Label: The Tapeworm
Fans of Daniel Menche, or for that matter the Editions Mego label in general, will no doubt already be aware of the Portland artist's interest in the ferocious sounds made by waterfalls. Last year's 'Katarakt' was constructed from a number of waterfall field recordings made around the pacific Northwest of the USA, and while the end product featured some heavy-duty processing, this new Tapeworm edition gives us an insight into the unconditioned sonic profile of these natural forces. Each side spans around twenty minutes and captures a different location: the first is a raw recording of "Tunnel Falls at the Eagle Creek trail in the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon, USA" while the second side depicts the "South Falls in Silver Falls State Park located in the Oregon Cascade Mountains, USA". There's a certain matter-of-fact-ness to these documents that recalls Russell Haswell's Wild Tracks, and the omission of post-processing or sanitising treatments comes as a welcome strategy. The first side tends to be highly active among the higher registers of the frequency range, and a little close listening soon reveals the more nuanced attributes of what initially might manifest itself as a bombardment of white noise. You'll hear a flow of resonant, dripping noises merging with the falls itself, and the overall intensity of the piece varies, prompting you to wonder from what vantage point Menche made the recordings and whether or not he was moving around at the time. The second side proves the more fearsome of the two, gradually developing into an overwhelming roar in its latter stages, which itself suggests that Menche is edging closer towards the falls as he records - not only does the document seem to get louder, it acquires a more middle-y, throaty quality. The effect is subtly quite menacing, as if you're approaching the maw of some enormous beast. Another fine Tapeworm edition then, and as usual supply is highly limited, with just 250 copies circulating. Grab one while you can.
Cat. number: TTW019