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Wire, The

Wire, The

Founded in 1982, The Wire is a monthly British music magazine, which initially concentrated on contemporary jazz and improvised music, but branched out in the early 1990s to various types of experimental music. Since then it has covered hip hop, modern classical, free improvisation, post-rock, and various forms of electronic music.

140 articles

The Fall: Watching The City Hobgoblins: The Fall

Profile and Interview by Mark Sinker, Wire, The, August 1986

Author's 2005 note: In which I find my voice? In between all the "important rock does this" droning. ...

Anita Baker: The Deep Dark Soul

Interview by Richard Cook, Wire, The, September 1986

THE BAND PLAYS a slow, rough-textured groove, flesh laid on the dark bones of the bass. Three women set up a vocal counterpoint, rich with ...

Dave Brubeck: The Unsquare Dance

Retrospective by Richard Cook, Wire, The, November 1986

DAVE BRUBECK looked the part. The face that stared out from a Time magazine cover 30-odd years ago had the sober, shaven outline of a ...

Nelson George: The Death of Rhythm & Blues (Omnibus)

Review by Barney Hoskyns, Wire, The, 1987

NELSON GEORGE, self-described "B-Boy intellectual" and one of pop culture's few black writers of note, has written a book which (sort of) argues that the ...

Albert Collins: The Ice Man

Profile and Interview by Mike Atherton, Wire, The, September 1987

Our blues section opens with a profile of the man who put a chill on the heart of the music. ...

David Sylvian: Life in the Beehive

Report and Interview by Richard Cook, Wire, The, November 1989

DAVID SYLVIAN sits back and thinks about the work. "There are evident failures and occasional successes, but my opinion of the work doesn't change much. ...

Elvis Costello: El Hath No Fury: Elvis Costello

Interview by Barney Hoskyns, Wire, The, June 1991

"WHEN YOU GET OLD IT'S LIKE they go to the file for the opinions on you," said Elvis Costello last time he was on the ...

Lou Reed: Alchemical Engineering

Interview by Simon Reynolds, Wire, The, February 1992

Lou Reed is one of the few 60s figures who has kept up any serious exploration of rock's sounds and words. In this exclusive New ...

Public Enemy, Sun Ra: Loving The Alien In Advance Of The Landing

Essay by Mark Sinker, Wire, The, February 1992

"IN THE MEANTIME," he said, speaking relentlessly but mesmerically softly, as gurus will, "I finally went to Chicago. I determined not to be a musician ...

BBC Radiophonic Workshop, Daphne Oram, Delia Derbyshire: The BBC Radiophonic Workshop

Profile and Interview by Mark Sinker, Wire, The, February 1992

SIX COMPOSERS, too shy to make claims for themselves, go to make it up. But Brian Hodgson, who's worked with the BBC Radiophonic Workshop since ...

Laurie Anderson: Clarity’s Angel

Interview by Simon Reynolds, Wire, The, March 1992

First, Laurie Anderson chronicled the United States of America. What’s next for the leading performance-person of our day? ...

All Mix & No Master

Essay by David Toop, Wire, The, September 1992

"Whoever doesn't like what I did, 20 years from now they can go back and redo it."Teo Macero, discussing his method of recording Miles Davis ...

Elvis Costello: Can I Be Frank…?

Essay by Mark Sinker, Wire, The, September 1992

2005 note: The original manuscript began and ended with some kind of lyrical gibberish swansong for the song as a music-form (in the age of ...

Elvis Presley: Elvis - The 50s

Review by Mark Sinker, Wire, The, September 1992

PERHAPS THE most unexpected thing about RCA/BMG's Presley-project is how unexpected so much of it is. ...

Brian Eno: Taking Modern Culture By Strategy: Brian Eno

Essay by Mark Sinker, Wire, The, October 1992

2005 note: It’s not a sensible criticism of a conjuror that his craft does not involve actual real magical powers. Eno is fascinated by the ...

Bootsy Collins

Interview by Mark Sinker, Wire, The, October 1993

2005 note: Much of the cultural rhetoric surrounding funk is just teacher’s-pet attempts to plod-cram the music back into the squarest box available – I ...

Tim Buckley: T.B. Sheets: In Praise of Tim Buckley

Retrospective by Ian Penman, Wire, The, April 1994

TIM BUCKLEY was small - "this little man," as he said in one of his slow sly seducer's songs - he was small, and white, ...

Dub It Up: A Whistlestop Tour Through Reggae's Echo Chambers

Guide by David Toop, Wire, The, May 1994

A is for Alpha & Omega The odd couple of '90s roots and culture. Bassist Christine Woodbridge and melodica puffer John Sprosen conjure cultural spirits ...

