NOTES FROM THE UNDERGROUND: Breton is a southeast London collective of filmmakers, artists, and musicians who combine their computer geek, circuit-board-wizardry with a love for the sonic blast, electronica eccentricity and rap, to form their own unique hybrid of swagger-filled math rock. It’s a type of musical creation that takes a lot of talent — the need for a good vocalist, a songwriter to toss out aphorisms like slacker mantras, and an instrumental proficiency abundant in the knowledge of modern musical machinery.
The project started with Roman Rappak and Adam Ainger and expanded into a visual collective with the addition of Ian Patterson, Daniel McIlvenny and Alex Wadey. Earlier this year, the group released an EP entitled “Practical” — the first of a trilogy of records. The second physical EP, “Sharing Notes”, is due out July 5, 2010. But it doesn’t stop there. Watch the video below to see something quite unique: The group’s video for the song “15x” (off the first EP), shows the band hand-making a circuit-board that contains the album which features the very song you’re listening to. The physical copy of this EP/circuit-board then is mounted in a box that comes with a list of components and directions which, when followed, creates a fully-working synthesizer. It’s unreal.
Listen to and download my favorite Breton track called, “The Well”, below. The vocals sound a lot like Radiohead’s Thom Yorke via “The Eraser”, crackly and resonating through these cryptic lyrics, “I find a way to count it … / Astounded by, how easily my eyes and body have adjusted.” The music is like Battles with a hip-hop edge. I don’t know if the collective was named after famed surrealist Andre Breton — but he too had a sort of collective of creative friends, like Louis Aragon, Tristan Tzara, Paul Eluard and Phillipe Soupault. Together they plunged into the what it meant to perceive things as human beings. Asking questions about the nature of art and the mind that interprets it. Much like the advice I’d give to appreciating their poems, treatises and novels — don’t try to decipher the sounds of Breton — let it wash over you. Fall into the rhythms, rhymes, razor-sharp electronica and swank sloganeering. It’s gorgeous. — Words by David D. Robbins Jr.