DANIEL MENCHE – Body Melt

The superb artwork by Emily Hyde illustrates the sleeve of a white-vinyl LP, which the reviewer puts on the turntable, who knows why (what a liar, I do know why), with great expectations. The instrumentation promises a lot, too: Hammond organ and native American drums. Oooh, it makes me wonder: “Will DM mitigate his manners a tiny bit?” No way. Facilitated by the type of recording (in the “analog domain”) the impression is instantly one of typical Menche ferocity, albeit of a vaguely regulated kind.

The first side sounds like the representation of a turbulent day by a symphonic orchestra stuck on a single chord, as in a mental loop that made all the players forget everything they had learnt to that moment. Avalanches of roar and hiss rotate around the static harmony, only the bass line gradually shifting to situate the observation point elsewhere. The moments in which the definition of this murderous mantra is more evident are somewhat arousing, though ingurgitated again by the distorted mass until the end, the sound of pure electricity closing the section.

Face B throws us in the deep waters right away, the percussive factor highlighted in the mix, rapid fusillades reminding of a helicopter coming closer and closer amidst metallic clangors and dramatic background shifts. Because of those phenomena of aural misapprehension emblematic of the best entrancing music, we seem to pick out a human choir hidden somewhere in the surroundings. The second half embosses another classic Menche moment in our memory, indistinct organ notes exiting the stereo frame and beginning to bounce from a wall to the other, violently cuddling, caressingly devastating.

I tried to resist the hype, once more uselessly. You just have to love this man’s work. Body Melt is a must.

Important Records

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