John Cale: Music for the Last Day

Interview by Ian Penman, Wire, The, July 1994

JOHN CALE IS rock's international traveller, his work a trans-continental drift of moons and maps, seas and seachange, envoys and ennui. From his early (unfashionable) ...

Jon Hassell: Behind the Blue Screen: Jon Hassell

Profile and Interview by David Toop, Wire, The, August 1994

Jon Hassell's music with his group Bluescreen is an exotic domain of ritualised sex, strange tonalities, erotic transgressions and invisible connections. David Toop enters the ...

Pete Namlook: Peter Namlook

Interview by David Toop, Wire, The, September 1994

Pete Namlook is one of the more remarkable figures of 90s electronic music. Since December 1992, he has released over 150 albums on his own ...

Incredible Strange and Highly Exotic

Essay by David Toop, Wire, The, October 1994

The Incredibly Strange Music books are mondo archaeology for vinyl fetishists. They exhume a hidden world of plastic where exotic Easy Listening, modern primitives, suburban ...

Bill Laswell: An Interview with Bill Laswell

Interview by David Toop, Wire, The, December 1994

For almost two decades, Bill Laswell's music has traced a long, humid trail across continents, genres, moods, atmospheres and numerous collaborations. David Toop met him ...

Futurebeat: Vorschtsprung dürch Techno

Essay by Dave Rimmer, Wire, The, Spring 1994

"The only possible challenge to repetitive power takes the route of a breach in social repetition and the control of noisemaking. In more day-to-day political ...

Tricky: [the Phantoms of] TRICKNOLOGY [versus a Politics of Authenticity]

Essay by Ian Penman, Wire, The, March 1995

"Machine technology is a type of transformation." Martin Heidegger ...

Arthur Russell

Retrospective by David Toop, Wire, The, April 1995

This New York composer, who died in obscurity of AIDS in 1992, was a true visionary, traversing dub, disco and minimalism and anticipating the '90s ...

Butthole Surfers: In Praise Of Stupidity

Essay by Biba Kopf, Wire, The, May 1995

SOME PEOPLE ARE born stupid. Others have stupidity thrust upon them. The rest of us have to work at it. We spend a lifetime chipping ...

Scott Walker: Tilting at Wind

Interview by Richard Cook, Wire, The, May 1995

Scott Walker, perhaps the most enigmatic singer in recent times, has returned with his first recording since 1984. But is it a work of experimental ...

Frank Zappa: From Z to A and Back Again, or: QUANTITIES AND LEER

Comment by Ian Penman, Wire, The, July 1995

I CANNOT FOR the pop life of me see why anyone over the age of 17 would ever want to listen to Frank Zappa again, ...

Singing The Body Electric

Overview by Mark Sinker, Wire, The, September 1995

The story of the first electronic instruments is as twisted and circuitous as their primitive, labyrinthine wiring. Mark Sinker goes in search of these often ...

Amon Düül: Communing With Chaos: Amon Düül II

Retrospective and Interview by Edwin Pouncey, Wire, The, February 1996

WHEN THE GERMAN rock explosion (now recognised as Krautrock) first hit these shores in the early 70s, the temptation to label it as a thriving ...

The A-Z of Electro

Guide by David Toop, Wire, The, March 1996

In its original incarnation, Electro was black science fiction teleported to the dancefloors of New York, Miami and LA; a super-stoopid fusion of video games, ...

The Gnoua Brotherhood

Report by Chris Campion, Wire, The, March 1996

ALIGHTING FROM the famed Marrakech Express, Frank Rynne, Joe Ambrose and myself were hustled into an illegal taxi. It careered along Boulevard Mohamed V, the ...

David Bowie, Lou Reed, Neil Young, Frank Zappa: Contract Breakers

Essay by Mark Sinker, Wire, The, June 1996

2005 note: Savage Pencil did a nice illustration for this: John and Yoko hilariously naked, among other excellent things. It also elicited an angry postcard ...

Waiting For The Sun by Barney Hoskyns (Viking)

Book Review by Richard Cook, Wire, The, July 1996

The darkside of LA music ...

Ice-T: Invisible Jukebox: Ice-T

Interview by Mike Barnes, Wire, The, July 1996

Every month we play a musician a series of records which they're asked to identify and comment on — with no prior knowledge of what ...

