I can't tell you where Metalux end and John Wiese begins here, because this is alien territory for both, and especially for Wiese. Metalux has at least always felt like a kind of rock band, whether they're messing with tape loops or evoking Throbbing Gristle or unleashing a hailstorm of feedback and shrapnel, while Wiese ranks among the most testosterone-fueled players in the noise underground, approximating Coltrane's sheets of sound on junkyard electro-frequencies. But on Exoteric, both artists stumble into this bizarre space between the human and hand-played (the Metalux side) and the relentlessly futuristic (the Wiese end). This album takes place in the languid nether-region explored in Mouthus's Slow Globes, Black Dice's Broken Ear Record, and Excepter's entire discography. This is music animated by slovenliness, too fucked to move, too spaced to communicate, discombobulated and alone. Even when we hear something resembling a steady rhythm, as in the second track, it's feeble and buried, ultimately ineffective beneath the melting static. The fourth track captures the record's vibe best: words try to form, but become chopped and blurred, sputtering and oozing into the void. These musicians haven't quite mastered this aesthetic as well as their peers — the voices and melodies don't fight as hard against the noise, creating less tension, drama, and, ultimately, interest — but they still sell this state of perpetual defeat and frustration as a space rich in artistic potential.