Dave Wesley * Dr.Nojoke

Fourth Wall


“The fourth wall is a performance convention in which an invisible, imagined wall separates actors from the audience. While the audience can see through this “wall”, the convention assumes, the actors act as if they cannot.”

Dave Wesley is a Minneapolis-originated (but now based in Porto, Portugal) ‘veteran producer of dub techno, experimental and ambient music, using production techniques based on the principles of sacred geometry.’
I don’t really know what that principle means, but somehow it links the opening sequence of Diegesis to a 70’s Parliament/Funkadelic album intro introducing you to their intergalactic space travel concept.
It’s clear immediately: lose your preconceptions, open your mind, and you’ll be in for something completely different.

There are many cinematic references on Fourth Wall: titles referring to shots, cuts, light, action, etcetera. The music is heavily cinematic too: conjuring strange images induced by using unintelligible voice fragments, sometimes repeated until they get on your nerves (the repeated shrieking laugh in Continuity Cut irritates me as much as it fascinates me – probably because I cannot understand the punchline…)

‘He’s extremely particular’ (as quoted in Backlot) might as well refer to Dave Wesley himself, because this is a sound that doesn’t seem to care about the current widely accepted standards. Yes, it can perhaps be described as Dub Techno, but it is not the Dub Techno you’d come to expect coming from other Dub Techno albums.
Ambient? No, it’s too disturbing for that.
It’s different.

The Arctic Dub (Sursumcorda), founded by Dave Wesley describes itself as a ‘post-dub techno, ambient and experimental music label’, with ‘deep influences of Basic Channel, echospace, and the early days of Deep Mix Moscow.’
Great reference indeed, guaranteed to raise your interest (or at least it should do so).
But remember: it’s different.



It’s a weird name: dr.nojoke with a contradictory effect when read as english. Dr. No Joke – are you serious? But Frank Bogdanowitz definitely is serious. Definitely is no joke, I mean.
The Berlin-based producer is ‘a leader in minimal techno (or ‘clikno’ as he describes it)’, striving for ‘a synthesis of club, arts, moods and spaces between process and presentation, improvisation and composition, intuition and intention, between man and machine, hi-sci and lo-fi, that is transformed into a lively and playful performance!’

The name of the label, Abandoned Audio, a sublabel of 31337 Records, leaves no doubt: this is serious shit! Abandoned Audio focuses on unconventional sound design (e.g. experimental, ambient, electroacoustic, dub), interdisciplinary collaborations and research’.

After all, we do not often hear experimental (/ambient) music that is created with a bass guitar, exploring ‘the instrument’s waveform through recording, transformation, modulation and digital processing […] taking the instrument out of its traditional role and context to create a new music focusing on the instrument solely.’

The music of Reconstructed Electric Bass-Guitar is quite different from Dr.Nojoke‘s beat-heavy dub-techno sound (which is definitely worth checking out also, but does not particularly classify as ‘ambient’ music).
It’s a rewarding venture off the beaten track, that’s for sure. Eight tracks that have no titles, only numbers, and two ‘intermissions’ (Trans and Inter) to indicate a slight change of style.

Hard to categorize, and ignoring the common denominator … that is exactly what separates the Interesting from the Predictable, isn’t it?

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