but it is taking them a long time to do the necessary prep work to be able to license to us.

We have to accept the possibility of a 2007 or 2008 release, or even that they may never work with us or anyone else. We have made an alternate plan for September. From a post I made elsewhere:
------------------------------------------------

The first ProgQuebec release for September has been confirmed, and it is a new archival release from Maneige. Tentatively titled "Les Porches Live", it is a 70-minute concert from 1974-1975 featuring the first line-up of the band. The concert contains the entirety of Les Porches performed live. In addition it contains two pieces from the first album, appearing live for the first time, and a 20-minute never-released epic called "Choux-Fleur". Amazingly there is NO overlap between this release and "Live à l'Évêché", and with both releases, you have both their first albums minus one six minute piece.

The track list is:

1- Les Aventures de Saxinette et Clariphone (Porches) 16min.
2- Choux-Fleur (unreleased) 16min.
3- Grosse Torche (Porches) 2min
4- Galerie 3 (1st Maneige) 6min
5- Chromo (Porches) 6min
6- Les Porches de Notre-Dame (Porches) 17min
7- Jean-Jacques (1st Maneige) 5min
8- Encore: House of the Rising Sun 3min

The sound quality of this release is fantastic. The performance is very impressive. The band's approach was always to have their material nailed cold in concert before they went to studio, and that's clearly the case here. The arrangements are different from what ended up on the studio album; no string quartets or vocals from Raoul Duguay, but instead an incredibly tight progressive chamber rock ensemble performing highly contrapuntal symphonic rock of the highest caliber. I have been listening to this thing almost daily for the last three months, so I can't wait to release it. If you like the later Maneige stuff we've done, or early After Crying, this concert is mandatory.



Regards,
Sean / ProgQuebec

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 18 2006 at 23:17
I would also like to make mention of the release by Charles Kaczynski, "Lumiere de la Nuit". This is one of the greatest releases of Quebec progressive rock ever. I know that sounds like a lot of hype, but I can't help it. Picture some of the folkier stuff like Engoulevent or the second Harmonium, but with small motifs combined into two side long suites ala Mike Oldfield, and you get an idea of what's on display here. Kaczynski, who was also a member of Conventum at one point, plays over 20 instruments on this album. You guys will go ape over this if you hear it, I am sure of it.

Regards,
Sean / ProgQuebec
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 19 2006 at 00:33
That's a very good newsClap
 
Your company did a very good job reediting classics Quebec Prog albums.I have a couple of reissues (Contraction,Pollen) and your products are always good.
 
Since Sean is a member of this forum,I will take this opportunity to ask him a question.Do your company(ProgQuebec) plan to release other albums?The two albums that I would like to be released on cd are Franck Dervieux "Dimension M" who is supposed to be the blueprint of the Contraction sound (the majority of the musicians of Contraction plays on that album) and the other is Vos Voisins "Holocauste à Montréal".Those 2 albums can be considered the roots of Quebec progressive rock mouvement and even if they were not as influential as group like Harmonium and Maneige,it can be interesting to have these albums available on cd's.
 
Thanks a lot.Smile
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 19 2006 at 07:03
Originally posted by smcfee

Hello,

Stephen will not be there but I will be.

We have not scheduled Maneige S/T or Les Porches for release at this point because things with EMI are very slow. We have the artist on side, and EMI is cooperative in spirit but it is taking them a long time to do the necessary prep work to be able to license to us.

We have to accept the possibility of a 2007 or 2008 release, or even that they may never work with us or anyone else. We have made an alternate plan for September. From a post I made elsewhere:
------------------------------------------------

The first ProgQuebec release for September has been confirmed, and it is a new archival release from Maneige. Tentatively titled "Les Porches Live", it is a 70-minute concert from 1974-1975 featuring the first line-up of the band. The concert contains the entirety of Les Porches performed live. In addition it contains two pieces from the first album, appearing live for the first time, and a 20-minute never-released epic called "Choux-Fleur". Amazingly there is NO overlap between this release and "Live à l'Évêché", and with both releases, you have both their first albums minus one six minute piece.

The track list is:

1- Les Aventures de Saxinette et Clariphone (Porches) 16min.
2- Choux-Fleur (unreleased) 16min.
3- Grosse Torche (Porches) 2min
4- Galerie 3 (1st Maneige) 6min
5- Chromo (Porches) 6min
6- Les Porches de Notre-Dame (Porches) 17min
7- Jean-Jacques (1st Maneige) 5min
8- Encore: House of the Rising Sun 3min

The sound quality of this release is fantastic. The performance is very impressive. The band's approach was always to have their material nailed cold in concert before they went to studio, and that's clearly the case here. The arrangements are different from what ended up on the studio album; no string quartets or vocals from Raoul Duguay, but instead an incredibly tight progressive chamber rock ensemble performing highly contrapuntal symphonic rock of the highest caliber. I have been listening to this thing almost daily for the last three months, so I can't wait to release it. If you like the later Maneige stuff we've done, or early After Crying, this concert is mandatory.



