Sunday, November 27, 2011

Rock Progressif

Let me share some of the music that most notably contributed to my growing love for Music.

My encounter with Progressive rock happened in high school, when I first got exposed to British bands like King Crimson, Genesis ['Selling England by the Pound' album era, I used to be -and still is- obsessed with the track "Firth of Fifth"], Caravan, Yes etc.
I then found out about some really good progrock bands from France, and started digging into it.

Last summer, I came across an antique sell in the streets of Grenoble. People would sell old antiques, vinyls included. I found a LP by the band Ange, a famous progressive French band in the seventies.
Their unique fantastico medieval progressive sound got me hooked after the first listen.

A few days ago, in one of the many great record stores in Montreal, I found an album by the band Maneige when going through $2 vinyls crates.
Maneige is a progressive rock band from Canada, Quebec. Not so famous worldwide.

Both albums I am introducing here are therefore both progressive rock albums, released during the same year of 1977. One in France, the other one in Quebec.
You will therefore appreciate different styles within the same genre of music, produced in the same timeframe.

As a characteristic of progrock albums, both records are to be listened as a piece. Their cover, along with their content, make up a whole story. Your imagination is constantly stimulated. The melodies on the Maneige albums (entirely instrumental, and definitely a mine of samples) draw unknowns landscapes from a different time and space.

Ange 'Par les fils de Mandrin' [Progressive Rock, France, 1976]

Maneige 'Ni Vent Ni Nouvelle' [Progressive Rock, Quebec,Canada, 1977]

Check this greatness:

Ooo Record stores. Going through $2 crates. Starring at vinyl covers while flicking albums one after the other. Looking for something. Could be anything actually.
I like getting hooked by an album cover. Trying to anticipate what the record would sound like. A lot of prog rock albums are identifiable by their covers, often hand-drawn and depicting fantastic landscapes, imagined worlds, weird environments. This image that they convey contributes a lot to the listening experience of the sound. Giving their music a certain image, a depth, an identity.

Somehow,I have good intuition when it comes to cover. And it still have not fail me last week when I picked up that Maneige record.

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