MAP06 /// Diatribes – Sistere

sold out

released March 15, 2017

The two pieces are played live, over a background recording, which is a technic we used also on the previous pieces, creating doubt of perception. We wanted to get back to „real“ instruments and work with their natural sound, but still keep them in an electroacoustic field of listening and making audible very small changes in the sounds.“

Two years after the electroacoustic deconstruction of 70’s Jamaican dub, the Swiss duo D’incise & Cyril Bondi again extended the understanding of their key concept of rational rituality. Their lively cooperation diverged since 2014 into own solo and collaborative projects (lately with Stefan Thut or Cristian Alvear). Besides, they curate their own label INSUB, within which they lead the Insub Meta Orchestra and try to bring experimental music to Geneva.

From their formation Diatribes travelled throughout the European improvisation scene, and in 2013 they immersed into exploration of concept of sterile repetition and constant rhythm, which they shaped through various creative and experimental approaches (field recordings, electroacoustic composition, detailed textures, febrile pulses, acoustic hyper-sensibility). Augustus (2013, INSUB) marked a radical progress from free improvisation towards recognizable sonic aspects, compositions with characteristic logic, precisely targeted energy and subtle uncovering of sound details. Followed by A New Castle (2014, caduc.) with instructions for interpretation such as: „The piece consists of segments of a regular pulse in 2/1 at about 144BPM played with one soft mallet on a cymbal. Each player chooses 7 sounds. The chosen sounds should be constant dynamic textures or pitches.“

All of this signs and composition techniques resulted in the latest album Sistere, which contains two tracks Tabi-tabi (side A) and Utsara-utsara (side B). With Sistere Diatribes return to natural sonority and resonance of real instruments such as cymbal, shakers, bells, bass drum and snare drums. Tabi-tabi is a track of numerous combinations, linear layering of rhythmical relationships between shakers and bells, which are being endlessly discovered and reinvented or are disappearing. Field of vibration of Utsara-utsara have the potential to dissolve the expectations of the listener into simple numerical textures, deep bass sounds, organic pulses and reverberations of background recording.

Both recordings are outcome of the bedroom session with possibilities of geometrically precise mathematical repetition of hand woven Persian carpets. The work of duo Diatribes brightened the tribal, irrational sound situation through the logic of clearly picked formulations, patterns and variations. Ideally and logically clearly chosen steps on the way into the unique sound universe.

It’s about the fact that tour music is very repetitive, like some ritual music, creating sense of loosing time for example, but in the other hand it is very rational and conceptual, and the formal aspect is just a technic to make more things, more small details, audible.“

Diatribes collaborated with Magda Mayas, Dominic Lash, Patrick Farmer, Derek Shirley, Hannah Marshall, Barry Guy, Keith Rowe…


d’incise – shakers & bells (A), cymbal (B), background (A & B)
Cyril Bondi – shakers & bells (A), floortom, bass drum & snare drums (B)

recorded, mixed and mastered by d’incise
artwork, design and handwork by Katarína Škamlová, Jakub Juhás and Zoltán Czakó
released by mappa as MAP06



Bij eerste beluistering van deze tape wist ik het eigenlijk niet zo goed, aan de ene kant heel spannend, maar kon het niet goed plaatsen zo minimaal. Maar na nog een aantal keer beluisteren en de live uitvoering te hebben gezien viel het allemaal op zijn plek. Het duo D’Incise en Cyril Bondi presenteren hier een intens werkje dat draait om zeer repetitieve minimale percussie in combinatie met subtiele electronica. Naar mate je langer en vaker naar het album luistert kom je langzaam in een soort hypnotiserende trance terecht. De eerste keer misschien even door bijten, maar voor de aanhouder een mooie ervaring in subliem minimalisme… Sietse’s top 30 van 2017 (De  Subjectivisten)
Both pieces are more than twenty minutes long and are bona fide repetitive electroacoustic recordings that usher the listener into a hypnotic state of timelessness, an inclusive communal ritual, a Zen-like mantra, a wall of sound for perception projections. There’s an inherent subtlety and gentleness to the record, the music evolves over time horizontally and vertically, with added and deducted instrumental layers. Sistere is a very open record – it welcomes the active listener, without excluding the «passive», comfortably drowsy one… Lucia Udvardyová (Norient)
According to the liner notes, both pieces were performed live over an unspecified ‘background recording’, but I’ll be damned if I can hear the recording; I also can’t tell if any looping or overdubs were used, or if the resonances and reverberations have been enhanced through the use of added effects. I suspect not, but it doesn’t really matter. The point of “Sistere” isn’t really to demonstrate technique, but to entrance and beguile with hypnotic rhythms and subtle shifts in timbre. And that’s something the album achieves with ease… Nathan Thomas (Fluid Radio)
As with the other side, over the course of the piece, the sound changes slowly and the end is quite different sounding than the beginning, even when the tempo seems to be the same throughout the piece. This is the kind of minimalism I like very much; it’s refined, steady, minimal and never seems to be stuck in the same thing that sounds the same for a very long time. Two lovely pieces… Frans de Waard (Vital Weekly)
Flipping the cassette, we find the twenty-four minute „Utsara-utsara“ (note the repetition in each of the titles) which is sparser than „Tabi-tabi“ but retains some of its characteristics, notably a constant rhythm maintained by a single drum, occasional background electronic noise and just enough variety to prevent boredom setting in. Both pieces could easily be employed as backing tracks for others to play over, but taken alone each of them has limitless capacity to mesmerise and fascinate… John Eyles (All About Jazz)
Imagine your favourite gamelan record slowed down and ironed out to a single fragrant strike repeated over and over again while something lurks behind the mix hissing and spitting. This is the music of waiting for bad things to happen and listening is an uneasy, spiritually distant experience – there is no euphoria in the repetition – just slowly creeping dread like the crops failed and goat milk has gone sour. Why’s everyone looking at me?… (radio free midwich)