Dom Duff,
(BNC, 2006)

Dom Duff is one of the most exciting and innovative musicians from Brittany, much sought after as a studio and concert guitarist and singer. He is also a wonderful singer-songwriter who works solo as well as with the famous group Diwall.

This year he produced his second solo album, Lagan, which features a bunch of excellent guest musicians from Brittany and abroad. There's Pascal Lamour, a longtime companion on stage as well as in the studio, who adds his multi-instrumental talent on keyboards, guitar, Indian harmonium, banjo, low whistle, bombarde, biniou, saxo koad (a kind of saxophone) and gaita. He and Dom produce the most creative sound you can imagine. There're also fiddler Nicola Hayes and drummer/percussionist Herri Loquet, who played with Diwall in the past. Dominique Braud on fretless bass and some excellent female singers complete the line-up.

Famous Welsh singer Julie Murphy, who had a brilliant success with Gilles le Bigot's project Les voix de la terre, sings a wonderful duet with Joyce Bacon on the hauntingly beautiful song "Miz Du (Black Month)." She also adds her backing vocals to the awesome song "Hei! Soner (Hey Piper)."

Dom's singing often seems eerie, like on the opening track "Son Faro (Proud Song)," and the unique sound of the typical Breton instruments like bombarde and binou (Breton pipes), as well as the Galician gaita played by the master of new Breton music, Pascal Lamour, matches perfectly to the arrangements. Dom tunes his guitars in different keys, including the rare DADGAD, and plays a 7-string acoustic guitar.

Another guest singer is Estonian fiddler and bowed harp player Sille Ilves. She sings mesmerizing backing vocals on "Pagan Camp," a song that is really cutting the edge with his mixture of electronic samples and the most beautiful acoustic music and singing. Last but not least, Breton singer Nolwenn Korbel joins Dom on "Kertrouz (Jangletown)." She's whispering, groaning and singing with her wonderful soprano voice to the sound of this spine-tingling ballad that brings you in the heart of Dom's pagan world.

If you love Breton music and are ready to open your ears to a new breathtaking and groundbreaking sound, you shouldn't miss this excellent CD full of traditional and modern styles, brought together to create a brilliant and unique combination.

by Adolf Goriup
12 August 2006

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