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RLLRLRLLRRLRLRLRLLRLRLR is the project of Swiss drummer-sound-artist-composer Julian Sartorius and the contemporary drummers’ quartet Ensemble This | Ensemble That, which collaborated before with French contemporary percussionist Lê Quan Ninh and Swiss contemporary composer Jürg Frey. Sartorius composed this work in collaboration with the Ensemble, and he assumes the role of an interactive conductor, who manipulates the sounds made by the drummers of Ensemble This | Ensemble – Brian Archinal, Victor Barceló, Miguel Angel Garcia Martin and Bastian Pfefferli.

This project expands Sartorius’ fluid and versatile solo performances in which he continually modulates the sound of his instruments, adding objects and progressively unfolding his sound world. It also corresponds with Sartorius’ recent solo project Locked Groove (-Ous, 2021) which offered 112, one-minute studies on reduction and repetition, exploring the potential of a repertoire performed under rigorous conditions and regulated by a loop length.

RLLRLRLLRRLRLRLRLLRLRLR is based on a multi-layered, rhythmic pattern of 23 individual beats,  played continuously by the Ensemble while Sartorius gradually makes alterations to the instruments played, leading to a sustained rhythmic flow that is perpetually changing. Sartorius’ precise interventions in the almost mystical-shamanic and minimalist-repetitive pattern open it and allow the listener to discover an expansive array of moods and intensities. The album was designed as an endless loop: at the end of the recording, the ensemble’s sound has returned to its starting point, thereby completing a self-contained cycle, with no beginning or end.

RLLRLRLLRRLRLRLRLLRLRLR is a hypnotic sonic journey into the hidden tones of prepared instruments, bridging the gap between organic timbres and the vocabulary of experimental music. Its diverse musical landscapes suggest constantly shifting musical moods and sharpen our – the listeners’ – sense of sonic curiosity. Sartorius concludes: «What you do is a fundamental question. But it’s how you do something that ultimately determines the effect».

Eyal Hareuveni 

Julian Sartorius (drum manipulations), Brian Archinal (drums), Victor Barceló (drums), Miguel Ángel García Martín (drums), Bastian Pfefferli (drums)