Lenny Bruce, Miles Davis, Eric Dolphy, Duke Ellington, Jimi Hendrix, The Last Poets, Bill Laswell, Lightnin' Rod, John McLaughlin: Alan Douglas: Thee Man Who Sold The Underworld

Retrospective and Interview by Edwin Pouncey, Wire, The, July 1997

Now into his fifth decade at the doors of perception, label boss ALAN DOUGLAS hasworked with many of the century's underground greats, from Lenny Bruce, ...

Robert Wyatt: Local Hero

Interview by Biba Kopf, Wire, The, September 1997

BK: You have just released Shleep, your first album for six years. Why has it taken so long? ...

Silver Apples: Oscillate Wildly

Retrospective and Interview by Edwin Pouncey, Wire, The, September 1997

After 30 years of universal neglect, New York's Silver Apples are finally getting recognition for their pioneering electronic rock. ...

Cabaret Voltaire, Psychic TV, Throbbing Gristle: William Burroughs: Ghost Of Chance

Essay by Biba Kopf, Wire, The, October 1997

"The Subliminal Kid moved in and took over bars cafes and juke boxes of the worlds cities and installed radio transmitters and microphones in each ...

Mark Hollis, Talk Talk: Return from Eden: Mark Hollis

Profile and Interview by Rob Young, Wire, The, January 1998

As the prime mover behind Talk Talk, Mark Hollis threw off the shackles of a pop existence to create the bleakest, yet most lyrical orchestral ...

Fred Frith: The Frith Element

Interview by Mike Barnes, Wire, The, February 1998

Whether upfront on his own projects or undercover in groups like Naked City guitarist FRED FRITH has sought ever more imaginative ways to keep the ...

Long Fin Killie, Mouse On Mars, Salaryman, Tortoise: Tortoise, Mouse On Mars, Salaryman, Long Fin Killie: Electric Ballroom, London

Live Review by Mike Barnes, Wire, The, February 1998

IN 1997 THE toilers on rock's margins buffed their edges, dubbed in some breathing space and inserted enough kitsch samples to bring their experiments closer ...

Suicide: Invisible Jukebox: Suicide

Interview by Edwin Pouncey, Wire, The, March 1998

Every month we play a musician a series of records which they're asked to identify and comment on — with no prior knowledge of what ...

Gary Lucas: Guitars and Monsters

Interview by Mike Barnes, Wire, The, June 1998

Former Beefheart guitarist Gary Lucas might not have fulfilled his childhood ambition to become a vampire, but in wielding his avant-roots-noise music like a stiletto, ...

John Martyn: Felling Gravity's Pull

Interview by Rob Young, Wire, The, June 1998

After rising to prominence with the late 60s electric folk renaissance, John Martyn uprooted songform and subjected it to a serious sonic makeover on a ...

John Fahey: Blood on the Frets

Interview by Edwin Pouncey, Wire, The, August 1998

The original American Primitive, John Fahey's raw mixes of blues, folk and musique concrete embody the spirit of American alternative music. But during the 60s ...

Grooverider: Locked Groove

Interview by Rob Young, Wire, The, September 1998

As one of the few drum 'n' bass starfighters still standing, is it too late for the lone Grooverider to save Jungle from burning out? ...

Invisible Jukebox: Ken Kesey

Interview by Edwin Pouncey, Wire, The, September 1998

Every month we play an artist or musician a series of records which they're asked to identify and comment on — with no prior knowledge ...

Pink Floyd: Epiphanies: Ummagumma

Memoir by Mike Barnes, Wire, The, November 1998

For Mike Barnes, life would have been a bummer, were it not for Ummagumma ...

Portishead: Tangled Up In Blue

Interview by Rob Young, Wire, The, December 1998

After three albums and a world tour which nearly put paid to them, the members of Portishead are resting up. In Bristol, Geoff Barrow and ...

John Cale, The Velvet Underground: What's Welsh For Zen? By John Cale & Victor Bockris (Bloomsbury Hbk £20, Special Edition £30)

Book Review by Mark Sinker, Wire, The, February 1999

OF THE alliance at the heart of the original Velvet Underground, John Cale writes: "We hated everybody and everything. Other musicians were viewed as competition. ...

Can: Can Box: Book By Hildegard Schmidt & Wolf Kampmann (Medium Music Books PBK £16.99)

Book Review by Biba Kopf, Wire, The, March 1999

IN ITS COMPLETE form, Can Box will contain a live double CD and a video concert, alongside the generically named Book. Amazingly, the live recording ...

Throbbing Gristle: Wreckers Of Civilisation: The Story Of COUM Transmissions & Throbbing Gristle by Simon Ford Black Dog Publishing PBK £19.95)

Book Review by Don Watson, Wire, The, March 1999

JG BALLARD once said that rock journalism at its best was a medium for the "real news", a means of conveying what he called the ...

