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Tri Yann - Inventaire Volume 2 CD (album) cover


Tri Yann


Prog Folk

4.00 | 1 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
4 stars This is an excellent introduction to the history of Tri Yann from the early 1970s to 1990. Even from their first albums, the group played traditional tunes with a more adventurous spirit than their contemporaries, and by 1990 they had embraced electronic instrumentation in advance of the techno-world craze to follow. In between, lots of Celtic rock with progressive flourishes. Keeping the chronological order was a wise move for typifying the transformations. What is hardest to believe is that this constitutes the second in a series, making the first a sure thing I would wager.

The first 4 cuts all showcase the group's vocal symbioses, with themes running counter current and back together. These early explorations are generally fast paced and enthusiastic, ready made for the live setting but also taking full advantage of available studio technology and production. Instrumentation is traditional but played with a youthful panache. The vocals are typically in French rather than Breton.

"Le Mariage Insolite de Marie La Bretonne" and "Mrs Mac Dermott" are slower melodies, showing the group's incorporation of more consciously courtly material. "Kiss the Children for me Mary" is a slow song in which the accompaniment is simply pipes and acoustic guitar until rock drums come in. It's still sedate but shows a taste for the more unconventional underpinnings of the progressive movement, not surprisingly given the period and Tri Yann's perfectionist streak. Another one in this vein is the masterful "Quand La Bergere", richly layered and sung, a hypnotic slow dance. Of note here is the constantly changing meter of the acoustic guitar accompaniment while traditional instruments weave in and out.

The period represented by the last half of the album is where the group really hit their stride. Instrumentally, they came close to OUGENWEIDE, STEELEYE SPAN and MOVING HEARTS with "Suite Ecossaise", especially the chunkier rhythm parts. "Les Cheveaux du Mene-Bre" is dominated by plaintive lead guitar then swarming electronic keyboards, almost a la PINK FLOYD. "An Tourter" proposes an extended repetition of a haunting vocal theme with sinister rhythm guitars and fiddles, in a manner that could make more conventional progsters blush. But "Korydwen et le rouge de Kenholl" tops them all, a narrative epic in which the group proves it can still shine in both directions circa 1990. The fiddle theme in the instrumental section is the coup de grace.

If you are lacking innovative Breton music in your collection, and who isn't to some degree, do augment your inventory with this superb compilation.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |


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