Regards,
Sean / ProgQuebec

 
 
 
 
There IS a god for atheist progheads  like me !!Star
 
 
His name is ProgQuebecHug
 
 
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 19 2006 at 07:19
Originally posted by smcfee

The first ProgQuebec release for September has been confirmed, and it is a new archival release from Maneige. Tentatively titled "Les Porches Live", it is a 70-minute concert from 1974-1975 featuring the first line-up of the band. The concert contains the entirety of Les Porches performed live. In addition it contains two pieces from the first album, appearing live for the first time, and a 20-minute never-released epic called "Choux-Fleur". Amazingly there is NO overlap between this release and "Live à l'Évêché", and with both releases, you have both their first albums minus one six minute piece.

The track list is:

1- Les Aventures de Saxinette et Clariphone (Porches) 16min.
2- Choux-Fleur (unreleased) 16min.
3- Grosse Torche (Porches) 2min
4- Galerie 3 (1st Maneige) 6min
5- Chromo (Porches) 6min
6- Les Porches de Notre-Dame (Porches) 17min
7- Jean-Jacques (1st Maneige) 5min
8- Encore: House of the Rising Sun 3min

The sound quality of this release is fantastic. The performance is very impressive. The band's approach was always to have their material nailed cold in concert before they went to studio, and that's clearly the case here. The arrangements are different from what ended up on the studio album; no string quartets or vocals from Raoul Duguay, but instead an incredibly tight progressive chamber rock ensemble performing highly contrapuntal symphonic rock of the highest caliber. I have been listening to this thing almost daily for the last three months, so I can't wait to release it. If you like the later Maneige stuff we've done, or early After Crying, this concert is mandatory.

Regards,
Sean / ProgQuebec


ClapBig smileClap
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 19 2006 at 07:20
The idea of this thread was to speak of CONVENTUM Angry
 
 
 
Wink


Edited by Sean Trane - May 19 2006 at 07:22
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 19 2006 at 07:27
^^ I'm afraid I don't know their music yet, but they surely sound very interesting! Thumbs Up
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 19 2006 at 11:23
Originally posted by pierreolivier

That's a very good newsClap
 
Your company did a very good job reediting classics Quebec Prog albums.I have a couple of reissues (Contraction,Pollen) and your products are always good.
 
Since Sean is a member of this forum,I will take this opportunity to ask him a question.Do your company(ProgQuebec) plan to release other albums?The two albums that I would like to be released on cd are Franck Dervieux "Dimension M" who is supposed to be the blueprint of the Contraction sound (the majority of the musicians of Contraction plays on that album) and the other is Vos Voisins "Holocauste à Montréal".Those 2 albums can be considered the roots of Quebec progressive rock mouvement and even if they were not as influential as group like Harmonium and Maneige,it can be interesting to have these albums available on cd's.
 
Thanks a lot.Smile
 
We are actually working to reissue both of these. Franck Dervieux could be out as early as September but it's more likely to be a 2007 release. Vos Voisins definitely will not be this year because we're having trouble tracking some of the guys down.
 
We also have some material by the pre-Maneige band Lasting Weep featuring Jerome and Alain (and also Mathieu Leger of Orchestre Sympathique / Conventum / Molignak), which is from 1969-1971 and is very proto-prog and somewhat like Tull due to Alain's flute.
 
Regards,
Sean
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 19 2006 at 11:26
Originally posted by smcfee



The first ProgQuebec release for September has been confirmed, and it is a new archival release from Maneige. Tentatively titled "Les Porches Live", it is a 70-minute concert from 1974-1975 featuring the first line-up of the band. The concert contains the entirety of Les Porches performed live. In addition it contains two pieces from the first album, appearing live for the first time, and a 20-minute never-released epic called "Choux-Fleur". Amazingly there is NO overlap between this release and "Live א l'ֹvךchי", and with both releases, you have both their first albums minus one six minute piece.

Regards,
Sean / ProgQuebec



YEAH! Clap Big smile

This has been quite a bad week, but this message has just softened it alot for me.
Very good news. I will look for all those newly released Maneige albums.

Oh yeah, and Conventum as well...
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 19 2006 at 11:27
One thing about Conventum that some people do not realize is that Charles Kaczynski was a full member of the band, not a guest. The Kozak booklet had him down as a guest but we corrected it for this release. One of the qualities of the first album is the presence of two violinists; Bernard Cormier and Charles. Charles can actually pick out what parts he played by ear twenty years later (maybe this is not so much of a surprise).
 
