The INSTITUTRICE duo is part of a global musical trend seeking to re-enchant 21st century music, lately plagued by phoney, insincere and market-driven tendencies, a process German sociologist Max Weber calls disenchantment (Entzauberung), when modern technology progressively replaces the Old Magic.
French percussionist and field recordist Jean-Baptiste Geoffroy together with composer and sound-designer Éric Bentz are also part of La Colonie de Vacances, the live reunion of 4 French noise-rock bands.
On their debut album as a duo, they aim to reconcile current sound processing techniques with ancient ethnic music traditions.
The sound textures on the Cohortes LP were created with an Asian-inspired, home made drum kit, assembled from various sources like kitchenware (tin pans and copper dishes), genuine ethnic music instruments (singing bowl or gongs), and complete with dismembered parts of a regular drum kit (toms and cymbals). This makeshift drum set was later expanded through sound processing and creative montage, with added synthesizer parts and field recordings also extending the palette. Making full use of the microtonal and magical properties of these South Asian percussions, Cohortes is a haunted and powerful album. Not so much a reconstruction, though, rather a means to experience a unique propitiatory music from the comfort of your home.
Their music conjures up, among other things, the horizontal gong instrument called Kong Vong Thom found in traditional Cambodian orchestras, or the flurry of Kolintang gongs from Mindanao island in Southern Philippines. So we are here entering a floating world of sounds, an imaginary folklore of traditional Asian percussion musics, yet channeled through powerful drumming, dazzling arrangements and subtle electronic sounds.