Mekanik, by Plantec
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Plantec
Mekanik
Aztec Musique /Coop Breizh (www.plantec.fr)

Breton music has a rawness to it, a pure skirling joy imparted by pipes and bombardes, to which it is difficult not to respond. In recent years, Breton music – as with other musical traditions – has taken different pathways. For example, there is the ‘electric shamanism’ of Pascal Lamour, the exploratory vocalizing of Denez Prigent, and the always influential experimentation of Alan Stivell. The notion of the Breton ‘fest noz,’ the traditional dance parties that sometimes run all night long, evokes both community and joyous spirits.

Plantec is a relatively new young band offering a twist on Breton music, mixing bombardes with heavy rock. To pull this off, there has to be an emphasis on groove and crunching guitars, which Plantec mix with the emblematic sound of the shrill bombarde, flutes, and harp. Add to this an apparent worship not just of heavy rock but progressive rock flights of fancy, and Plantec manage to stir up a monstrous brew.

For example, ‘Arme an dienez’ rolls in like a murderous storm, trading riffage with traditional reedy blasts. Instrumental ‘Faltazi’ rumbles on waves of rave-like exuberance, the bombarde tracing paths of ecstasy buoyed by keyboards and roiling guitars. Listeners familiar with the (m.i.a.) German group The Merlons may sometimes be reminded of a similar penchant for blending dark textures with acoustic medievalism.

Overall, Mekanik is far more than just a huge surprise for Breton folk rock: this is Breton folk rawk - tattooed, pagan, and owning the night. – Lee Blackstone

You can sample much more of the band's music on their web site:

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