Os Mutantes: Os Mutantes; Mutantes; A Divina Comedia Ou Ando Meio Desilgado (all Omplatten FJ0RD001-3 CD)

Review by Edwin Pouncey, Wire, The, April 1999

IN THE 1960s Brazil declared war on rock 'n' roll. Any popular music betraying American or English influences — and that included the use of ...

Basement Jaxx: House That Jaxx Built

Interview by Simon Reynolds, Wire, The, May 1999

WITHOUT FANFARE, House has crept forward to become the leading edge of dance culture again — just like it was over a decade ago. It's ...

Can, Holger Czukay, Irmin Schmidt: Can: Paladium, Cologne, Germany

Live Review by Don Watson, Wire, The, May 1999

DURING THEIR heyday in the mid-70s, Can put great emphasis on the subjugation of the individual to the sound of the group. At their best ...

Captain Beefheart: Grow Fins: Rarities (1965-1982)

Review by Byron Coley, Wire, The, May 1999

ALTHOUGH IT WAS their third released album, Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band arrived with 1969's sprawling Trout Mask Replica. The ability to appreciate its ...

Harmonia, Kraftwerk, La Düsseldorf, Neu!, Michael Rother: White Line Fever

Essay by Biba Kopf, Wire, The, June 1999

Undercurrents #6: uncovering the hidden wiring of 20th century music. Biba Kopf explains how the autobahn, not the freeway has created an enduring road mythology for ...

Frank Zappa, Grateful Dead: Fables Of The Deconstruction

Essay by Edwin Pouncey, Wire, The, July 1999

ONE MAY evening in 1967 at San Francisco's Matrix club, Steppenwolf's bass player Nick St Nicholas got up on stage, plugged his guitar into an ...

Michael Gira: Gira Scope

Interview by Ian Penman, Wire, The, July 1999

Since unburdening himself of Swans' legacy of extreme body music, Michael Gira has aspired to a state of grace with his new group, Angels Of ...

The Beatles, Can, Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Yoko Ono, Steppenwolf, Frank Zappa: Undercurrents #7: Fables of the Deconstruction

Retrospective by Edwin Pouncey, Wire, The, July 1999

In the latest in our series uncovering the hidden wiring of 20th century music, Edwin Pouncey shows how rock 'n' roll's face was changed forever ...

Coil: Musick To Play In The Dark Volume One (Chalice GRAALCD003 CD)

Review by Biba Kopf, Wire, The, August 1999

FOR THOSE nervous souls whose hearts skip a beat when things go bump in the night, bedding down in the dark with Coil music is ...

Bobby Beausoleil & The Freedom Orchestra , Blue Cheer, Butthole Surfers, John Paul Jones, T. Rex: Invisible Jukebox: John Paul Jones

Interview by Mike Barnes, Wire, The, September 1999

Every month we play a musician a series of recordswhich they're asked to identify and comment on — with no prior knowledge of what they're ...

The High Llamas: High Llamas: Harmonies Don't Hurt

Interview by Mike Barnes, Wire, The, October 1999

"THERE IS A fear that pop music instils in a certain bunch of people, because they can't deal with tunes," says Sean O'Hagan, leader of ...

Marshall Jefferson: Last Night A DJ Saved My Life: The History Of The Disc Jockey By Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton (Headline Pbk £12 99)

Book Review by Dave Rimmer, Wire, The, November 1999

ONE NIGHT IN the summer of 1996 I went to a rave in an unfashionable district of Prague. It was in a community hall on ...

Diamanda Galás: Ghent Gravensteen, Belgium

Live Review by Biba Kopf, Wire, The, November 1999

DEATH TRAILS Diamanda Galas with the tightlipped determination of a grizzled bounty hunter, growing increasingly vengeful the longer he is denied his prize. ...

Iggy Pop, The Stooges: Iggy Pop: Coming Through Slaughter

Interview by Edwin Pouncey, Wire, The, November 1999

Where lesser rock gods have become overweight and obsolete, Iggy Pop endures. In Miami, prompted by the bitter-sweet musings of his 13th album, he reflects ...

Brian Eno: Eno: Silent Retreats

Interview by Biba Kopf, Wire, The, February 2000

Brian Eno's sound installations, oases of peace amid the noise of the city, are where his Ambient theories are most fully realised ...

John Zorn: Barbican, London

Live Review by Rob Young, Wire, The, March 2000

ZORN'S BACK: that part of his anatomy, clad in a casual red pullover above yellow-flecked combat slacks, is, in fact, what is presented to the ...

