The driving force behind the drum/noise project BEAST is Daniel Menche, though he is often accompanied by Joe Preston and John Haughm. Both Menche and Preston have been active in the experimental scene in the Pacific Northwest for many years. Menche has released a ton of material under his own name, much of it based in field recordings and other ambient noise. He recently put out a split release with William Fowler Collins on Sige Records. Use of natural recordings in Menche’s work goes all the way back to his earliest releases, although the processing techniques have shifted over time. Preston appeared on some of the earliest releases from Earth and Melvins and contributed to one of my favorite records of all time, Altar from Sunn O))) and Boris. Not to be outdone, Haughm is a member of Agalloch and has a few split releases with Matthias Grassow, another favorite here at Orion’s Bastard.
A transplant from the East Coast to Albuquerque, William Fowler Collins has been combining guitar sounds, various processing effects and electronics, and cassette recording equipment to create brooding experimental works since 2008. Perdition Hill Radio was released by Type Records in 2009 and it bounced around a while before entering into my record collection a few years later and it’s been a match made in heaven. Deep drones persist throughout the record and it aurally captures a sparseness that, according to Tiny Mix Tapes:
is the soundtrack for going under. The other channels on the radio dial have completely vanished into the void with almost everything else.
In addition to his solo releases, Collins has collaborated or been featured on split releases with Daniel Menche and GoG. A graduate of the MFA program in Music at Mills College, he was teaching a class at Sound Art at the University of New Mexico as of the most recent update, where he is doing the Lord’s work introducing people to Merzbow. Those interested in hearing more from collins should check out his Bandcamp or Discogs.