Two generations of noisy oddballs from the LA underground descend on Chicago | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Two generations of noisy oddballs from the LA underground descend on Chicago 

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click to enlarge John Wiese

John Wiese

courtesy the artist

Veteran LA noise maven John Wiese has dramatically slowed his release schedule in recent years, but he’s made up for that relative scarcity by increasing the rigor in each project. Last month he dropped Continuous Hole (Gilgongo), a stunning collaboration with Drew Daniel of Matmos that redirects his penchant for sonic violence. The pair spent a decade developing the album’s 11 terse, fat-free tracks, arranging impossibly dense packets of visceral noise into ferocious rhythmic patterns borrowed from club music. Daniel has routinely applied similar tactics in Matmos to translate found sound into musical information, but using a kaleidoscopic range of abstract, piercing noises is a new variation for him, and Wiese provides the perfect foil in the process. The result is neither dance oriented nor unhinged; instead it ripples with a steely discipline that reduces the materials into the most concentrated bursts of sound possible. Tonight Wiese performs solo, presenting work more akin to the meticulous strain of musique concrete he’s developed on his last few recordings.

Also performing are Joe & Joe, a duo featuring Joe Potts and Joseph Hammer, both charter members of the Los Angeles Free Music Society, a loose association of oddballs committed to making weirdly madcap experimental music that since the 70s has helped lay the groundwork for the noise underground. I’ve only heard an excerpt from the most recent cassette release by the duo, but its in-your-face grind is rife with harsh smears of sound from crude tape manipulations, humming ambience, and industrial roars. Joe & Joe rarely make it through town, so even without knowing exactly what they’ll be proffering, I’d say this show is a gamble worth taking.   v

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