Coil: England's Dreaming

Profile and Interview by Ian Penman, Wire, The, April 2000

Now living by the sea, Coil tap the tidal flows and lunar tugs shaping England's occult history for their visionary nocturnal music. ...

Martin Rev: Strangeworld

Review by Edwin Pouncey, Wire, The, April 2000

MARTIN REV might not be toppling too many new barriers, but the rhythmic and lyrical ghosts he summons up have an indefinable, haunting quality. ...

Grateful Dead: Dick's Picks Volume 16: Fillmore Auditorium 11/8/69 (Grateful Dead GD4036 3XCD)

Review by Edwin Pouncey, Wire, The, May 2000

ALTHOUGH GRATEFUL Dead tape archivist Dick Latvala died last year, his guiding hand still pushes along the project that carries his name. That Grateful Dead ...

Ash Ra Tempel, Coil, Julian Cope: Julian Cope's Cornucopea: South Bank Centre, London

Live Review by Edwin Pouncey, Wire, The, May 2000

BILLED AS "a festival of plenty" by its curator Julian Cope, the two nights spent in the company of his various label mates, old mates ...

Pole: 3

Review by Ian Penman, Wire, The, May 2000

ON THE FACE of it, Stefan Betke is producing a very samey, so-what? music; compared to some modern millenarians, the bunker dub he releases under ...

Richard Meltzer: A Whore Just Like The Rest (Da Capo)

Book Review by Edwin Pouncey, Wire, The, May 2000

"I'M FAT, I drink too much. I feel grey, I feel old, I am old. This could be my last book," is how writer, critic, ...

Lee Hazlewood: 13/The Cowboy And The Lady (Smells Like)

Review by Ian Penman, Wire, The, June 2000

LEE HAZLEWOOD is not one of those cult objects who, on closer inspection, looks like a frail talent protected by decades of vinyl scarcity and ...

Sniffin' Glue: The Essential Punk Accessory By Mark Perry; edited by Terry Rawlings (Sanctuary pbk £20)

Book Review by Biba Kopf, Wire, The, August 2000

JUST WHEN it was safe to slip back into punk's watery grave, its neatly mummified corpse on permanent display in an open plot tended by ...

Faust: The Faust Tapes: Faust Epiphany

Retrospective by Don Watson, Wire, The, September 2000

ONE OF THE EFFECTS of the rabid reissue programs that accompanied the CD revolution was to offer shrinkwrapped package tours into your teenage bedrom. Music, ...

Royal Trux: Tramps Like Us

Interview by Edwin Pouncey, Wire, The, September 2000

Pound for pound, the trailer park noise symphonies of Royal Trux out-weird everything this side of Ornette Coleman and The Grateful Dead. Edwin Pouncey travels ...

Björk: SelmaSongs (One Little Indian TPLP1 51 CD)

Review by David Toop, Wire, The, November 2000

THE FIRST admission to make is that I haven't yet seen Lars Von Trier's Dancer In The Dark, the film that stars Björk and features ...

Derek Bailey: String Theory

Review by Edwin Pouncey, Wire, The, November 2000

FEW MUSICIANS have fully understood how to make effective use of feedback in improvised music. If anybody can crank up their output and return part ...

Radiohead: Kid A

Review by Edwin Pouncey, Wire, The, November 2000

WITH THEIR FOURTH album Kid A, Oxford quintet Radiohead have caused a tsunami-sized wave of confusion by breaking with stadium rock orthodoxy to exhibit an ...

HIM, Doug Scharin: Doug Scharin: His Imperial Majesty

Interview by Mike Barnes, Wire, The, December 2000

Doug Scharin's masterful polyrhythms provide the pulsing backbone for groups such as Rex, Codeine and Out In Worship, as well as his own outfit HIM. ...

Evan Parker, Keith Rowe: Keith Rowe: Harsh, Guitar Solo; Evan Parker/Keith Rowe: Dark Rags

Review by David Toop, Wire, The, December 2000

"AFTER SEVERAL years of bizarre playing in a sort of anti-jazz style that always ill-suited his supposed role of rhythm guitarist, Rowe now seems on ...

Multi Media: mp3 Newsgroups

Column by Jason Gross, Wire, The, December 2000

Jason Gross finds MP3 newsgroups are the way to sidestep Napster. ...

Evan Parker, Jah Wobble: Jah Wobble & Evan Parker: Passage To Hades (30 HERTZ)

Review by David Toop, Wire, The, February 2001

PERHAPS THIS IS a disingenuous flash of hindsight on my part, but I'm convinced that when I heard Public Image Limited's first album, back in ...

