Album and concertreview Breton at Paradiso, April 19th 2012 - Breton are four cutting-edge sound (and video) designers with a Britpop attitude that could easily have made them into an insufferable symbiosis of Blur and James Blake. Fortunately, Breton do not utilize their Cockney wit by prancing about like a bunch of smart alecs, trying to cheat us out of a hard earned pint. Instead, their music is so virulent and sincere; you almost forget how clever and complex it is. That is something neither Blur nor James Blake have accomplished.
Breton’s debut album Other People’s Problems contains an appealing mix of indielectronica, dub and trip hop. The density and complexity of the arrangements reminds me of Animal Collective, but instead of molding them into avant-gardist freak psych folk songs, Breton create songs and beats in the spirit of UK garage and Funky Breaks. The extensive use of a string section justifies the comparison to Massive Attack, but Breton is much rockier than the trip hop trio from. Songs like Electrician and Edward the Confessor and Governing Correctly have a typical Indielectronics sound, made familiar by bands like LCD soundsystem, The Errors and more recently Friendly Fires and Delphic. But Breton add a dose of street credibility and it’s not only due to their accents. Even during songs like 2 years and The commission when the band show themselves from a more experimental side they still sound more like audio bullies than a bunch of sound nerds.
When was attending The good old Manics gig in the big hall of the Paradiso, Willem was upstairs with all the hip people checking out the young talents of Breton. This is what he thought: ‘Choosing between the Manic Street Preachers or Breton – I would definitely say Breton! Their show was even better than I expected. Live they added some serious positive energy. Four eager young musicians lined up side by side behind on stage, a hard working drummer behind them. Songs were played more up beat with guitar and clearer vocals. It was a short set, but impressive enough to earn a convincing two thumbs up! Breton’s mix of dub-pop and brit-dance fuses Vondelpark with Fenech-Soler, but also goes back to the days of Portishead and Massive Attack. The heavy bass beats mixed with synths and very danceable rhythms make them a very appealing live act. If you get the change to see them live you really should! Check out our excellent video’s.’