Once again, the inexpressible sense of potency received as a gift from Daniel Menche’s experiments affirms its dominance, this time in a 39-minute piece based on recordings of waterfalls in the Pacific Northwest, processed and enhanced in the studio with some measure of electronics.
The compositional configuration in Kataract follows an arc of sorts, an itinerary defined by ominous, devastating and, at the end of the day, spellbinding tones. The initial pulse is accompanied by an intimidating kind of reverberation, akin to the animal perception of an earthquake that’s about to become manifest. It doesn’t take too much for the massive wall of noise to come out and destroy as the liquid sources are corrupted and re-sequenced, thus giving life to varying degrees of dynamic shift and shape modification. We hear feedback, synthetic waves, heavy percussion, powerful wind, aircrafts, even screaming – but, as always, it’s all a figment of our imagination.
What we get for real instead is the quintessence of a positive brutality generated by natural phenomena. The mastery in Menche’s craft transforms this simple yet critical element in a means for entering a state of transcendence typical of his finest creations; so remotely distant from the discounted amassments and alterations recorded on CDR by a gazillion of wannabes. He collects sonic essences by exploiting the intensification and the inside structures of an environmental occurrence, letting the beneficiaries understand the parameters and the regulations that, ultimately, are innate in every type of chaos.
When the incessant ferocity is finally placated and the music directs towards an adequate conclusion (strangely enough, with a sound that recalls an amplified flow gurgling down a drain underlined by impressive subsonics), one feels like having been invulnerable throughout. On the contrary, a superior force just overwhelmed us. This artist is an unsurpassed extractor of harmonic significance from wholesome violence, and we’ve been shouting this for almost 20 years now.