Dusted Reviews

Daniel Menche - Drunk Gods

today features
reviews charts
labels writers
info donate

Search by Artist

Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Dusted

email address

Recent Reviews

Dusted Reviews

Artist: Daniel Menche

Album: Drunk Gods

Label: Lapilli

Review date: Mar. 23, 2005

Since his first release, “Incineration” in 1993, the works of Portland-based sound artist Daniel Menche have often been portrayed as that of just one more dogmatic purveyor of harsh and horrible power electronics. Simply lumping him in with noise behemoths such as Merzbow and Aube, however, is a mistake. Menche himself would baulk at such terminology being applied to his work, preferring to see himself as a sound sculptor, trading in the currencies of order and cohesiveness as opposed to chaos. His is a quest for ‘vehement beauty’; to put it in his own words, “to interpret and convey through pure sound and music the forceful emotions found externally in nature and the deep internal emotions of humanity.”

After a brief hiatus from music-making at the end of the ’90s and a recent flirtation with more meditative drone-based material, Menche has now returned to his more brutal beginnings. This, the second release from London-based Lapilli Recordings (the first featured sometime Menche collaborator Francisco Lopez), clearly marks out his renewed appetite for more vigorous sonic pastures. Comprising of a solitary 20-minute piece, Drunk Gods sounds like an aerophobic’s worst nightmare – the endless escalating roar of a plane’s engines taxing for take-off. Starting sedately enough, with discrete crackles and pops ricocheting between speakers, a concussive pulse emerges accompanied by powerful surges of low-end distortion. Meanwhile, a swarm of angry locusts, fueled directly from the mains, carry the weight of the creation upon their backs, threatening to engulf all that has gone before. The tumult of flowing textures are in a constant state of evolution, a decidedly organic structure (chief amongst Menche’s arsenal are the human body and contact microphone), which could be due to Menche enlisting a sound engineer to help him achieve the fullest spectrum of sound possible.

Toward its momentous conclusion Drunk Gods offers a hint of Menche’s previous love-affair with all things zen and a possible insight into things to come; the sound of a distressed organ can be heard slowly incubating below the ferocious flux, threatening to blanket the savage tapestry in an all-encompassing tone. But the beautiful plot is never finally hatched and the happy ending remains obscured. Maybe, in the near future, the two-sides of Menche’s work will be reconciled, but for now this is a more than adequate taster.

By Spencer Grady

Other Reviews of Daniel Menche

Eye on the Steel


Read More

View all articles by Spencer Grady

Find out more about Lapilli

©2002-2011 Dusted Magazine. All Rights Reserved.