DANIEL MENCHE – Blood Of The Land

Ferns

I could consume much more than these twenty minutes and fifty seconds of storm recordings from Oregon, captured on tape between 2009 and 2010. Naturally Daniel Menche is not the first who attempts to create significant reactions in a listener’s psyche through the logic of acoustic threat elicited by the clout of blizzards; BJ Nilsen – to name someone on the fly – did great things with the same essential constituents a while back. However, as always with the Portlander, the composition is what ultimately wins. This is neither a sheer accumulation of rumbles and roars, nor a studio modification of natural phenomena morphed into a huge grey cloud of ambiguity. Menche takes three/four reiterative natural principles and sets them apart in the mix, a veritable evolved version of a doom band: bass, drums, percussion, drones (of course) are present. All is missing is a guitar, in this case not desirable. The imposing configuration of the music – because this is music, made with the best sounds a being can aspire to be overwhelmed by – causes a complete reassessment of the role of a listener, who – in such a circumstance – should learn a valuable lesson in paying attention to what, in certain moments of our lives, seems normal and instead is not. The earth has many ways of making its voice be heard, especially now that the injuries are so severe. Menche is there already, waiting for further messages, painting the face of human uncertainty with brown soil which in turn will be washed away by the hard rain of truth.

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