Daniel Menche: Rhodes electric piano, gongs, metal strings, guitars, church bells, monastery pipe organ, pianos, full choir, brass horns, trumpets, Hammond organs and other forgotten sound sources
Let me rehash the old curmudgeon’s tirade yet again. In these years of worldwide economic wreck, every individual who has lost a daily occupation, or couldn’t find one, or is sick and tired of getting kicked by reality and dreams of becoming some kind of idolized holy entity, is licensed by the dreaded HRC (Home Recording Commonwealth) to self-portray as a “musician”. Never mind that an authentic musician is born as such and cannot be fabricated, and that wannabes should at the very least know the basic properties of several instruments to capture a iota of the messages forwarded to their personal organization by the act of extracting sounds from them, possibly in isolation. About 98% of the current mass of nobodies labeling themselves as “musicians” have settled quite steadfastly into the drone domain. Minimum effort for maximum result, as they say, hip coverage and usually unmerited accolades raining in after the useful acquaintances have been anointed.
Despite an achieved (and, in this case, deserved) renown, by all odds Daniel Menche belongs to the remaining 2%. All it takes to realize it – if you have never tackled his abundant body of work before – is plunging in the Leprous Drones, recently published by the Oregonian and already a regular presence in this writer’s hole of an existence. The first consideration made upon reading Menche’s introduction (not to mention the ironic title) is that these consistently glorious mantras were more or less regarded as remainders, or mere cocoons of works to be developed. The fact that these previously neglected recordings sound deeply gripping as opposed to the average production by the above mentioned impostors is explained by a single sentence: Menche is a man who understands much of the core significance of living. Translation: he’s able to sublimate the intrinsic musical essence of a given phenomenon. He walks across deserts and forests to keep learning, loves his canine protector (the mythical Arrow, an adorably cute Chihuahua*), listens to the Silence – either the real one, or that which borders with the untainted integrity of extreme noise, be it a waterfall or a superimposition of percussive patterns mutilated by gritty overdrive. You feel the breath, envision the stains of sweat, share the tears of an indocile interior motivation while bathing in purifying compounds of bewitching resonances.
I could type 2000+ terms to recount how wondrously the organ clusters spread out within your (semi) consciousness, or depict the arrhythmic motility of a concoction of stretched church bell reverberations affecting a room’s susceptibility. Or tell that my skull’s bones felt like being kneaded during the first track. But the lone serviceable adjective at the moment is “healing”. In the right conditions, certain issues can be looked at with a firmer mental posture; a venerable blond shaman has just furnished the world with thirteen remedies against the cheap mannerism brought by the “everybody’s droning” virus, enhancing our own vibrational insight in the meantime.
(* All the income generated by Leprous Drones will be utilized by Menche for Arrow’s food. Honest!)