“I traversed the worlds, I ascended into the suns, and soared with the Milky Ways through the wastes of heaven; but there is no God. I descended to the last reaches of the shadows of Being, and I looked into the chasm and cried: ‘Father, where art thou?’ But I heard only the eternal storm ruled by none, and the shimmering rainbow of essence stood without sun to create it, trickling above the abyss.”
So declares Christ in the opening section of Jean Paul’s 1796 text “Speech of the Dead Christ”. The text served as inspiration for the music presented on this split album by Daniel Menche and William Fowler Collins, and in the instance of the above quote, also functions as an apt description for it – immense, harrowing, and numinous. Like the procession of images conjured in Jean Paul’s twisting passages, the sounds made by Collins and Menche unfurl in a trail of drifting shadow punctuated by convulsive spasms of light.
Opening the album with a harmonious set of gently spiraling tones, Daniel Menche’s piece “Raised Coils of the Giant Serpent of Eternity” offers only this brief moment of serenity before a headlong dive into a cacophonous abyss of darker dimensions. Suspended in pools of liquid bass, layers of molten brass hover, dissolve and reappear. Pitches rise and fall, intersecting for brief periods of melodic convergence before crumbling again into heaving slabs of rumbling dissonance. Closing out the piece a low and solemn tone emerges from the roar of Menche’s spectral orchestra, seeming less like resolve, than the final flickering breath of a dying star.
Conversely, William Fowler Collins’ offering on the second side remains in a state of subdued tension for much of its duration. Primarily constructed around the emanations of decayed strings, these glimmering filaments seem in perpetual retreat from comfortable stasis or momentous upheaval. Swaying over a backdrop of inky black, disharmonious clusters gradually pile one over the other, pulling apart and recombining, eventually forming a jagged and unsettling crest. From here bilious clouds of humming static overtake the disintegrating strings, appearing long enough to set the stage for the conclusion of the narrative. Much like the opening Menche’s piece on the reverse side, Collins’ gently cascading sheaves of brushed guitar that close out the album serve as a small enclave of comfort in the otherwise lightless caverns through which he and Menche have driven the listener.
The LP is housed in a custom letter pressed 12″ jacket designed by Aaron Turner & Faith Coloccia, limited to 250 copies. There will be a cassette version as well limited to 50 copies.
Daniel Menche has previously released albums through labels such as Touch, Editions Mego, Soleilmoon Recordings, RRRecords, Sub Rosa, etc.
William Fowler Collins has previously released his music through labels such as Type, Root Strata, Digitalis, Utech, Handmade Birds, etc.
Individually William Fowler Collins and Daniel Menche have collaborated with and remixed artists such as KK Null, Kevin Drumm, Sunn0))), Gog, Mike Shiflet, Pyramids, Andrew Liles, John Weise, MSBR, etc.
STREAM: Daniel Menche – “Raised Coils of the Giant Serpent of Eternity” (excerpt)
STREAM: William Fowler Collins – “I Heard Only the Eternal Storm” (excerpt)
“For the last two decades, the Portland, OR, musician has built dozens of massive, teeming spans of sound, deliberately sculpting a cacophony of static, hum, and rhythm into objects of inescapable gravity. Menche is a wizard of tone and a master of pacing, toggling expertly between tedium and restlessness, a linked pair that’s something of a holy grail in such long-tone experimental fare.”
– Pitchfork on Daniel Menche
”… this guitarist-by-trade brings the most sinis- ter depths of heavy music into the digital era, pulling from both the barren Western doomscapes of Hex-era Earth and the icy calm of Brian Eno’s ambient work to craft a sound that makes for the most bleak vision of America’s future drummed up by Cormac McCarthy look like the roaring ‘20s. This will grip you as only the things that both mesmerize you and shake you to your most fearful, trembling core can. If you are trapped out in the Mojave with only a few ounces of water left before the buzzards come for your fetid corpse, this will be your soundtrack accompaniment.”
– Pop Matters on William Fowler Collins
DANIEL MENCHE / WILLIAM FOWLER COLLINS
Limited pressing of 270 LPs & 50 Cassettes
1. Daniel Menche – “Raised Coils of the Giant Serpent of Eternity”
2. William Fowler Collins – “I Heard Only the Eternal Storm”