John Weise: Seven of Wands

John Weise: Seven of Wands
Pan (2011)

Mr Weise is an amazingly diverse noise artist. From the scatter-shot madness of Soft Punk to the all out war of Black Magic Pond, from the skronk of his collaboration with Evan Parker to the subtle beauty of Circle Snare, the latter of which informs this record here Seven of Wands.

How did I miss this last year? Weise’s skill at knitting together seemingly arbitrary field recordings –  crackles, bumps, scrapes, miscellaneous percussion and other aural detritus – makes him a true sound artist. There’s something very conceptual about his approach to noise; by focusing on incidental sounds  he forces the listener to think about humans’ place in the natural order of things, how we interfere with and interact with our surroundings.

Whoa whoa whoa, let’s back up a bit here. Things are getting bit too deep.

Seven of Wands is a moody bastard which is what I love about it. Smearing his intricate tapestries with atonal drones and dissonant squeals Weise conjures an otherworldly atmosphere. The walls between dimensions are breaking down and time is turning in on itself. I find myself imagining inanimate objects taking on lives of their own and shuffling about the room, hovering above table tops and clanking back down again, knocking  into each other but never smashing, some other force in total control of their being. Weise builds these collages into a swarm but there’s never any real pay off, he taunts the listener, laughs at us.

This is masterful stuff. Thoughtful, engaging, haunting and sometimes funny. Just like the sleeve photo of Weise lying on the floor with a woman’s stiletto heel about to burst a balloon next to his head. I was stupid not to catch him live when he was out here late last year.

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