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John Wiese

Los Angeles-based composer and sound artist John Wiese is a key participant in the American noise scene, working in abstract electronics, abrasive textures, radically experimental editing techniques, and other challenging sounds since the 1990s. Wiese's discography is staggeringly long, with plenty of completely solo work like 2007 standout album Soft Punk, but also extensive collaborative efforts. In addition to being part of the grindcore-informed noise project Sissy Spacek, Wiese has released multiple joint efforts over the years with various configurations of the Wolf Eyes camp, Merzbow, Kevin Drumm, C. Spencer Yeh, and countless others. In 2022, Wiese continued his collaborative streak with the release of The Echoing Shell, an EP made with No Age drummer Dean Spunt. 2023 brought additional collaborations with artists like Drew Daniel (Matmos) and members of the Los Angeles Free Music Society. Wiese was already involved with extreme music when he graduated from the California Institute of the Arts in 2001. At that time, he was a member of the noise/grindcore band Sissy Spacek, but was also exploring tape manipulation, harsh noise, and experimental editing techniques as a solo artist. Wiese used his own Helicopter label as a platform for his frequent releases, but also issued material with a multitude of other various independent labels. Throughout the 2000s, 2010s, and beyond, Wiese recorded, toured, and released new work prolifically, his discography growing to include dozens and eventually hundreds of titles. This included collaborative work with Thurston Moore, Sunn O))), Smegma, Bastard Noise, and many, many others, but just as often Wiese's albums were solo efforts. Along with near-constant lesser output, standout solo albums emerged such as the angsty distortion of 2007's Soft Punk, the digitally demolished field recordings of 2009 album Circle Snare, 2017's Escaped Language, and his ongoing, multi-volume Magnetic Stencil series. His solo work, activity with Sissy Spacek, and other collaborative work all continued concurrently into the 2020s. In 2022, Wiese teamed up with longtime friend Dean Spunt of No Age to release The Echoing Shell with Drag City. Through Mazes Running, an aggressive, tape manipulation-heavy effort with Drew Daniel (Matmos, the Soft Pink Truth), appeared in 2023. It marked the duo's second collaboration following the rhythmic glitch album Continuous Hole (2018), which was reissued by Cold Spring later in the year. Also in 2023, Wiese released collaborations with industrial tape music pioneer Robert Turman (Solid State of Time) and Los Angeles Free Music Society members Joseph Hammer and Joe Potts (The Elusive Flexure).
© Fred Thomas /TiVo


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