John Wiese – Soft Punk (Troubleman Unlimited) 2007


Soft Punk is the latest edition to “the Special” (see my Wolf Eyes post) and I’ll be fucked, if it isn’t the best noise album I’ve heard in a while. There are many fine bands that that are doing the whole ooga-booga sado-horror-movie raise-the-demons incidental music thing that I enjoy so much, but let me tell you why John Wiese is different to the others.

Wolf Eyes? Evil. Double Leopards? Evil. Mouthus? Kinda evil. Dead Machines? Evil. Aaron Dilloway? Don’t even get me started. John Wiese? Fun with a capital, fucking F. That’s right, fun. Now you may say to yourself how can you have fun when there is blood coming from your ear canal and I’ll reply because John Wiese is a fucking, clever bugger.

John Wiese has been doing this noise thing for some time. I first stumbled across him in his guise as Sissy Spacek and later as a Wolf Eye’s collaborator. Soft Punk is his first full length record under his own name.

Soft Punk is simply fantastic. It is the meticulous work of a sound collagist at the height of his game. Wiese has given me everything I want in a noise album. No Tune? Check. Harsh noise? Check. Wild Ride? Oh yeah baby. Samples that shouldn’t be together are merged and somehow make sense. Sounds last a mere second, sometimes less before they are destroyed by the next. On Sad Psychic harsh noise gives away to eerie silence. On Recorded Hologram he gives us shards of music samples which are treated so poorly it’s like he’s beaten them because they owe him money. Trapped in a Spell is the closest Wiese gets to a drone track. It is a progressive atonal loop of what sounds suspiciously like swiss cowbells. Soft Punk’s strength is its ability to constantly surprise. I might add that the surprise is in a “sneak-up-behind-you-and-punch-you-in-the-head sense rather than I-bought-you-flowers-just-to-say-I-love-you sense.

Did I take codeine after listening to this the first time? Yep. Was it worth it? Fuck yes.

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