Tag Archives: Vital Weekly


Oh, holy heck! This is one ferocious beast of an album, a non-stop convulsion of nine concise blammo noise attacks that’s exactly as fierce as one might want/imagine a Marvel Team-Up of John Wiese and Wyatt Howland/Skin Graft to be. Straight out of the gate from its opening volley, this pummels… there’s so much constant motion and so many simultaneous competing lines of noise that it demands deep attention to keep up with the barrage of simultaneous explosions. A glass-shattering cascade will fire in several directions with different shades of crunch, stutter for half a second, then reconfigure and blast again with machine-gun scatter, glassine feedback and synthesizer spraying new colours/shapes. “Accessible World” attacks at top velocity for its short duration… which is just long enough to cram in enough energy to fuel a dozen lesser noise albums. On “Melpomene”, for example, the track’s five minutes contain a whirl of competing elements that twist, implode, then erupt over and over. A lesser album might have been expanded from this piece alone, but Wiese favours brevity… his discography (both solo and with his group Sissy Spacek) features a surprising number of one-sided seven inches and half-hour-or-less CDs. I suppose he likes to get to the point and leave ‘em breathlessly wanting more… which he does! So while it shouldn’t be a surprise that these nine tracks last just over half an hour, he packs plenty of information to warrant return visits, allowing listeners to change focus and hear the ultra-dense and ultra-active music differently. The quick inhalations between tracks are the only pause that a listener gets, and they aren’t much respite… “Accessible World” is restless noise, ceaseless high-density sound in perpetual furiously-breathless motion, recorded at a level of clarity to encourage/reward concentrated listening if that’s what you want to do with it. Or, you can play “Accessible World” loud and not overthink it… (HS)
––– Address: https://helicopter.bandcamp.com/


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Vital Weekly 793
JOHN WIESE – GGA (12″ by Teenage Teardrops)

Now here is an interesting record, by noise supremo John Wiese. When I started this 12″ I thought it had something to do with his love for the Haters: smashing glass, highly separated in the two channels. But then a peek on the information learns that this is actually a stereo mix of a 4 channel installation. It sounds great, but then, like Wiese, I am big fan of The Haters too. The sound of smashing, breaking and crunching of glass is very loudly recorded here, and has a great physical quality to it. It bounces loudly and a strong, minimal, conceptual edge to it. This could have lasted LP size to me, instead of 12″. Totally captivating noise in the best sense of the word. Now that’s what I call noise: intelligent, loud, conceptual and listenable. (FdW)

Address: http://teenageteardrops.com

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Vital Weekly 666

We may know both of them as noise makers and perhaps best to forward to Jliat, but since meeting both artists, on different occasions I think, the curious me thought it would be good to check ‘what they are doing now’. It was nice to keep and investigate further. Wiese plays here ‘electronics, objects, msp, voice, synthesizer’ and Yeh plays ‘voice, synthesizer, electronics, tabletop bass guitar, objects’. The first thing that can be noticed is that there are fourteen tracks here, which range somewhere between one and half minute and six minutes. That’s perhaps I wouldn’t expect. Maybe I assumed three fifteen minutes of straight forward noise. That also doesn’t happen. Surely things are noisy around ‘Cincinnati’, but the two take their inspiration more from the world of musique concrete than from the true noise world. They cut the sounds to pieces, play around with acoustic objects, amplified and recorded with contact microphones, take back in volume when needed and push things up when necessary. Each of the fourteen pieces has its own character, sounding different from the previous or the next, making this a highly varied but also highly interesting CD. This is the kind of the noise thing that gives me a great smile on my face, certainly some of the more funnier pieces using voices and the the nice cover art. (FdW)

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Vital Weekly 626

It might be a 4CD box, but that’s just Sissy being generous, as all four albums also have titles of their own and seem to have no direct connection to each other, not even concerning who’s playing (the only constants being John Wiese and Corydon Ronnau). So no idea what these albums are doing together in one plastic box, but hey, I won’t complain about Sissy overload, especially when it’s as diverse as this. Of course, ‘diverse’ is relative, as all of this is clearly right at home under that misnomer called Noise. So, a runthrough then: Album one is called “Tinsel Dripping Ink” and collects 26 short tracks, of which a couple are remixes by like-minded such as Gerritt, Oblivia (from Smegma) and Tom Recchion. I actually don’t think there’s a better introduction to the either the band or even the genre as this album, it sounds like a dictionary of noise music, with elements of basically every other experimental music style thrown in for reference. It’s quite something. Album two (“Police”) has less tracks , and they’re marginally longer, and apart from that they sound more like coming from an actual band playing. It has quite a jazzy/improvy feeling to it, maybe like a more quiet John Olson project. It gets more & more quiet with every track, until at the end you think you’re listening to some Japanese reductionist workout. Album three, which goes under the mystical title “Abreq Ad Habra” is two long pieces recorded for radio shows. All I can say is that I worry about the people listening to these radio stations without knowing what they got themselves into. “13-Tet Los Angeles” finally is two live sets by a larger ensemble and returns in sound a little to the second disc, albeit more lively. Everything is being scratched and scraped in good improv fashion. For a band not so known for it’s diversity, this 4CD breaks open that completely by showing only four possibilities of what could maybe be many more transformations for this unit.

And as if that’s not enough, there’s also the separate album “French Record”, released around the same time. On it, they get help from Kevin Drumm and C. Spencer Yeh as well as some others. As an album, it might be slightly more interesting then any single album from the box set (except for maybe the first CD), as it jumps all over the place like a hyperactive child, but it also has a element of humor which I can’t really explain, but it gives the whole record a sort of breeziness that is quite alluring. It’s always nice to hear a record that in every way sounds ,extreme’ but ends up being a very pleasurable and easy listen.

To top it all off, Mr Wiese has released another chapter in his ongoing road trip diaries with C. Spencer Yeh with shows from New York and Atlanta (after recently seeing an LP and a 7″ with performances from a UK tour) on one CD. Yeh’s violin destruction sounds as vital as ever, and the sound quality is supreme. Plus these two really seem to have good fun together. Really great.

This might be 6 Wiese CDs in 1 week, but if they sound like this, I can keep up this rhythm for many more weeks, if he could as well. So, keep ’em coming. (RM)

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