John Wiese, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith | Constellation | Experimental | Chicago Reader
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John Wiese, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith 

When: Fri., May 8, 8:30 p.m. 2015
Price: $10
LA’s John Wiese made his name as an inventive, wildly prolific noise artist who’s amassed hundreds of albums, cassettes, and singles in a discography that includes work under his own name as well as projects like Sissy Spacek, Leather Bath, and countless collaborations. Somewhat surprisingly, his stunning new double album Deviate From Balance (Gilgongo) is his first full-length recording of original solo material in four years, since his equally powerful 2011 effort Seven of Wands. The new record doesn’t necessarily break from previous releases, but it feels much more considered. On “Wind Changed Direction” an ambient chill is punctured by elusive squiggles of noise and disfigured splotches of free improv, and “356 S Mission Rd” mixes together ominous strings and horns that seem lifted from horror and suspense films and made into a different caper altogether. More exciting are the pieces in which Wiese works with live musicians. Australian heavies like Oren Ambarchi, Clayton Thomas, and Clare Cooper bring his graphic score “Segmenting Process for Language” to life with an orchestral electro-acoustic sizzle, while Evan Parker (saxophone), Ikue Mori (electronics), and Maja Ratkje (vocals, electronics) perform small-group improv on “Cafe Oto.” Wiese hasn’t ditched his love for writing intense noise, as the furious, ear-popping “Dramatic Accessories” makes plain, but his feel for sound qua sound has never been manifested so eloquently and with so much range. He performs solo. —Peter Margasak



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