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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Mare Di Dirac - Vespertillionem [Le Crepuscule Du Soir - 2013]

Mare Di Dirac are an Italian collective who create lo-fi, morbid, and sometimes ritual based sound that mixers together elements field recordings, natural & creepy reverb, human voices, subtle electronics, and selection of instrumental/ percussion matter taking in: old church organ, didgeridoo, Tibetan bells, marine trumpet, rain drum & other elements.  I guess you’d say their sound falls somewhere between crude ritual ambience, murky grim drone matter, and dark ‘n’ dank sound art.

The collective  is seemingly centre around: L. Abattoir( of blackly unrelenting HNW project Nascitari, & suicidal doom  piano ‘n’ manic wail project Tomorrow I'll Shoot Myself in the Mouth), and  Luca Di Dato (of drone/ HNW/ Harsh noise project Poseitrone).  With sometime bleak sonic support from D.D.( from the project Assolo).  The project started at some point in 2011 or 2010, and so far they have released a few CDR’s, a DVD, and this pro pressed CDR release.

This release is named after the largest & best known family of bats, which are also know as Vesper bats, evening bats or the common bat. The release comes in a DVD case sized digit-pak that takes in on it’s front cover a ancient stone stone statue of a bat like god, and on the inside cover we get pictures of the duo of L. Abattoir & Luca Di Dato performing live. The back cover is taken up by description & diagrams explaining the albums creation/ concept


This release is built around a mix of:  bat sounds(that are brought to the human audible level), an old church organ, human voices, natural reverb & some subtle electronic elements/ manipulations. With parts of the material been recorded in Staffarda abbey (Santa Maria di Staffarda)  which is a Cistercian monastery located  near Saluzzo in north-west Italy.

The album features two track “Camazotz” that comes in at 11.45 mark, and the title track that comes in at the 22.48 mark.  “Camazotz” starts off with two or three layers of mournful human groaning/grim chanting; and as these subtle build-up they form a bleak sort of tapestry of mournful & bleak drone matter- these bring to mind a mass of shuffling dark priest zombies in a stone crypt. Around the four minute mark a slow ‘n’ creepy drift of bat sounds,  & subtle noise roar/ natural reverb is added- along with this low down glitch sound( which I guess must be connected to the bats). And the rest of the track drift & buffets along in this mix of bat sound/ reverb, and dips back down into the bleak human moans & drones.  The whole track really brings to mind dank, creepy & ancient cave structures, and odd/deformed living dead  priests carrying out strange & un-alterable rituals.

The second track starts out a lot more active with an amass of bat sounds, natural reverb billow & rush, plus a few sudden & fleeting knocking/ creaking board sounds.  This track feels a bit more open & less oppressive than the first track, giving more the feeling of been in a crumbling ruin that is open to the night sky in places, where the bats are streaming in & out of.  It’s 'ok' for the first eight or so  minutes, but there after it starts to slip into rather sonic boredom, as all there is here is the radom twitting of bats & the odd natural drone rise.  Thankfully around the 12 minute mark a sustained church organ drone is added to the track giving some new sonic interesting & feel of dark brooding-ness. This drone stays buzzing & sustained on one note until around the 17 minute mark, when a few more hovering organ keys are held down.  The tracks ‘ok’ I guess, but could it have been way better if some editing had taken place near the mid-way point, and it also would have been nice if more had been done with the last quarter of the track, as it felt like the pair had run out of ideas & were just dwelling in organ buzz because they can’t think what else to do.


On the paper I very much like the idea of what Mare Di Dirac are trying to do with their sound by create this ancient & dark sounding sonic world- but sadly in reality this releases two tracks are very much hit & miss. The  first track is the least problematic, and it really does create a chilling & dank vibe. Sadly the second track feels too under- developed & thrown together on the spot- sure there are a few effective moments here & there, but one feels it’s more by luck than design.  I’ll certainly be interested in hearing future work from this project, but on the whole "Vespertillionem" is very much mixed in quality & execution.

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Roger Batty
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