Daniel Menche makes noise. Loud. Clattering. Ritualistic... but altogether thoughtfully constructed deconstruction. The Portland, Ore.-based musician's discography goes back nearly three decades, a jagged line of antagonism that's simultaneously become more extreme and more meditative over those many years.
Menche released six albums last year alone, including a few under his Beast moniker, which includes sounds from his ferocious pet chihuahua. But at the very tail-end of the year, Menche stepped out of the harsh realities of conscious life and into the realms of waking life. Originally released digitally via Bandcamp, Sleeper now comes to a triple-CD box set. This is ambient music built from field recordings and a broken Farfisa organ, manipulated into the deepest recesses of dreams.
"Strange sparkles of light flicker and swim across our eyelids as they are chased by darkness," Menche writes in his description of Sleeper. "Subtle abstract films play every night, even in our deepest slumber, projected on the movie screens found inside our eyes. Sleeper is a soundtrack to these internal films."
At sixteen-plus minutes, the opening track from this record serves as a good introduction to a sonic behemoth. An organ drone penetrates the core, as rumbling bass tones and darkly shimmering bells lurk and swirl like bats in the nethermost caves of slumber. Find a nice pair of headphones and a good place to lay your head, and fall into Sleeper's dank, dream world.
Sleeper comes out May 19 on Sige.