Scritti Politti: Epiphanies: Scritti Politti

Retrospective by Simon Reynolds, Wire, The, June 2001

Simon Reynolds swoons to the sound of Scritti Politti's seditious soul music ...

Missy Elliott: Miss E... So Addictive (The Gold Mind Inc/Elektra 7559626392)

Review by Ian Penman, Wire, The, June 2001

Ian Penman gets out of his head on Miss E ...

Neu! On The Road

Retrospective and Interview by Biba Kopf, Wire, The, June 2001

Klaus Dinger & Michael Rother's 70s group Neu! shifted German rock's gears into overdrive towards a more harmonious future. But their personal discord has left ...

Radiohead: Amnesiac (Parlophone CDFHEIT45101 CD/MC/2XLP)

Review by Ian Penman, Wire, The, June 2001

Radiohead's Amnesiac pursues the detours into electronica essayed on last year's Kid A, but Ian Penman's world remains unrocked ...

Alice Coltrane, John Coltrane: Alice Coltrane: Enduring Love

Retrospective and Interview by Edwin Pouncey, Wire, The, April 2002

AFTER HER KEY ROLE IN JOHN COLTRANE'S ECSTATIC JAZZ EXPERIMENTS OF THE LATE 60S, PIANIST AND HARPIST ALICE COLTRANE EMBARKED ON A JOURNEY INTO THE OUTER SPIRALS ...

Boards Of Canada: Geogaddi (Warp)

Review by Kodwo Eshun, Wire, The, April 2002

LIKE YOU, NO doubt, I'm a sucker for what Marshall McLuhan called "participation mystique". ...

Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band: Dust Sucker (Milksafe)

Review by Edwin Pouncey, Wire, The, May 2002

THE FULL STORY of Captain Beefheart's ill-fated Bat Chain Puller – potentially his greatest musical statement after Trout Mask Replica – has already been admirably ...

Shirley Collins: Spirit Of Eden: Shirley Collins

Retrospective and Interview by Mike Barnes, Wire, The, May 2002

"The main body of [folk music] is just based on myth and the Bible and plague and famine and all kinds of things like that ...

Vincent Gallo: Recordings Of Music For Films (Warp)

Review by Ian Penman, Wire, The, May 2002

NOTE THAT STRICTLY utile title. Here we find not vanity project Muzak for 'imaginary' films, projected by some vain musclehead Hollyweird jerk-off with more friends ...

DAF: Epiphanies: DAF

Essay by Biba Kopf, Wire, The, August 2002

Punk may have been reduced to a teen angst soundtrack, but it created a virus that liberated Germany — specifically, the fiendish marriage of punk ...

Arthur Lee, Love: Invisible Jukebox: Arthur Lee

Interview by Mike Barnes, Wire, The, August 2002

Every month we play a musician a series of records which they're asked to identify and comment on — with no prior knowledge of what ...

N*E*R*D: Shepherd's Bush Empire, London

Live Review by Kodwo Eshun, Wire, The, September 2002

JUST GOES to show how wrong I can be. Figured me plus a few brainiac dumdums were the only ones nebbish enough to catch the ...

The Boredoms: Drilled to Infinity

Retrospective and Interview by Edwin Pouncey, Wire, The, September 2002

Over 15 years, Osaka's Boredoms have mutated from a splatterpunk avant noise group to the streamlined ferocity of their current mantric percussion barrage. In London, ...

Epiphanies: Mr. Jazz and 'Coarse Fish'

Memoir by Byron Coley, Wire, The, October 2002

In 1974, TV's 'Mr Jazz' threw a switch that scrambled Byron Coley's brain with the DIY cut-ups of Orchid Spangiafora. ...

Tony Allen: Invisible Jukebox: Tony Allen

Interview by Mike Barnes, Wire, The, October 2002

Every month we play a musician a series of records which they're asked to identify and comment on — with no prior knowledge of what ...

Epiphanies

Memoir by Richard Cook, Wire, The, November 2002

Well, there are worse ways of making a living. Richard Cook tells how a compulsive jones for collecting records — only partly sated by music ...

Kevin Ayers: Invisible Jukebox

Interview by Mike Barnes, Wire, The, December 2002

KEVIN AYERS was one of many curious teenagers who gravitated towards Wellington House at Lydden, near Canterbury, in the early '60s. The house was owned ...

Autechre: The Futurologists: Autechre

Interview by David Stubbs, Wire, The, April 2003

The world of electronica might have become overcrowded since their first releases a decade ago, but Autechre are still burrowing through microscopic cracks into the ...

