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Topic ClosedOpus-5 - Volume 1: Contre Courant

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avestin View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Opus-5 - Volume 1: Contre Courant
    Posted: March 09 2008 at 21:42
OPUS-5 - Volume 1: Contre Courant
 
Bio by Hugues:
 
As the progressive movement was making more and more adept in La Belle Province, more and more groups got contracts and as Celebration record lost Harmonium to CBS , they offered a contract to OPUS-5 . This band can be seen as a good cross in between HARMONIUM and MANEIGE or SLOCHE. Some GENTLE GIANT and JETHRO TULL influences are also evident. Their first album is full of delicious melodies with soft yet incisive vocals and great flute passages all on 5 superb compositions by five superb musicians. Unfortunately , their record label went bankrupt just as the recording of their second album was finished . That album will have to wait until 89 to see the light of day. Part of the band will form CONCERT that will release one album in 60 as the disco tsunami had swept everything in that part of Canada.

Opus-5 can be highly recommended to fans of the above-mentioned bands but also everyone who enjoy calm folkish fusion.

: : : Hugues Chantraine, BELGIUM : : : 
 
 
 
loserboy
(James Unger)
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4%20stars OPUS 5 were a 5 Piece ensemble from Quebec Canada who released IMHO one of Canada’s finest pieces of 70’s prog rock with “Contre-Courant” in 1976. Line up included Olivier Duplessis (claviers, vocals) , Luc Gauthier (guitars, vocals), Serge Nolet (flute vocals), Christian Leon Racine (bass, vocals) and Jean-Pierre Racicot (percussion, vocals). OPUS 5 were essentially a mix of lighter fusion / jazz prog with folk leanings at times and somewhat reminiscent of the Canterbury school of prog (i.e. HATFIELD & THE NORTH, EGG…). Instrumentally these guys blend tempo challenging aspects with acoustic and synthesizer runs offering the listener quite a fine variety of rhythm and tones. “Contre-Courant” is a very expressive album with all 5 members adding vocalization throughout and is delivered with great emotion. Sometimes albums just seem to have everything and fulfills your mind, ears and spirit and that is the case with this album for me. Absolutely 100% essential.

Posted Tuesday, March 23, 2004 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
(Hugues Chantraine)
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5%20stars James once again made an acurate description of the music and maybe the difference in rating might be due to the french singing on this album. Actually quite different than other Quebecois band but just as incisive in contents ( lyrics ) , here the singing is of crystal- clear French without the typically local accent and it is refreshing, but it does take some mastering of the languages to fully grasp how good this album is . Those texts on top of it are politically engaged , mind-challenging , thought-provoking , environementally-conscious and socially oriented . The music is accompanying such superb vocals and texts is in the same vein : Food for thoughts. Just like your cereal breakfast (and just as indispensible as that first meal ) it just crackles , snaps and rocks (it does not pop ) and will nourish your body and feed your brains so well that even your asshole boss cannot screw-up your day. If I must point out to other band , I would say fellow Quebecois Maneige with vocals , and sometimes G Giant and also Canterbury.

In short , this is another real gem from that part of the world , up there with Harmonium , Et Cetera , Sloche and Maneige. Mosts of the numbers present long instrumental passages only slightly interrupted by very on-the-dot lyrics ( Les Saigneurs instead of Seigneurs). The title says it all Contre Courant - against the flow (mainstream).

This album got a recent re-release on Cd by Unidisc with a new catalogue number AGEK-2401

Posted Tuesday, July 13, 2004 | Review Permalink
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4%20stars This record is really among the excellent prog albums of the Quebec prog scene, almost at the same level as Harmonium's Si On Avait Besoin D'une 5ième Saison. Musically speaking, this record is REALLY complex and elaborated, presenting compositions suited for the most difficult prog fans. An overall mix of Baroque & fusion tendency allows the music to often fall into fast, dense & intricate patterns. The omnipresent piano and flute remind a bit a lighter version of the famous Baroque record featuring Jean-Pierre Rampal & Claude Bolling. ELP is another slight similarity too, because of the way the piano is played. The best parts are the fast, loaded & synchronized ones. There are many very good mellow bits that maybe could be a bit more catchy. The record is not really emotional, but the technical performance and the quality of the compositions are outstanding. Another important characteristic to mention is that the music is mostly very disciplined: there are very few obscure things, no experimentation, no improvisation and no jam sessions: mostly everything is mathematically calculated & dosed. The keyboards are surprisingly discreet, but the other instruments compensate very much: the piano is the most preponderant one. It is sad that their discography is only made of 2 albums. The last lyrics parts of "Les Saigneurs" sum it all up: "Es-tu fier de toi? Dans un PAYS que l'on nomme le QUÉBEC, est-ce normal que de parler l'anglais? Is it abnormal to speak FRENCH?" WOW: Speechless!

Rating: 4.5 stars

Posted Tuesday, June 12, 2007 | Review Permalink

 

 
 


Edited by avestin - March 09 2008 at 21:42
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 10 2008 at 21:45
Bump!
 
you're missing a great album here.
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 30 2008 at 22:13
bump
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 05 2008 at 20:36
and another bump for this thread
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 09 2008 at 12:48
Wow, surprised nobody else has commented yet. What can I say, its certainly deserving of 3 successive bumps! Yet another fantastic offering from the Quebec area, I seem to find gems from there on a regular basis. Has anyone heard Volume 2? Thoughts? I haven't gotten my hands on it just yet, wondering if its worth it.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 28 2009 at 21:55
Originally posted by Speesh

Wow, surprised nobody else has commented yet. What can I say, its certainly deserving of 3 successive bumps! Yet another fantastic offering from the Quebec area, I seem to find gems from there on a regular basis. Has anyone heard Volume 2? Thoughts? I haven't gotten my hands on it just yet, wondering if its worth it.


Definitely worth it for anyone who loves "symphonic-prog" (French lyrics), beautiful haunting melodies, great musicianship.


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 01 2009 at 15:50
I started a thread about them a long time ago and didn't get any comments. This album is essential and must be known to more prog fans. I love it so much.

Clap

RIP in bossa nova heaven.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 07 2009 at 23:34
Indeed. All in all prog music from Quebec has given me as much if not more enjoyment than the Canterbury Scene in its entirety, which coming from me means a lot (I'm Canterbury obsessed!). Conventum, Sloche, Maneige, Harmonium, and so much more! They deserve more of a spotlight here, and in the world of music in general.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 10 2009 at 15:09
Volume 2 is called "Sérieux ou pas" and was released on CD in 1989 in Japan.
 
This is the only edition you can have actuelly since ProgQuébec hasn't signed this album yet.  Hard to find and desperately seeked for by many adepts.
 
 
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