“Out of all of the American noisemakers, California’s John Wiese is among my absolute favourites. Although like many of his peers his release schedule is almost impossible to follow, with tapes, cdrs and limited vinyl coming faster than Ron Jeremy’s teenage understudy, he defined the genre with the seminal ‘Soft Punk’. Taking fragments of punk and hardcore, he pieced together an album which showed why American noise differed from European noise (and Japanese noise for that matter) and to these (battered) ears remains unmatched in the genre. Since then he’s been touring incessantly and anyone lucky enough to have caught him live will know what I mean when I say his sets have to be experienced in the flesh. ‘Circle Snare’ was recorded on his January 2008 Scandinavian tour, a tour I was lucky enough to catch at least a glimpse of, and this disc goes some way to representing the visceral experience of the shows. Taking his trademark Max/MSP concrete experimentation and throwing it up against subtle drones, the album starts quietly, but before long we’re dragged kicking and screaming into deftly separated ear-pummelling sound. This isn’t quite the kind of amplifier destruction you might expect from Wolf Eyes or their Mid-West set however; there is something more technical and almost more academic about Wiese’s knife-like processes. On stumbling out of the Oslo venue where I witnessed this set performed, I remarked that he was the “Autechre of noise” and I’ll stand by that comment. John Wiese makes noise that sounds like everything is in a specific place for a specific reason?something rare and beautiful. It might be punk, but this punk can play his instrument better than most. Startlingly good.