Breton At Corsica Studios

That noise, in case you’re wondering, is the sound of me exhaling after forty or so minutes of my breathless, Breton-induced fever.

On an unassuming Wednesday night in South London, Corsica Studios played host to a multimedia spectacle as its revellers surrendered their senses to the stage. Having read of lead singer Roman Rappak’s grandiose vision for their London launch I figured tonight’s show was going to be either fucking awesome, or that assassin of fun; the mighty lead balloon.

For anyone who hasn’t yet heard of Breton, their birth came as an accidental offshoot of performing live soundtracks to their short films. Yup, they’re one of those bands. The kind that don’t just make music, but mix and produce it while further loading their mantle with film-making talent and creative chemistry. As well as the ability to fashion a circuit board-come-monophonic synthesizer with instructions so Joe and Jane Bloggs can do the same in their hypothetical abode.

I arrived to a sea of hungry faces greedily ogling the empty stage in anticipation, as though it were the last petrol tank in a bogus fuel crisis. As Breton arrived, screams escaped from excited gullets and the thumping rhythm of Ordinance Survey filled the room.

From then on I had my senses mercilessly assaulted as the band shifted from track to track and visual to visual. A kaleidoscopic reel of self-shot movies, cut and edited in real-time by their live VJ, provided the backdrop for Breton’s music, though often the band members themselves would throw themselves into the path of the projections, as if the images draped themselves across their bodies before retreating to the screen behind.

It was visceral and raw, driven on by Rappak’s gruff vocals that sounded as though he was growling from the pit of his soul whilst bass-lines sunk their teeth into the audience’s belly. Edward The Confessor blew the crowd away as if it were a sonic cannonball; Governing Correctly electrified everyone’s hesitant limbs whilst Wood & Plastic might as well have been aural cocaine.

From what I understand, of course.

Much like their inception, Breton’s music is equally enigmatic. Grinding against you in an orgy of semi-appropriate terms, it’s a kind of bass-heavy-art-rock-chamber-grime-cinematic-electronica that leaves you perplexed yet utterly seduced.

Their encore of Episodes pretty much knocked what little wind the audience had left in their lungs like a wet salmon across the cheek.

It may seem like I’m gushing, but then I am. I like music, I like bands and I like gigs. And to anyone rolling their eyes in search of some vitriol, go pick up the NME; no doubt you’ll be able to read some acerbic critique of a band who probably adorned their cover last year.

I’m not the kind of writer who feels the need to add a squeeze of weary acidity to appear more credible. Unless something is fucking awful, in which case you better hold me back.

The only criticism I have of Breton’s Corsica outing is the modest sized venue didn’t do their visuals justice, with images lost amongst shadows as the stage dimensions hindered their multimedia inclinations.

And that feeling, by the way, is my own slow-dawning sense of inadequacy.

Words & Photography by Seraphina Trent D’Arby

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April 2012
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