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Face of Vehemence

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Album Review

Daniel Menche has a way of releasing his albums on small labels and in limited editions. So it is a nice gesture from the California-based Ground Fault to put out this CD, especially since this record company keeps its prices very low — finally a Menche album easy (well, easier) to locate and buy. And a good one too! The Face of Vehemence is pushed in front of the listener without an iota of information, except for a dictionary definition of the word vehemence — the title of the four-part, 67-minute suite on the disc. The artist uses the whole palette of abstract sound artistry, from ambient atmospheres up to wall-to-wall harsh noise. Some passages gradually and delicately meld layers of noise to create dense textures, but in other places Menche pulls abrupt stops (the "zero gravity" effect) and razor blade edits. Sub-bass rumbles, high-pitched drones, sounds heard from within their points of origin — they all accumulate, dragging oversaturation and noise pollution along with them. Menche organizes them in slowly developing movements that wrap up the listener. The third part is rough and seems to lack focus, but the first and fourth provide typical (although unpredictable) aural journeys. The Face of Vehemence is not his strongest album, but it is a more than fair effort and a nice place to start for the newcomer. ~ François Couture, Rovi

Face of Vehemence, Daniel Menche
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