Album: Kontakt
Label: Aztec Musique
Tracks: 13

Breton techno-folk fusionistas Plantec return with their 7th studio album. If it follows a fairly well-worn path, one suspects this is because they are very good at what they do.

A trio, consisting of brothers Yannick (guitars) and Odran (bombards) Plantec, and Djibril (programming and samples), their sound straddles the frontier between proggy background music and dance. This may not sound like a recommendation, but the textures of the various bombards in particular sustained my listening effort all the way through. A precursor of the modern oboe, which of course is reckoned to be the instrument closest in tone to the human voice, the omnipresent bombard on this album rises and falls in cadences variously serene and anguished.

"When The Sun is Shining", featuring Jamaican singer Winston McAnuff, and "Linelis" with Lithuanian Laurita Peleniute, bring some variety to the tracks on offer, both interweaving with Odran's bombards very effectively. A choir, Ensemble Vocal Silk, is also present on "Liamm", suggesting that a career in soundtracks may beckon for Plantec should they ever leave the festival circuit. I hope they don't though, as having seen them in action on a hillside in southern Scotland, I can confirm that they are a very seductive act, and the material on this album would clearly form the basis of a beguiling set.

The tunes are rooted in Breton music going back centuries, facilitating dances - gavottes, ronds, Circasian Circles and polkas are present, but with instrumentation from Yannick and Djibril which gives a genuinely dramatic backdrop to the voice of the bombard. "Kontakt" is highly recommended.

Harry Thomson