Andy Ortmann / John Wiese: Recorder out of Tune
Nihilist Records (2006)
A distant drone is overtaken by the rumble of a motorcycle idling lazily in a dusty driveway somewhere. It’s warm and bubbly, a familiar noise motif made from an everyday sound. Then another motorbike takes off and begins hurtling down a freeway over the top of the first rumbling machine. It builds in intensity until flashing chrome blisters and splays across the highway in a piercing scree.
And that’s only the first track on this weirdo collaboration between two of the noise scene’s well known maestros.
The other three tracks on Recorder out of Tune are slightly less dense but no less enjoyable. They traverse collaged madness (a la John Wiese), moody ambience, and wobbly soundscapes (a la Andy Ortmann). The record veers between loud and soft in a playful manner that constantly surprises. Pandemonium starts with some miscellaneous debris before a lamb begins to bleet over a floating synth and lazy violin, a moment that calls to mind the weirder points of Set Fire to Flames. The tension then eases with a delicate drone before concluding with a blast of feedback.
Each of the four tracks is like that; beginning in one place before turning an unexpected corner. It’s a hell of a lot of fun, and most of all at 21 minutes long this sucker (an ep really) doesn’t outstay its welcome. John Wiese has done some amazing stuff on his own (Soft Punk and Circle Snare), but in my opinion he truly shines when he teams up with another madman. Recorder out of Tune is a prime example of this.