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Sloche


Sloche - Stadacone

Stadacone
RCA - 1976


Michael Panontin
After the spacy prog-fusion of their superb debut J'un Oeil the previous year, Sloche eased up a notch on the controls on their follow-up. The Quebec City-based band, now a sextet with drummer Gilles Chiasson replaced by Andre Roberge and percussionist Gilles Ouellet, decided to fold a dollop or two of funk into their trademark guitar/synth mix. What we get on 1976's Stadacone is a sound that veers into territory occupied by the likes of Weather Report, Mahavishnu Orchestra, or even the loping bass workouts of Stanley Clark rather than the usual suspects of Canterbury bands like Hatfield and the North or mid-period Soft Machine. For instance, the excellent title track is ten-plus minutes of lithe Fender Rhodes, deft guitar solos, and swirling synths that might have sounded as good in a tiny jazz club as in a massive concert hall. Ditto for more concise statements like the groovier 'Ad Hoc', where Caroll Berard shows off some nifty guitar work, or the proggier 'Il faut sauver Barbara', which is propped up by keyboardist Martin Murray's driving organs.

Like its predecessor, Stadacone pleased the critics but barely troubled the charts, even inside Quebec where the group was most popular. And with the tight-fitting jeans and skinny ties of punk just around the corner, it should come as no surprise that the likes of Sloche were never really heard from again. Both discs have been recently remastered onto CD by the ProgQuebec label, but with such striking cover art, do you really need to be told to look for this one on vinyl?
         



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