CYRIL CYRIL

Swiss duo Cyril Cyril, featuring Cyril Yeterian, Bongo Joe Records owner and his fellow Geneva resident Cyril Bondi, return this October with their new album Yallah Mickey Mouse. Famed for their electric live show, equally at home on a big festival stage as they are in small, sweaty club, their music mixes tough plucking and rhythmical patterns and percussion from Lebanon, The Levant and North Africa.

The name for the album came to the duo while on tour with Swiss experimental transpop duo Hyperculte in the Middle East. While visiting the pyramids Vincent the double bass player from Hyperculte rode a camel named…. Mickey Mouse.

“He was so uncomfortable riding a camel it was such a scene.” recalls Cyril Yeterian. “Watching him tell with a very French accent  ‘yallah’  to the camel to have him step forward on the sand.  So  ‘yallah mickey mouse’  was born. We immediately thought about the power this sentence had politically speaking. No words to add. Arabic world vs American imperialism? Is there anything to say people don’t know already?”

 Coming together in 2017, both looking for new challenges, Cyril Yeterian took on the banjo, adding a wealth of effect pedals to it, turning the sound into something similar to a bouzouki  or a krar. Cyril Bondi meanwhile cobbled together some cannibal drum kit, with massive jingle bells and tropical nut shells embedded into his marching bass drum. The duo released Certaine Ruines LP in 2018 and played numerous, rapturously received shows and festival appearances throughout mainland Europe.

Cyril Yeterian is the former singer and accordion player for Swiss, Cajun blues outfit Mama Rosin. A three-piece that stirred the ghosts of the rogue bayou, the clammy Mardi Gras of some electric Louisiana, releasing 4 albums before they went their separate ways in 2015.  As well as his career in making and recording music, Yeterian is also one of the owners of Swiss record label, record store and global taste makers Bongo Joe Records.

The second Cyril, Cyril Bondi, has been for a long time a key figure on the Swiss experimental music scene and is a founding member of the band Plaistow. In the field of experimental music, he has worked with projects such as diatribes, La Tène and Komatsu. Bondi leads the Insub Meta Orchestra, a large experimental ensemble of 60 musicians.

Les Gens, the first single to come from the new album, is raw and murky, laced with an eerie ambience. Like many of their songs, the lyrics are politically charged.

“The idea of the song was paradoxically born at a moment where we were completely fed up with how extreme tourism had become in both the most popular spots close to us and all around the world.” explains Cyril Yeterian. “What turned out really odd is that a few months later, everything was stopped by the covid. And suddenly there was no one in the streets, and we realized our song could be understood as the nostalgia we have about the time we were gathering altogether. So we invite anyone to get this song the way they prefer!”

Second single Al Boustan has another undeniable groove, doused with heavy swirls of psychedelia.

“Al Boustan looks at how our narcissism and the narrow fascination of ourselves deserve to come up against the unalterable force of the elements that decorate our daily lives. The trees will always grow and the moon will rise and set as long as a human eye looks up to the sky. Nevertheless. Against everything. We are many and we are nothing.”

With the release of Yallah Mickey Mouse, Cyril Cyril once again confirm themselves as one one the most exciting bands on Geneva experimental scene, and now doubt will be thrilling audiences around Europe again as soon as they can.


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IMAGES: To download, click above. Photo credit to Mehdi Benkler.

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