To be honest, I was pretty intrigued when I first got word of new South London based band Breton. Consisting of a group of musicians and filmmakers they produce an extremely catchy mixture of electronic math rock, with the odd hint of post punk influence thrown in for good measure. Under the name of BretonLABS the band have also created remixes for others such as Hatcham Social and Is Tropical, and have also had their film projects screened at such events as The London Short Film Festival and East London Film Festival.
Their first musical release, début EP Practical was snapped up with high critical acclaim in early 2010, and now comes their second release, a new EP named Sharing Notes, which was released July 5th. Opening track from the EP ‘The Well’ brings forth a high standard for the rest of the album to follow up to with its haunted beats and confident lyrics. Yet they move on to more varying sounds with the likes of title track ‘Sharing Notes’ an eerie melody with even darker undertones. They once more change course and move straight into the vibrant ‘Episodes’, truly electrifying with its fast paced vocals and hectic drumming. The EP displays an excellent mixture of confident experimentation, showing that Breton really are heading in the right direction, however, it doesn’t just end with their music. The limited edition physical copy of the EP itself also holds an intriguing secret. Once following careful instructions and assembling everything correctly it can in fact be turned into a fully working synth, no joke. I managed to catch a few words with the band last week – here’s what they had to say.
Firstly, how did you all meet?
We met studying sound design and film, and through going to gigs.
Who or what would you say has influenced you all the most?
The recession – it means that we can do whatever we want, because we are just as poor working on this band as we would be if we were temping for every waking hour. Its the reason we can live in the space we live in and reahearse/record as much as we do.
Also the way information and media are distributed means you can learn how to edit a film, produce music, make a synth, and the technology is cheap. Being able to record your album or shoot your film for hardly any money is really empowering and is a really important part of what we do.
Your latest EP can be transformed into a working synth, how did you come up with this idea?
Ian (synth/bass) makes our fx pedals and synths that we use to record with. In a time where you can reproduce every sound perfectly, i think instruments that sound different every time are really important. Theres something really exciting about capturing something that you couldn’t repeat if you tried. The synth circuit boards that come with our EP all sound different- They are electronic instruments with an element of chaos and unpredictability- they sum the band up perfectly.
How do people get hold of the physical EP?
They are going on sale in Rough Trade.
Do you have any plans to do a UK tour in the upcoming months?
We are planning the tour around September.
Lastly, do you have any other projects on the go or coming up that we should hear about?
We have just finished a short film, which will be a music video for one of the tracks off the 3rd EP- It will also be doing the film festival circuit in the UK.