Beta-Lactam Ring

Let’s all stop identifying Daniel Menche exclusively with noise. Most of his past music already contained the seeds of imploded harmony, often a sort of disguised chorale finding its nourishment amidst unreasonable quantities of injurious distortion. In other releases, such as Garden (Auscultare Research/Ground Fault) with Kiyoshi Mizutani, we were led into states of highly charged standstill which projected us back to the deeply-buried traces of a long lost innocence. With Deluge & Sunder, Menche conjures up the healing qualities of drone music with the same shamanic spirit – mixed with the usual bad intentions – that have characterised the best records in the history of the genre. Conceived between 2001 and 2003 (Deluge was released on vinyl that year, while the sequel Sunder has remained unheard until now), these four tracks avoid boisterous affirmations in favour of growls and rumbles deriving from bowed / scraped / violently struck piano strings in conjunction with harmoniums, harmonicas and a lot of horns (to quote Menche, “it’s a HORNY record”). Forget brass sections though, think instead of a subterranean purr, a superimposition of dissonant mantras acting as a sublime introduction to the “emotional pragmatism” of static music with sense. We’ve been told about La Monte Young, Tony Conrad and related pupils for years, with most people accepting as a dogma everything they’ve ever released. With Deluge & Sunder Daniel Menche skyrockets to that level: this surpasses many albums that people still pay $400 to get a copy of, most of which aren’t worth more than $25 in any case. 66 minutes of goosebumps, serious emotions born from that “big vibe” that in theory animates life, yet which many ignorantly still consider to be mere noise.

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