Josh Wiese, Insect Deli | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Josh Wiese, Insect Deli


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In 1999 noise hall-of-famer John Wiese told Bananafish magazine that he once spent eight and a half hours editing a little over 100 minutes of raw material into 40 seconds of music: "In the first five seconds, there are about 75 cuts," he said. On his new solo album, Magical Crystal Blah (Helicopter), this anal-retentive method produces long streams of skull-fuckingly loud noodling, with snatches of samples flying by so fast it's hard to grab hold of anything. Painful blurts of relatively unprocessed guitar abuse frequently jump out in front of digitally mangled sounds that could pass for one-toothed banjo, belches from beastly maws, cats and dogs raining on a tin roof, the polite murmering of a museum audience, a giant pot rolling on its rim, the long zipper on a garment bag, or a whistle that doesn't quite work. Despite all the splicing, Wiese's violent noise collages have a kind of flow--the same way corpses do when they're fed through a wood chipper. Second on this six-act bill is Insect Deli, aka Chicagoan Julia Gilman, another master of editing; she won an artist's residency at Experimental Sound Studio in 2004, and her meek demeanor belies some real digital-hardcore vinegar. She'll shave a sliver off some pop radio track, crank up the volume and the tempo, and drop the sample into the middle of a whirlwind beat you're already jamming on--suddenly what used to be comfortable is thick with anxiety. Wiese headlines, and the other openers are Emil Beaulieau, Jessica Rylan, Third Organ (a Japanese group making its first U.S. tour), and Panicsville. Sun 2/13, 9:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 800-594-8499, $7.

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