2006: Andy Ortmann / John Wiese - Recorder Out of Tune

Am I wrong-headed here? Are my reasons for avoiding this release for so long at all valid? Well, my general ambivalence toward John Wiese, I suppose, is pretty easily defensible, if only on purely aesthetic grounds. I can't deny the dude is talented but, as so many noise artists should, he needs to exercise some quality control. He's definitely produced some stuff that kicks ass -- Frankenstein and Dracula Girls Tokyo Headlock absolutely reamed me, not to mention the lion's share of his solo output.

Which smoothly segues to my primary hesitation concerning this disc: it's a collaboration. Wiese does a ton of them, and by and large I find them flaccid and utterly unessential, as I do most noise collabs, even if they do get their own separate name or are the names of the collaborators appended to one another with an ampersand. For all of noise's absurdity, it's the musical ghetto in which I find the most sincere and personal, not to mention the most complex and thought-provoking, products. These are all qualities that must be uttered by a singular voice. Sure, I think it's cool that members of Double Leopards want to play with any and everyone who lives nearby, and maybe it improves their art, but nothing I?ve heard from these other configurations approaches the group of genesis. Every release, and every time I?ve seen them perform, you get an absolute sense of solidarity and understanding, and suffice it to say the whole is more than the sum. There you have it, a specific rant about noise collaborations.

In any case, I didn't particularly see how the pristine productions of Andy Ortmann would mesh with the deth [not a typo]/dumb noise of Wiese (no insult intended). And, consequently, their disparate forms are exactly what make this disc so exciting to me; a marriage of the upper and lower brains, the ethereal with the visceral. Indeed, sometimes Ortmann presses his music to feature some, well, musicality, or perhaps continuity. And Wiese isn't always the most adroit at rendering individual, interesting sounds that stride above the morass. In this regard, we find a near-perfect complement, blending two of the most appealing, but disparate, aspects of noise. I would have no reservations granting this record a perfect score if not for the brevity, so I'll say it now: Andy and John, you have my blessing to continue this collaboration, and maybe even christen it unto itself.


There’s a lot of good music out there, and it’s not all being released this year. With DeLorean, we aim to rediscover overlooked artists and genres, to listen to music historically and contextually, to underscore the fluidity of music. While we will cover reissues here, our focus will be on music that’s not being pushed by a PR firm.

Most Read