Collecting Records

Reviews and pictures from Sietse's record collection

Daniel Menche – Guts (Editions Mego, 2012)

Noise, sometimes it is boring as hell, for example when the musicians in case can’t do anything else but create walls of sound without any subtle changes or if it is just noise for the noise. But sometimes it is great music to listen to as well. There are some masters out there who clearly know what they are doing, who knows that details are important or those who do have concepts and ideas. To this last group the American musician Daniel Menche belongs. Menche has an extensive catalogue on his name going from harsh noise to almost minimalist drone pieces. And always with a clear idea in his head.

The same goes up for his latest (is it still) full-length album Guts out on double LP (and CD) on Editions Mego. For Guts Menche worked with an old piano, but don’t let this scare you. He didn’t play the piano as usual, not sure if you should be happy about this but I guess it is for the better. No instead he used the piano as goal for throwing rocks at, which he recorded. With the recordings he started working and created four long pieces that we find back on the two LP’s.

In almost 80 minutes we are treated with weird noises where sometimes a pop from a string is heard, while in other moments we get rough noise.
Side A starts with the soft destruction of the piano, where the strings are very clear, while we also hear soft drones and beeps, but this seems like silence before the storm as this piece slowly transforms into a chaos of clipping and distorted sounds. Though in the chaos we  still find subtle sounds in the background in which the piano sounds are more recognizable.

For Side B it all starts out much softer again. We hear dark soundscapes combined with the rattling of the strings, as if they get scratched with metal. And again there is this transgression to the more noisy side, but this time without digital clipping or distorted sounds. It is as if the piano slowly gets ripped open by some metal cutting machines piece by piece. The sound is really here is pretty intense and makes you want to find out what is exactly happening.

In the other two piece Menche keeps this approach going, where it starts out silent, but eventually it grows to some harder noisy soundscapes. Each piece has its own characteristics where you could recognize these pieces on. For example in Side C we hear much soft sounds at some point, as if insects are running on a piece of paper. Menche shows clearly to be an interesting and skill-full noise musicians, who not just goes for the simple noise approach but tries to find a way to make the music something you want to keep on returning to.

The LP comes in lovely artwork with a x-ray picture of Daniel Menche his dog Arrow.

Listen to the CD version of the 4th track (the vinyl has a longer version):

Buy Daniel Menche – Guts over at


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This entry was posted on June 2, 2012 by in Review, Shorty and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .
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