Skye duo Valtos release debut electro-trad album

Valtos will tour the album with live dates across Scotland this spring and summer, performing in Skye, Port of Menteith, Inverness and Inverie Village.

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Electro-trad duo Valtos will release their self-titled ‘folktronica’ debut album on Friday June 10.

The record from the Skye-based pair is a ‘love letter to the Highlands, islands and Gaelic community’ and ‘breaks the mould with a unique and innovative genre-bending sound’.

Valtos members Martyn MacDonald and Daniel Docherty draw inspiration from the rich traditional music and stunning beauty of Skye and their debut sees them join forces with musical talent from across the Gaelic and Scottish traditional music community.

After watching Niteworks and the Peatbog Faeries at Skye Live 2019, the pair decided to combine their background in producing electronic music with their deep love for their culture and community to create dance music with a traditional twist.

The pair are inspired by pioneers of the electronic and folk music scenes, including Martyn Bennett, Peatbog Faeries, Odesza, Madeon and Bicep, and have earned a stellar reputation remixing tracks from traditional innovators like Project Smok.

The self-composed album is packed with stand-out, atmospheric tracks. Home, the  prelude, celebrates the serenity and comfort of coming home, with powerful spoken word from Gaelic presenter and actor Lana Pheutan celebrating her love for Skye.

This is followed by the single Home, a sweet love song to the island featuring the beautiful vocals of Lana and Sian’s Eilidh Cormack, who both also appear on the sweet, euphoric track Beinn.

Elsewhere is the avant-garde single Ceòl Dannsa, which boasts a Gaelic vocal sample from legendary former Runrig frontman Donnie Munro. Meanwhile, STW, a fast, high-energy tune, has vocals about the joys of ceilidh dancing from Mànran’s Gary Innes.

Accompanying Martyn and Daniel elsewhere on the record are Euan MacLaughlin on fiddle and Allan MacDonald on pipes.

Daniel Docherty said: ‘The electronic nature of this album is like nothing previously released in the trad world. Where other acts have made trad music with electronic influences, we’ve set out to make an electronic album with trad influences and we believe it will be unique.

‘We wanted to experiment with traditional music to see if it could be fully moulded with electronic music, in a way that hasn’t been done before, and the result is even better than we expected.’

Martyn MacDonald added: ‘We both want to contribute to our community and culture in the way we know how. This album is really our love letter to the Highlands, islands and Gaelic community. Gaelic and trad music is such a big part of our way of life, but in modern life, so is dance music.

‘Growing up on Skye, it was always a combination of the two – from ceilidhs to Friday night ‘non-stop’ dances in Portree. Gaelic and dance music has always been a part of our lives. Why not combine the two?’

Valtos will be available to stream and download on all major digital platforms.

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Valtos will tour the album with live dates across Scotland this spring and summer, performing in Skye, Port of Menteith, Inverness and Inverie Village.