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Sloche: Stadaconé

Stadaconé: Name of an Iroquois village which was located where the present-day city of Québec now lies.

Sloche's debut album, "J'Un Oeil", garnered the band a little bit of attention throughout Québec, with their music playing on the radio in various parts of the province. They toured for a while, got a new drummer, and returned to the studio to release their next album. The band kept the same formula as on their debut. One band member would present a song which was all but completed and the others would get their parts and work on embellishments until a final product was achieved. The results are every bit as stellar as their debut. In fact, the band pushed the enveloppe even further on this disc.

The already sparse vocals of the debut are almost non-existent on this follow-up release. The music has moved even more within the jazz-rock genre, as the opening title track, with it's Hot Rats-era Zappa feel, can attest to. This isn't to say that the band has disregarded it's progressive rock influences though. The following "Le Cosmophile" opens with a very symphonic keyboard intro before launching into a funky, playful mode, punctuated by some jazzy saxophone. This track leads into the quirky "Il Faut Sauver Barbara", the album's shortest number. It alternates between being a whimsicle piece in the opening few minutes, to a darker exploratory number in the middle section, before going full circle. This takes us to "Ad Hoc", one of the stronger numbers on the disc. This one has a blues-rock feeling to it, as guitarist Carroll Bérard steps to the forefront with some inspired lead guitar work from cover to cover. The stangely-named "La Baloune de Varenkurtel Au Zythogala" follows suit and returns us to a more jazzy feel yet again. This number may be the closest thing to a ballad on this album, yet it still contains a few intricate and subtle passages. I am again reminded of Frank Zappa's work during his jazz-rock explorations on the late 60s/ early 70s. The disc reaches its culmination with the closer: "Isacaaron", which along with the title track, were actually penned before the band ever even recorded their debut album. At 11:21, this is the album's signature piece and really becomes a microcosm for everything the band has done previously on the disc. The track explores myriad musical avenues, alternating from more pompous piano passages, to playful synth lines, to punchy bass-driven segments. We become witnesses once again to the band's raison d'être, which is to blur the lines between classically-inspired music, jazz, and progressive rock., and make the whole thing sound completely coherent and logical.

The band kept playing live into 1977 before calling it a day due to financial difficulties. It seems that all progressive rock bands from Québec were having problems around this time and it was the beginning of the end for the first wave of progressive rock in Québec. The band did leave behind a legacy in this disc and their debut. Both are essential to any serious collector of progressive music of the 1970s, be it from Québec or anywhere else in the world.

Track Listing:

  1. Stadaconé (10:16)
  2. Le Cosmophile (5:39)
  3. Il Faut Sauver Barbara (4:15)
  4. Ad Hoc (4:27)
  5. La "Baloune" de Varenkurtel Au Zythogala (4:54)
  6. Isacaaron (ou le démon des choses sexuelles) (11:21)

Added: November 2nd 2009
Reviewer: Yves Dubé
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Hits: 2483
Language: english

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