Andy Ortmann & John Wiese – recorder out of tune

Artist: Andy Ortmann & John Wiese
title: recorder out of tune
keywords: experimental, ambient, electronic, musique concrete, psychedelic-noise, Chicago
label: Nihilist recordings

Andy Ortmann & John Wiesse’s ‘recorder out of tune’ is a work among friends, but not necessarily made for friends. I’m not a personal friend of these people and I found it a good listen. I only wonder if the tile is a reference to the ‘recorder-flute’ or the recording artists themselves.

It all start with a track named ‘Last Days For Haas’ that sounds a bit at first glance like listening to the lips of a mouth that vibrate with a small layer of spit. It is the sound that could be linked with the one that an engine of a recreational motor boat makes. It starts soft but then the blubbering lips really begin to vibrate and emulate the engine in a very organic way.  A little high frequent tone joins the performance and the further it goes how more I think that a transaction is taking place between the organic vibrating lips with spit and a real sound of mechanic machinery.

A little electric break flops in to make way for a different chapter within the same track. The organism of the lips with spit are simply removed out of the scene and a wild performance of experimental sound is rolled out like a hyperactive kid that than calms down to showcase high tones to fill up the holes that most people call ‘ears’. The sound sings at the end and if it was a done in a theater; it would have received a well-received applause of appreciation. But as this is not a recording of a theater performance we move along to the next track. (You might clap at home while reading this; the more interactivity the better..)

^ Clap your ass off as look at this! It’s the album burned on a CD.

The next work is named ‘Pandemonium’ and feeds the ears of a lucky listener with small short sound manipulations that pop in to give small impressions and then quickly hide back in the silence. It all goes very quick but images of moving objects like ‘scissors’ , radio, cash counting machines, perforators’ and other short term guests can be imagined with the sounds presented here.

Then the two friends move us literally in calmer water; perhaps not for a very long time, but long enough to enjoy a bit of fieldrecording in which sheep, birds and little insects can be enjoyed for a fine sniff of classic nature. The stream of nature might do its best to trigger the bladder into having to go for a leak, but before that idea really sinks in the water flow stops and John & Andy give way to a moment in which a stringed instrument moves into the spotlight.

It’s here that the recording gives the feeling of an avant-garde time of classical music improvisation. There are small and bigger sounds provided to hold the experimental atmosphere and I can’t stop thinking of paparazzi making pictures with microphones attached to their cameras. Or perhaps it’s a gigantic cutter dancing with a typewriter? In the end the whole scenery is blown away in loud toned noise that is short and unexpected. It’s as if the curtain falls to make the stage ready for the next scene.

And the next scene is ‘Secondary Drowning’ which has probably the lightest opening of the tracks collected here. It feels to me as if the curtains are open but there is just a setup of a lonely iron gate in a small wind and a deathly silence. The fence of the Iron Gate moves and makes rusted sounds in the wind.

The work ‘Midwestern Aplomb’ is much more active in all kinds of ways. The two artists throw in a collection of sounds that are so well electronic or coming from touchable things as well as sounds made by the mouth. Images of biting an apple, winding up a small clock and falling in a noise set performed by tiny spiders are the things that might come up in the mind when enjoying this work. Some electronic yodeling that molds into the memory of a car that refuses to start.

Whatever is presented here, it makes the time go quick before being able to register every single bit of sound action that these two fellows has brought out for our entertainment. Half way the track gets a rhythmic organic feeling that is slow but not too slow that it is impossible to wobble the toes on. After an experimental little tooter the rhythm swings even a bit more as glass breaks, alarm centrals are being called and the earlier heard apple seemed to be stuck in someone’s throat. The buzz is up and the release goes out with the high beep for later ringing in the listeners head.

I couldn’t trace any out of tune-ness from these two gentleman, and neither a ‘recorder-flute’, but don’t make that stop you to enjoy this entertaining sound performance by Andy Ortmann &  John Wiesse available on CD or as digital download at the following link:

This entry was posted in acoustic, ambient, audio collage, avantgarde, classical, electronic, experimental, fieldrecording, noise, soundscape and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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