The extensive musical output of Daniel Menche is often described with labels like experimental, abstract, or noise. These labels are accurate but limited, referring to preconceived music ideas that do not apply entirely to his work. Menche’s music can be experimental, but is not always abstract. It is more about suspending thought in favour of concrete visceral experiences. Menche has become a master in creating spaces where one can directly sense sound. Sometimes he blasts the ears with crushing brutality, and other times he induces dream-like states with delicate tones. In Forlorn, recorded for Room 40, he builds a disorienting place: a place for feeling lost.
Forlorn comprises two twenty-minute, siamese tracks, “Forlorn I” and “Forlorn II”, each filling one side of a tape. The sound design is impeccable, obscuring the origin of the sounds. These layered drones might be field recordings or a carefully designed sound synthesis. One notices a metallic timbre in the higher frequencies, while the low frequencies are organized in continuous, wave-like rumbles. Tones and textures change with slow-motion dynamics.
The listener walks back and forth, constantly crossing a blurred line between light and shadows. Sometimes the roughest passages and lowest frequencies claim the attention, leading one inside a hollow, dark space. At other times, subtler yet crisp details begin to emerge. High pitched melodic sounds echo in a place full of light. The music takes control of bodily sensations, obscuring the boundary between compositional intention and listener reception.
Forlorn is an album to play whenever one wants to feel lost, while holding onto the assurance that there is still a way home. (Tono Disonante)