David Sylvian: Blemish

Review by David Toop, Wire, The, June 2003

With contributions from Derek Bailey and Christian Fennesz, David Sylvian's new record is his most adventurous departure yet. ...

Nina Simone: Always Searching for a Key

Obituary by Ian Penman, Wire, The, June 2003

The realisation that she was black in a country run by whites, a woman in a world run by men, turned Nina Simone into the ...

The Mad Professor, Lee 'Scratch' Perry, Tricky: Tricky, Lee 'Scratch' Perry, The Mad Professor: Meltdown Festival, Royal Festival Hall, London

Live Review by David Stubbs, Wire, The, August 2003

ON PAPER, what a line-up, what a dub melding of nonconformist minds: The Mad Professor (aka Neil Fraser), who through his remixes of Primal Scream ...

Ron Geesin

Profile and Interview by Mike Barnes, Wire, The, September 2003

"Ron Geesin, composer for all media, live performer and one-man record company, works from his own studio both writing for musicians and working with complex ...

Devo: Jade Dellinger & David Giffels: Are We Not Men? We Are Devo!

Book Review by Edwin Pouncey, Wire, The, December 2003

DEPENDING ON which side of the critical fence you were standing at the time, '70s art rock group Devo from Akron, Ohio were either "the ...

Jonny Greenwood: Bodysong

Review by David Stubbs, Wire, The, December 2003

THIS IS THE soundtrack by Radiohead guitarist Johnny Greenwood to a unique film directed by Simon Pummell. It traces the journey from birth to death ...

Arthur Russell: The Flying Heart

Retrospective by David Toop, Wire, The, January 2004

Arthur Russell is the great enigma of New York's music scene. A cellist, Buddhist and former music director at the legendary Kitchen, he was seduced ...

Faust: Epiphanies: Faust

Memoir by David Stubbs, Wire, The, March 2004

David Stubbs recalls early arousals caused by Faust's 'wonderful wooden reason' ...

Dean Roberts: Lost City Rambler

Profile and Interview by Rob Young, Wire, The, April 2004

"I LIKE TO get songs to find their place in the air and sort of float there," says Dean Roberts, who began his career in ...

Jem Finer, The Pogues: Cross Platform: Jem Finer

Interview by David Toop, Wire, The, May 2004

Sound in other media. This month: David Toop talks to Jem Finer about his transition from banjo plucking with The Pogues to computer-decomposed improvisations and ...

Eric Dolphy: Eric's Trip

Retrospective by David Stubbs, Wire, The, June 2004

On the 40th anniversary of the death of Eric Dolphy, David Stubbs offers a personal benediction to one of the most enigmatic and neglected figures ...

Can, Damo Suzuki: Damo Suzuki: The Accidental Anarchist

Interview by Mike Barnes, Wire, The, July 2004

Damo Suzuki is the legendary vocalist with German group Can, but he has been perfecting his unique mode of 'instant composition' all his life. Having ...

Sunn O))): Invisible Jukebox: Sunn O)))

Interview by Edwin Pouncey, Wire, The, July 2004

EVERY MONTH WE PLAY A MUSICIAN A SERIES OF RECORDS WHICH THEY ARE ASKED TO IDENTIFY AND COMMENT ON WITH NO PRIOR KNOWLEDGE OF WHAT ...

Wilco: Free the Spirit: Wilco

Interview by Edwin Pouncey, Wire, The, August 2004

"IF I PLAYED you all the Wilco songs in chronological order on an acoustic guitar, they probably wouldn't sound that different," declares Wilco leader Jeff ...

Brian Wilson: Brian Wilson Presents Smile (Nonesuch CD)

Review by Mike Barnes, Wire, The, October 2004

Three and a half decades after it was abandoned, leaving its creator in a state of nervous collapse, Brian Wilson's troubled masterpiece has finally been ...

Bonnie Prince Billy, Matt Sweeney: Matt Sweeney & Bonnie "Prince" Billy: Superwolf

Review by Mike Barnes, Wire, The, February 2005

IT'S STILL DIFFICULT for me to listen to the music of Will Oldham – aka Bonnie "Prince" Billy – without thinking back to when I ...

Ron Geesin, Hamilton Yarns: Friends Meeting House, Brighton

Live Review by Mike Barnes, Wire, The, February 2005

THIS RARE live appearance by multi-instrumentalist, composer and poet Ron Geesin — only his second in seven years or so — took place in the ...

Bill Fay: Tomorrow Never Knows

Retrospective and Interview by Rob Young, Wire, The, March 2005

AFTER MAKING TWO OF THE FINEST BUT OVERLOOKED APOCALYPTIC SINGER-SONGWRITER ALBUMS OF THE EARLY 70S — WITH JAZZ ARRANGER MIKE GIBBS AND FREE GUITARIST RAY ...

