Portland, Oregon’s own Daniel Menche is an undisputed master of noise. His majestic sculptures are sometimes soothing, sometimes infinitely grating, and always intriguing. He elicits a sense of control unparalleled in this oft out-of-control genre.
Throughout his tours during 94 and 95, he created and controlled said sounds using his usual contact mics and effects, but added a sheet of glass and a mound of iodized salt as sound sources. Crowds stood astounded as Menche poured the salt on the glass then let loose with the mics, grinding them against the salt-covered glass with one hand and twiddling knobs with the other. He built sounds so huge and threatening, you’d think you were standing next to a Boeing 747 preparing for take off, but he’d just as easily leave you awash in crackling near-silence with your heart racing, trying to catch your breath.
Roy Christopher: What can you tell me about the new record you’re working on for Side Effects? I know you’re using more technology than usual, but what can you tell me about your plans?
Daniel Menche: The new CD of mine from side effects is called Screaming Caress and it was released on January 13th, and I am beyond excited for it. It’s my first full length studio CD in two years and it’s definitely is a big jump up from my past CDs. It’s like comparing a bad Beavis and Butthead cartoon to that japanesse cartoon Akira: A lot more of everything with extreme amounts of detail and power in the sounds. It’s my most proudest work yet, and I am happy Brian (Lustmord) pushed me hard enough to expand my music. He’s kinda like a boxing coach for me: He slaps my ass straight to throw the strongest punches. It’s been brutal yet healthy disipline. And yes, it’s true: I do use very excellent studio with rather high-tech recording stuff but I’m definitely more primitive and rawer in the sound sources as ever. It’s very funny to see me in this nice studio, making a mess breaking things, punching microphones… and have all that going in fancy recording stuff. I really feel my music needs better recording technology for more power and detail in all the noise. I think it seperates my work from others a bit this way. Also my music sounds terrible from an lo-fi approach.
RC: What got you into making sounds in the first place?
DM: I never really had any music experience at all. I knew i could have learned to play music but I didnt like following the rules of the music language, but i really felt i can still do music but i wasn’t interested in mindless noise either so a middle ground had to be chosen. Around 89 I started messing around with crappy tape recorders and speakers and junk. Around 92 things started to take shape and looking like my noise was making sense. Then I got offered a CD from Soleilmoon, and I really put my head together and got serious. That was Incineration, my first CD. A rather crude recording at the time, but it showed I had a future to grow. It’s been just a few years, but my music has progressed a lot more terms of depth and power. I’m happy to see my little demon grow up to a bigger devil. The future is looking brillaint for it!
RC: Do you have any other projects coming up you can tell me about? I heard that Furnace Fucker and Blood Sand were going to be reissued on CD.
DM: Right now I am working on a CD for Ash International. No title yet. It will be totally diffrent approach from my other works: Much weirder sound sources and diffrent compisition approach. Mayuko Hino of C.C.C.C. is letting me use her raw vocal sounds as a sound source so this will be a fun CD to work on. After this I will do the final mixes on a collaboration CD I’m doing with Aube. It’s been two years in the working, but it will be finally realized soon. The whole CD is made from rain storm sounds from Japan and America and we both went crazy treating the rain sounds. Now I gotta do the final mix.
Then I will record a full CD of 1997 remixes of Furnace Fucker, Blood Sand, Chrome Homicide, Furius Eclipse, and possibly other remixes. I’m thinking of calling it somthing silly like “Furnace Fucker and Other Fellow Feinds.” For some weird reason, I still laugh my ass off over that title.
After that CD, there’s a lot of ideas, but I must refrain from having too many releases. I think that’s an unhealthy trend now: Having as many noise releases as possible, so expect an mellow pace for my releases.