Menche has had a great couple of years. After threatening to turn his back on releasing records after his fucking excellent Glass Forest CD, the quality of his output has been great. A few of you have emailed me about Feral being my record of 2011. One of the reasons why I selected that record is that Menche turned up the harshness factor so that his processed field recordings became a much more visceral experience.
On Guts, Menche abandons his processed field recordings and records himself abusing the crap out of the “guts” of a grand piano. He has a photo of it up on his website if you want to check it out. But what of the actual noise he manages to extract from thrashing the inner workings of such a nice instrument and then processing it. The first track is titled “Guts 2 x 4” and it is one of the most disagreeable things that I’ve heard Menche do. I’m not sure if it was a mistake to start the record with something so nasty but then again it could be actual genius. After “Guts 2 x 4” abruptly finishes, Guts One begins in a much more recognisably Menche fashion but the thing that struck me about it was the portentous heaviness of it all. This is Menche in Dark Ambient mode. His frequent interruptions of the cloud of filth with a sound which might be him dropping the whole mechanism gives it a quasi-indistrial vibe. Yet as it continues it descends(ascend?) into old fashion noise and has some similarities with Werewolf Jerusalem’s static wall noise. “Guts 2” tones down the all obliterating noise to add in much more creepy sounding effects. It’s all a bit sinister really but if you have a look at Menche’s photographic work I reckon he has always had a bit of an interest in desolate post apocalyptic imagery. And if I’m right about that then Guts may be his finest example of it. Those wanting to dabble in Menche need to stay the hell away from this. It is the heaviest thing I’ve heard him do. For those who don’t mind getting their bleak on this may be just the thing to start the new year with.