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Private Label BRE006CD

It isn’t often that I get the opportunity to review a soundtrack – and this is a refreshing collection of songs and tunes provided as part of a collaboration with animator Cat Bruce. Sadly, I missed seeing the animation on the virtual tour earlier this year, so in a sense I’m hearing the soundtrack out of context, although there are some stills provided with the CD insert and a short ‘taster’ video is available on the Breabach website. Essentially, though, the gist is a story featuring mythical and regular creatures hunting and being prey following the awakening (dùsgadh) of the land in spring following the winter inactivity in a highland setting.

Although there is only just over 20 minutes of song/music on the CD, there is a lot going on – and, incredibly, it was created by the individual band members from home, due to COVID restrictions, and the collaborations must have been incredibly hard to distil into a worthwhile product. But it works on so many levels, aesthetically and sonically. It has soul, and showcases each of the five members pretty much equally across the seven pieces. How they managed to sequence whistle duets remotely I can’t imagine but it must have taken some incredible production expertise.

Being so short, this CD barely qualifies as a Breabach album in the accepted sense, and being a limited edition, it will have some rarity value, but it is definitely worth seeking out as it is still Breabach at their best - respectful of traditional roots while stamping their own authority on it, and true to the story enshrined in the animation. A superb collaboration.

Grem Devlin


This review appeared in Issue 140 of The Living Tradition magazine