AMN Reviews: John Wiese – Seven of Wands (2011/2019; Gilgongo Records)

My first pair of attempts to listen to this recording failed miserably. I made the mistake of using headphones while on public transportation. Admittedly, I should have known better after seeing Wiese live at Chicago’s Lampo two years ago – his subtle and detailed taken on modern electroacoustics requires both minimal background noise and listener focus. Once I found myself home alone for an afternoon, I sent Seven of Wands to the big speakers for a much richer experience.

Originally released in 2011, this Gilgongo edition contains one additional track, the 15-minute Synchronicity that ends the album. But to start at the beginning, Seven of Wands launches with an amalgam of drones, feedback, and a strong presence of electroacoustic cracking and percussion. These elements rarely (if ever) evolve into any sort discernable melody or beat. Instead, Wiese seems to combine them in a semi-random or improvised fashion. But what sets his efforts apart is a strong sense of implied structure – Wiese knows where he is going even if he is taking an unusual path to get there. This is quite apparent on the 13-minute Scorpion Immobilization Sleeve for example, which contains the aforementioned constituent parts in a densely layered and rapidly-shifting mix.

Other tracks are more subtle, such as Burn Out, which consists of extremely low-volume drones before introducing additional voices, effects, and shaped static. Toward the middle of the album, Wises takes a diversion into what might be called pure noise. Corpse Solo and Don’t Move Your Finger are sonic explorations of found object manipulation and processed strangeness. Often sparse, they are the least “musical” in the traditional sense of that word. The aforementioned Synchronicity wraps things up with a complex pattern of controlled percussive structures which morphs into scraping and radio noises. Overlapping sparse walls come and go, all the while incorporating a sprinkling of dark ambiance before ending with a return to the spiky percussiveness.

Wiese’s music is difficult and disconcerting, but ultimately more than worth the time and effort put into it. A strong recommendation.

Chicago Scene: August 31 – September 7, 2019

This is a weekly overview of live avant performances in the Chicago area. Contact us if you’d like your shows listed.

Saturday, August 31st 2019

9:00PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($15-$12)
dog/days
Kidd Jordan

9:00PM at the Hyde Park Speakeasy, 5115 S Harper ($20)
HotHouse and Coda present Jazz Fest Aftersets
Hanah Jon Taylor, Dushun Mosley, Darius Savage, Dave Gordon, Edward Wilkerson, Tatsu Aoki, James Sanders, Silvia Bolognesi, Fred Jackson, Harrison Bankhead and guests from the Chicago Jazz Festival

Sunday, September 1st 2019

12:00PM-4:00PM at the Jazz and Heritage Pavilion, Millennium Park, 201 E Randolph (wheelchair-accessible)
Chicago Jazz Festival
3:45PM-9:00PM at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, 201 E Randolph (wheelchair-accessible)
Chicago Jazz Festival
4:15PM Rempis/Flaten/Ra + Baker Quartet

7:30PM at The Boxcar, 1113 W Berwyn, 773.649.3186
Christopher Dammann, Paul Giallorenzo, Avreeayl Ra

8:30PM at the Fulton Street Collective, 1821 W Hubbard (Donation)
Miles Davis’s Porgy And Bess
Chad McCullough Orchestra conducted by Joe Clark, with Jim Gailloreto, Sharel Cassity, Rich Moore, Rajiv Halim, Roger Ingram, Art Davis, Mark Buselli, Connor Druhan, Liz Deitemyer, Debra Miller, Gary English, Andy Baker, Russ Phillips, Raphael Crawford, Steve Duncan, Ryan Miller, Christian Dillingham, Greg Artry

9:00PM at the Hungry Brain, 2319 W Belmont ($15 suggested donation) (wheelchair-accessible)
dog/days
Kidd Jordan, Douglas Ewart, Jim Baker, Kent Kessler, Mike Reed

Monday, September 2nd 2019

7:30PM at Experimental Sound Studio, 5925 N Ravenswood, 773.769.1069 ($10-$8) (wheelchair-accessible)
Sarah Clausen

Thursday, September 5th 2019

9:00PM at Elastic, 3429 W Diversey, #208, 773.772.3616 ($10)
Instigation Festival 2019
Keefe Jackson, Mike Reed, Dan Oestricher, James Singleton
Kim Alpert, Simon Lott, Jasmine Mendoza, Jesse Morrow

