Le Bour – Bodros – Chadenn (Paker Productions, 2016)
Timothée Le Bour and Youen Bodros is a duo that performs contemporary acoustic music inspired by Breton folk music traditions, jazz and even bits of trance-like sounds. While Bodros plays the accordion, which is frequently used in folk music, Le Bour uses saxophones, replacing the traditional folk wind instruments.
The most fascinating part of the album is the accordion and saxophone interplay as well as the use of vocal chants delivered by the two instrumentalists. Equally charming is Rozenn Talec, a guest lead vocalist, who sings in the Breton language.
Percussionist Gaëtan Samson supports the trio on frame drums and various other percussion instruments.
The CD version includes lyrics in Breton and French.
Virtuoso guitarist Soïg Sibéril has become of the finest performers in the Celtic guitar field. He’s been involved in countless musical projects with leading Breton and Celtic music artists.
Although he’s recorded solo albums before, Habask is truly a solo album, with no guests. It’s just Soïg and his guitar, playing acoustic music inspired by the traditional music of various Celtic cultures.
Habask features mesmerizing originals by Soïg Sibéril along with adaptations of traditional songs from Brittany and other parts of the Celtic music world.
Eternal Tides is a beautiful and mesmerizing album by two masters in the Celtic music field. Frenchman Alain Genty is a bass virtuoso, multi-instrumentalist, producer and composer who has been involved in Breton music for many years. Joanne McIver is a Scottish singer-songwriter from Arran Island who also plays the Scottish smallpipes.
Together, Alain Genty and Joanne McIver celebrate Scotland’s traditions through songs in Gaelic and English plus short instrumentals. It’s contemporary Celtic music, mixing tradition with tasteful modern electric bass, North African rhythms, jazz trumpet, and soundscape electronics. Some of us would call some the pieces progressive Celtic music.
Along with the remarkable vocals of Joanne Mciver and the outstanding bass lines of Alain Genty, you’ll also find an impressive list of well-known guest instrumentalists from the Breton Celtic music scene who add Breton and world music instruments into the mix.
Some of themes of the songs include the uncertainty of distant fishing; a longing of childhood summers on the beach; dockworker songs; and references to Scottish history.
The lineup includes Alain Genty on bass, guitars, keyboards, drums and electronics; Joanne McIver on vocals and Scottish smallpipes; Patrick Molard on biniou; Jean-Michel Veillon on bombard; Nicolas Giraud on trumpet and berimbau; Christophe Saunière on harp; Thierry Garcia on guitar; Kouider Berkane on violin; and Bachir Mokari on darbuka, bendir and karkabas.
Eternal Tides is an exquisitely-crafted, enchanting album by two giants in the contemporary Celtic music field who masterfully bring together Scottish and Breton traditions.
Startijenn – Live Paker Tour (Paker Prod. 22, 2016)
This album gives the listener the opportunity to experience Startijenn, one of the finest Breton acts live. The album was recorded during the summer tour in 2016, where music and dance came together in the popular festoù-noz festivals.
The name of the band Startijenn, means energy in Breton and they deliver a vibrant sound rooted in Breton musical traditions. Startijenn’s sound is instrumental music centered on the fascinating interplay between the bombard (double-reed), the biniou (bagpipes) and accordion, supported by rhythm guitar and electric bass.
The band presents new, extended versions of Startijenn’s audience favorites from previous albums, such as “Hir, hir!”, “Skeud”, “Flagas Track”, “Paker Nozter” along with previously unreleased new material.
The lineup includes Tango Oillo on guitar; Julien Stevenin on bass; Youenn Roue on bombarde; Lionel Le Page on biniou;and Tangi Le Gall-Carré on diatonic accordion.
Live Paker Tour is a superb live album showcasing the deep Breton music intensity of Startijenn.
Celtic music and beatbox beats come together in a fascinating album titled CyberTrad. Multi-instrumentalist Matthew Olwell uses several types of flutes to deliver a mix of Irish and Breton traditional pieces, along with original compositions backed by body and vocal percussion.
Although the combination is uncommon, the result is very satisfactory. Celtic music goes well with frame drums and hand percussion and the talented Shodekeh Talifero does a fabulous job with his beatbox and vocal rhythms.
Matthew Olwell grew up listening to music on a boombox radio. The mix included his parents’ wide-ranging tape collection, as well as radio programs like National Public Radio’s Celtic music show The Thistle and Shamrock.
His father, Patrick Olwell is a renowned Irish flute maker and both his parents and brother played flute, so there were always musicians around. The Olwell family was active in the United States’ East Coast Irish music scene, regularly attending the Washington D.C. Irish Festival and Irish Week at the Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins, West Virginia.
This splendid music community gave Matthew an appreciation for many folk traditions, including Canada’s Quebecois, old time, and Cajun music. Through this festival scene, Matthew met Eileen Carson-Schatz and The Fiddle Puppet Dancers at Augusta, and ultimately joined the later incarnation of that group, Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble. From 1994 to 2004 Matthew performed with Footworks, touring internationally, situating him on a pathway to a career in music and dance.
The lineup on CyberTrad includes Matthew Olwell on wooden and bamboo flutes, vocals, cornamuse and bodhran; Shodekeh Talifero on human beatbox, vocal percussion and panpipes; Aimee Curl on vocals and upright bass; Simon Lepage, the bass player of famed Quebecois band Matapat; Aimee Curl on vocals and upright bass; Jaige Trudel on cello, and Joey Abarta on uilleann pipes.
Cybertrad is a superb alchemy of flutes from the Celtic regions and the contemporary human beatbox tradition.
Pevarlamm showcases the talent of one of the finest bands in the Breton music scene. The band is led by virtuoso multi-instrumentalist and composer Konogan an Habask. He plays bagpipes, bombard, uilleann pipes and low whistles.
Deltu is a fascinating voyage through the various European cultures connected to Celtic music. Pevarlamm perform original pieces inspired by Breton traditional music and jazz as well as folk tunes and dances from Bigouden and Pourlet in Brittany and other parts of Atlantic Europe: Ireland, Galicia (Spain) and Asturias (Spain).
The album lineup includes Konogan an Habask on bombard, binioù, uilleann pipes, and whistles; Elsa Corre on vocals, kayamb (flat percussion instrument from the Mascarene Islands in the Indian Ocean), pandereta (Galician tambourine); Gabriel Faure on violin, mandola, and viola d’amore; Jérôme Kerihuel on drum set, dohl, and percussion; Thibault Niobé on guitars and bouzouki; and Erwan Volant on bass. Guest musician: Patrick Péron on Hammond organ.
Deltu is a superb Celtic music album beautifully-crafted by Breton masters Pevarlamm.