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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Connivence, Canada

Connivence - s/t. 1977 Kebec.
Connivence - II. 1979 Kebec.
Connivence - III. 1984 Amplitude.

Connivence were a large collective from rural Quebec, who practically define the folk rock influenced progressive rock scene from this rich cultural region. The concept of Connivence is more akin to the original Amon Duul, in terms of structure - not music, in that various musicians participate on the recordings. So there isn't a lot of cohesion between the first two releases, but they still have that unique Quebecois folk rock quality like you would find on albums by L'Engoulevent, Breche, Etoifilan, and of course the forefathers of the movement: Harmonium. The female vocals occasionally call to mind the excellent Contraction. The large ensemble approach, and general uplifting tone, also remind me of Belgium's Nuit Caline A La Villa Mon Reve and France's Synthesis.

By the third album, Connivence appears to have given up their amateur status and gone pro. The album is clearly a product of the early 80s, with a slick production and more synthesized sounds now penetrate. Gone is the folky flavor of the first 2 albums. Still, the album is better than all of this may imply, and the songs are well crafted, and they haven't lost their progressive rock edge. Maybe a point down from the first two, but only slightly, and certainly a more consistent effort. It has a poor reputation, but I think that has more to do with it being so different than the first two - and the 80's gloss doesn't help.

These are still easy to find on ebay, though maybe the third one is a bit more scarce. Even that one, I bought it sealed on ebay about 6 years ago for less than $10. So if you have a turntable, be sure to pick up all 3. For CDs, I would expect that ProgQuebec will eventually put these out. It's right in their wheelhouse.

Priority: 3

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