Friday, September 6th 2019

8:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($15-$10)
Instigation Festival 2019
Jeff Albert’s Unanimous Sources, with Simon Lott, Jesse Morrow, Cyrus Nabipoor, Dan Oestricher, Mai Sugimoto
Isaiah Spencer Quintet, with Isaiah Collier, Anton Hatwich, Brent Griffin Jr, Jumaane Taylor

Saturday, September 7th 2019

3:00PM at the May Chapel at Rosehill Cemetery, 5800 N Ravenswood (Free)
Instigation Festival 2019
Instigation Orchestra : Jeff Albert, Haley Fohr, Helen Gillet, Anton Hatwich, Lia Kohl, Steve Marquette, Cyrus Nabipoor, Aurora Nealand, James Singleton, Paul Thibodeaux, Ken Vandermark, Mars Williams — music by Katinka Kleijn

For more information, such as directions, as well as upcoming performances, see:

http://now-is.org/, http://www.ratchetmusic.com, http://www.mcachicago.org, http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/chicago_culturalcenterschedule.html, http://www.skylarkchicago.com, http://www.hideoutchicago.com, http://www.elasticrevolution.com, http://www.myopicbookstore.com/music.html, http://www.lampo.org, http://dalniente.com, http://iceorg.org/events/category/chicago, http://www.emptybottle.com/

Jazzword Reviews 

Source: Jazzword.

Mahdhira de Saram/Benoît Delbecq
Spinnert

Benedict Taylor & Dirk Serries
Puncture Cycle

Danielle Cavallanti A World of Sounds
Shadows

XT
Palina’tufa

LFU: Lisbon Freedom Unit
Praise of Our Folly

ism
Metaphor

Pat Thomas/John Butcher/Ståle Liavik Solberg
Fictional Souvenirs

Pebbles & Pearls
Pebbles & Pearls

Downtown Music Gallery Newsletter

Source: Downtown Music Gallery.

The Downtown Music Gallery 28th Anniversary Celebrations began on May 1st & Continues! Every In-store This Summer Helps Celebrate the Spirit of Creative Music Performed Live.

Sunday, September 1st:
6pm: SAM WEINBERG / WEASEL WALTER / HENRY FRASER – Tenor Sax / Drums / Contrabass
7pm: DARREN JOHNSTON / MICHAEL ATTIAS – Trumpet and Alto Sax

Sunday, September 8th:
6pm: KYLE MOTL / KEIR GoGWILT – Contrabass / Violin
7pm: FEDERICO UGHI / DANIEL CARTER / PATRICK HOLMES / MATTHEW PUTMAN /
HILLIARD GREENE – Drums / Reeds Trumpet / Clarinet / Keyboard / Bass

Sunday, September 22nd:
6pm: REMEMBERING BERN NIX – Two Sets for Bern Nix!
BEYOND GROUP with: CHERYL PYLE / MICHAEL EATON / REGGIE SYLVESTER
7pm: RETROGRADE: MATT LAVELLE / REGGIE SYLVESTER

DMG is located at 13 Monroe St. (between Catherine & Market Sts) in a basement below a small gallery. Take the F train to East Broadway or the 6 train to Canal or the B or D to Grand, or the M-15 bus to Madison & Catherine. Come on Down, the Sunday Music Series is Always Free & the Vibes are Always Cosy. You can check the weekly in-store sets through our Instagram feed

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DMG/BLG Recommended Gigs of the Week:

Eric Stern’s House of Improv Series:
This Friday, August 30th at 8pm:

KEN VANDERMARK and MARS WILLIAMS!
Plus STEVE MARQUETTE – Solo Guitarist from Marker!

At 244 Rehearsal Studios is located at 244 West 54th Street
10th Floor, New York, New York 10019

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This Saturday, August 31st at
The Records Shop in Red Hook

8pm: NATE WOOLEY / SAM WEINBERG
8:45pm: CHRIS PITSIOKOS / VIOLETA GARCI
9:30pm: BILL NACE / SANDY EWEN

Located at: show @ the Record Shop
In Red Hook Brooklyn
360 Van Brunt Street