There is also an earlier lineup of Conventum who never released any material during their lifetime. This group is a bit more influenced by progressive rock than the experimental folk that came later. Andre thinks that he has some tapes somewhere that would be from this earlier group, and if he can find them we might really have something there.
 
Regards,
Sean / ProgQuebec
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 19 2006 at 14:35
Originally posted by smcfee

Originally posted by pierreolivier

That's a very good newsClap
 
Your company did a very good job reediting classics Quebec Prog albums.I have a couple of reissues (Contraction,Pollen) and your products are always good.
 
Since Sean is a member of this forum,I will take this opportunity to ask him a question.Do your company(ProgQuebec) plan to release other albums?The two albums that I would like to be released on cd are Franck Dervieux "Dimension M" who is supposed to be the blueprint of the Contraction sound (the majority of the musicians of Contraction plays on that album) and the other is Vos Voisins "Holocauste à Montréal".Those 2 albums can be considered the roots of Quebec progressive rock mouvement and even if they were not as influential as group like Harmonium and Maneige,it can be interesting to have these albums available on cd's.
 
Thanks a lot.Smile
 
We are actually working to reissue both of these. Franck Dervieux could be out as early as September but it's more likely to be a 2007 release. Vos Voisins definitely will not be this year because we're having trouble tracking some of the guys down.
 
We also have some material by the pre-Maneige band Lasting Weep featuring Jerome and Alain (and also Mathieu Leger of Orchestre Sympathique / Conventum / Molignak), which is from 1969-1971 and is very proto-prog and somewhat like Tull due to Alain's flute.
 
Regards,
Sean
 
That's a great news,Thanks for your respond,Sean.Smile
 
Yes,I heard the rumours that Jacques Perron, the keyboards player from "Vos Voisins" had left without leaving any trace.Some people said that he died.That's really sad.The rest of the band could also be difficult to track down since they are not part of the music industry anymore.I hear their album "Holocauste à Montéal" and it's a great album.It's also the first Quebec album that used mellotron, long before Harmonium who claim to be the first user in Quebec.They used the rare model,the M300 that belong to their friend and occasionnal employer at the time,Yvon Deschamps(the well known Quebec humorist).I was suprised that comedian Marcel Sabourin actually wrote all the lyrics from that album.That guy is still around and maybe he could help(with Mr.Deschamps)tracking some guys of the band,if it's not already made.
 
As for Franck Dervieux,I'm really happy that you will reissued the album on cd.I will buy it for sure.I will surely check out the Lasting Weep album too,seem interesting.
Thanks Sean and ProgQuebec!Clap
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 20 2006 at 08:00
Although not Quebecois but Franco-Ontarians, I also added CANO Thumbs Up on the Archives a few weeks ago (reviews of the first two albums coming up this week) and their first three albums are  available as weel as a Best of
 
 
 
They are a lovely folk rock often reminding of the folkier Renaissance
 
Absolutely recommended also
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 20 2006 at 08:03
Originally posted by smcfee

One thing about Conventum that some people do not realize is that Charles Kaczynski was a full member of the band, not a guest. The Kozak booklet had him down as a guest but we corrected it for this release. One of the qualities of the first album is the presence of two violinists; Bernard Cormier and Charles. Charles can actually pick out what parts he played by ear twenty years later (maybe this is not so much of a surprise).
 
There is also an earlier lineup of Conventum who never released any material during their lifetime. This group is a bit more influenced by progressive rock than the experimental folk that came later. Andre thinks that he has some tapes somewhere that would be from this earlier group, and if he can find them we might really have something there.
 
Regards,
Sean / ProgQuebec
 
as I only had the Kozak releases, I made the mistake also >> I will try to correct it thoughWink
 
Would be absolutely delighted if this Pre-Conventum tape could be made public, even if different
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 20 2006 at 09:04
Originally posted by Sean Trane

Would be absolutely delighted if this Pre-Conventum tape could be made public, even if different


Oh yeah, if there is something there we'll be very interested in it.

Regards,
Sean / ProgQuebec
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 20 2006 at 10:01
Originally posted by Sean Trane

Although not Quebecois but Franco-Ontarians, I also added CANO Thumbs Up on the Archives a few weeks ago (reviews of the first two albums coming up this week) and their first three albums are  available as weel as a Best of
 
 
 
They are a lovely folk rock often reminding of the folkier Renaissance
 
Absolutely recommended also
 
Are you sure the third one ''Eclipse'' is out on CD?
Never seen it.Confused
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 20 2006 at 11:49
Now I don't get it.
Ville-Emard Blues Band,Laferière,Kaczsinsky,L'Orchestre Sympatique,Toubabou and Agharta aren't on PA!
WHY???Shocked
As for Yvon DesChamps having ties with Vos Voisins,it should also help that he lives in West-Mount,near the headquarters of ProgQuebec!Approve
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