Boomkat Product Review:
Reliable Los Angeles noisenik John Wiese teams up with No Aged drummer Dean Spunt for a dynamic two-headed beast of a collab that's maybe best described as concréte punk. Wiese channels Spunt's splattered percussion thru his deranged laptop processes for a fwd advancement of his brickwall Sissy Spacek modes - high def digi scuzz that's heady, grotesque and visceral. Tipped!
When John Wiese released his career-defining 'Soft Punk' in 2005 he was making a lasting statement about the unbreakable bond between noise music and hardcore. Sampling drum rolls, crowd sounds, band shrieks and foot stomping, he captured the essence of punk and funneled it thru a binary-powered virtual pedalboard of laptop-bent power electronics in a way that somehow referenced Bernard Parmegiani, Peter Rehberg, Smegma and Bad Brains simultaneously, developing the splattered full-band sound he'd cracked while performing with LA neo-grind act Sissy Spacek and almost breaking the underground's plexiglass ceiling in the process. Since then he's been a rock-solid presence, focusing his solo skills and developing collaborations with Matmos's Drew Daniel, Aaron Dilloway, Kevin Drumm, Lasse Marhaug and Skin Graft, among others.
'The Echoing Shell' is Wiese's most brain-mangling work in a minute, serving as a distillation of many of his parallel threads throughout the years and an advancement of his obsessions. Made up of just percussion and the occasional guitar flex, it's a showcase of Spunt's prowess behind the kit and Wiese's unmistakable start-stop sampling technique. As a solo artist, Spunt has explored the jagged edges around hardcore before, and as boss of the Post Present Medium label he's been working with Wiese since he released 2010's ace 'Circle Snare', so there's a fluidity to the collaboration that finds both artists in synch, pulling apart hardcore punk and noise forms with honest sincerity.
Discernible songs are out on their asses completely - the album is split into two distinct 15-minute sides that allow the duo time and space to communicate intuitively. Wiese amplifies the sounds that bring us right into the room with Spunt - singular ride crashes, rattling drumsticks and sharp intakes of breath. It sounds as if we're being fed an acid IV and bounced around a recording booth while both artists kick gear back and forth. If Luc Ferarri or Xanakis had grown up on a diet of West Coast punk shows, traveling from dusty basement to bombed-out bar in a busted pick-up, nestled between boxes of tapes, CDRs and 7"s, we'd bet their music may have turned out a bit like this. Truly, it's the musical equivalent of taking a compressed air duster to the brain - in the best fucking way.