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Sloche - J'un oeil CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.28 | 210 ratings

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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.

Walkscore | 4/5 |


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