Daniel Menche

Scattered Remains: Early Rarities

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Even by avant-garde standards, the music of Daniel Menche poses certain challenges. His full-length works are forbidding enough, but the smaller projects gathered here on this two-disc set (which features edited versions of one-off compositions made for various-artist compilations in the 1990s) are especially abrasive and difficult. Really, the question that comes to mind as one listens is "What is the definition of music?." If it's the organization of sound in time and pitch, then Menche's compositions fit the bill about halfway: they consist of sounds generated by "crude homemade microphones plugged into lo-fi effect boxes and junk electronics," and the resulting grunts, glitches, and gravelly washes of noise seem to have only the most accidental pitch characteristics. There is occasionally something like a beat (as on the ominous "Furious Eclipse"), but for the most part these sound constructions seem to develop almost outside of time, in shifting or unfolding patterns that are sometimes surprisingly delicate but more often grey and dense, and occasionally downright frightening. Not that there's anything wrong with that -- but be aware that the experience you're going to have with this album, while undoubtedly sonic and artistic and accomplished, may or may not fit your definition of "music."