Konono No. 1: Konono No 1: Congotronics

Review by Rob Young, Wire, The, March 2005

IN AFRICA, corrupt and irresponsible governance has led some of the continent's most prominent modern musicians to cast themselves as surrogate leader figures — think ...

Steve Reich: Barbican Hall, London

Live Review by Mike Barnes, Wire, The, March 2005

ANTICIPATION WAS high at Ensemble Modern's UK premiere of Steve Reich's new piece, You Are (Variations), which earned enthusiastic press when first performed in the ...

Jamie Lidell: Boy in a Bubble

Interview by Rob Young, Wire, The, July 2005

Digital avant funk sound boffin and flamboyant vocalist by turns, Jamie Lidell's live appearances are spectacular feats of improvised technology and showmanship. On the release ...

ABC, Cabaret Voltaire, Clock, Heaven 17, The Human League: Martin Lilleker: Beats Working For A Living – Sheffield Popular Music 1973-1984 (Juma)

Book Review by Rob Young, Wire, The, July 2005

PRACTICALLY EVERY city in Britain has a roster of musical hod carriers with appalling names. This exhaustive history of Sheffield's music scene is crammed with ...

Buck 65: Secret House Against the World

Review by Mike Barnes, Wire, The, August 2005

Though some deplore Buck 65's drift away from Anticon hiphop, Mike Barnes welcomes his blended but more mature songwriting direction. ...

Marissa Nadler: Death Becomes Her

Profile and Interview by Edwin Pouncey, Wire, The, August 2005

IN THE BACK of a small pub in South London, surrounded by a crowd of curious onlookers, Marissa Nadler tunes up her acoustic 12-string guitar ...

This Heat and Cold Storage: Once upon a time in Brixton

Retrospective by Mike Barnes, Wire, The, August 2005

"A former meat storage room that became This Heat's rehearsal room then an 8-track studio then a 16-track studio then a 24-track studio then a ...

Boards Of Canada: Protect and Survive

Interview by Rob Young, Wire, The, October 2005

In a rare face to face interview at their Scottish retreat, Boards Of Canada break their self-imposed isolation to scotch the myths that have coalesced ...

Faust: Faust IV

Review by Rob Chapman, Wire, The, May 2006

IN DECEMBER 1972, when the late Ian MacDonald wrote the first authoritative, and still near-definitive, guide to German experimental rock for NME he sorted the ...

Bert Jansch: Invisible Jukebox

Interview by Mike Barnes, Wire, The, February 2007

Complete draft of the feature originally published in The Wire 276, Feb 2007 ...

Peter Hammill

Retrospective and Interview by Mike Barnes, Wire, The, March 2007

"I DIDN'T HAVE white tunnels, but I did have the feeling that if I got too tired, which at a certain point might have been ...

Blacksand: Black Widow Russian Submarine, Medway River (near Strood), UK

Live Review by Mike Barnes, Wire, The, August 2008

LIFE ON A U475 Hunter-Killer submarine must have been tough, even during the Cold War. ...

Big Black, Butthole Surfers, Sonic Youth: Sonic Youth And the Blast First Axis

Essay by David Stubbs, Wire, The, 12 February 2009

AS FAR AS many people were concerned in the 80s, in the UK in particular, rock was a discredited medium. ...

David Bedford: Albion's Astronaut

Interview by Mike Barnes, Wire, The, March 2011

Trained by the European avant garde, British composer David Bedford helped launch Mike Oldfield and Kevin Ayers's pastoral rock into orbit with his cosmically aligned ...

John Fahey: Commemorating one of the New Weird America's founding fathers

Comment by Byron Coley, Wire, The, February 2013

THE TERM New Weird America (NWA) was used by The Wire's David Keenan to describe the music at the Brattleboro Free Folk Festival in 2003. ...

Band of Susans, Big Black, Butthole Surfers, Sonic Youth: Sonic Youth and the Blast First axis

Retrospective by David Stubbs, Wire, The, February 2013

A previously unpublished essay by David Stubbs, on Paul Smith's Blast First label and Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon's Sonic Youth. ...

Bob Cobbing: William Cobbing & Rosie Cooper (Editors): Boooook – The Life And Work Of Bob Cobbing (Occasional Papers)

Book Review by Byron Coley, Wire, The, March 2016

THE LATE Bob Cobbing was an extraordinary individual. People, especially Americans such as myself, tend to be familiar with just one aspect of his long ...

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