Bitstream News from under the radar
In February The Wire decamps to Whitstable on the South East coast to host the UK’s first ever literary festival devoted to music criticism. Taking place over the weekend of 11–13 February at the Playhouse Theatre, Off The Page, which is being co-produced by The Wire and Sound And Music, will feature a host of critics, authors, musicians and artists discussing the current state of underground and experimental music in a programme of talks, presentations, panel discussions and workshops. Full details of the festival, including ticketing information, will be announced in next month’s issue.
A new documentary on the life and works of William S Burroughs is now doing the rounds of independent cinemas in the United States. William S Burroughs: A Man Within, directed by Yony Leyser, was previewed at film festivals last year and unearths unseen footage of Burroughs and interviews with his friends, supporters and contemporaries including John Waters, Gus Van Sant, Patti Smith, Laurie Anderson, Iggy Pop and Amiri Baraka. The soundtrack is by Patti Smith and Sonic Youth. williamsburroughsthemovie.com
Press Pop’s Allen Ginsberg doll festival takes place at Butlins, Minehead from 11–13 March. blocweekend.com
Polish composer Henryk Mikołaj Górecki has died after a long illness aged 76. The father of the so-called New Polish School of composition, Górecki drew inspiration from the music of Luigi Nono, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Krzysztof Penderecki before honing an exalted minimalist style through the course of the 1970s. A sleeper during the 1980s, his Symphony No 3: Symphony Of Sorrowful Songs became a massive classical crossover hit in the early 90s.
A new 15 minute online documentary on London’s underground dance scene is now working its way round the web. Future Sound is produced by Spine TV and directed by Jamie Whitby and Rachel Lob-levyt, it features interviews with artists such as Scratcha DVA plus The Wire’s own Lisa Blanning and Mark Fisher, and discusses the impact of digital technology on the spread of the music. It’s available to view on the Spine TV site. spinetv.net
Aphex Twin has been added to the line-up for the Bloc Weekender next year. He’ll be performing in an AV show at the Minehead festival this March, as part of a bill which also includes Shackleton, Joy Orbison, Four Tet, LFO, Legowelt, and many more. The
The best minds of our generation have been toy-ed: ‘buy!’ madness. You can now pick up 6" dolls of counterculture icon Allen Ginsberg and cartoon composer and electronic sound whizz Raymond Scott via Japanese online gallery, music and bookshop Press Pop. The Ginsberg doll was designed by artist and musician Archer Prewitt, and includes a CD of five poems and one song, all previously unreleased. Press Pop and Prewitt are also behind a new 10" featuring recordings of Arthur Russell and Allen Ginsberg entitled Ballad Of The Lights. All goodies are available from the Press Pop website, where you can also pick up Prewitt’s book of drawings Work On Paper and his fellow Sea And Cake member Sam Prekop’s book Photography. presspop.com
The Beat Goes On is a 2011 diary which chronicles, day-by-day, the anniversaries of deaths of around 1300 musicians. The tongue-in-cheek memoriam includes a ‘death of the week’, where selected musicians’ antics are commented upon in meticulous and scholarly detail. It’s available from tbgo.de
Merzbow, no stranger to gargantuan box sets, has released another with Merzbient, a 12 CD box set of his ‘quieter’ recordings.
unprecedented scale” which promises to “call into question marketplace demands for more and more ‘digital exclusive’ materials as a form of labor exploitation.” It’ll be available via Thaemlitz’s website comatonse.com, where you can find more info on the project.
The Books, whose Lost And Found topped The Wire’s Rewind chart for 2005, are to reissue their entire back catalogue this year on Temporary Residence. The albums have been remastered by the group’s Nick Zammuto, and feature brand new artwork plus a book of lyrics. The albums will be released in chronological order, starting with Thought For Food this month. thebooksmusic.com
The box, available in an edition of 555, features a selection of Masami Akita’s recordings from the late 1980s. At that time he was turning up the volume with his infamous Noise sets, but Merzbient promises the quieter, more atmospheric side, using a wide variety of acoustic instruments including an impractical monstrosity described as a “big handmade junk instrument made from a metal box with piano wires”, played with a violin bow. The recordings were apparently kept private and never released until now.
Portishead have been announced as the curators of ATP’s I’ll Be Your Mirror event in London this summer. The group will curate the weekender’s line-up with ATP on 23–24 July, as well as headline both days of the festival. Supporting acts already confirmed include the reformed original line-up of Company Flow, plus Beak>, MF Doom, The Books, Liars, Swans and Grinderman, with more to be confirmed. London Alexandra Palace, 23–24 July, £59 per day/£100 weekend pass. atpfestival.com
Producer, philosopher, gender-theorist and former cover star Terre Thaemlitz is set to release a multimedia ‘package’ entitled Soulnessless early this year. The eight gigabite bombshell features more than 30 hours of music, video and text, all available on a tiny 8Gb MicroSD card. An album “of
Moonlighting from the Hollywood day job, David Lynch has found time to release a record. The double A side single Good Day Today/I Know features the 64 year old’s vocodered vocals on an uptempo electronic dance track, and drawling along on a scuzzy blues number. It’s released through Sunday Best Recordings. A deluxe vinyl edition features two records with original tracks and a glut of remixes, plus a fine art print by Vaughan Oliver. It’s available to pre-order from The Vinyl Factory, with a release date of 31 January. thevinylfactory.com
Arthur’s Landing, a collective of musicians who all worked with the late Arthur Russell, are set to release a self-titled debut album on Strut Records this month. Their current line-up consists of Steven Hall, Mustafa Ahmed, Joyce Bowden, Ernie Brooks, Elodie Lauten, Bill Ruyle, John Scherman, and Peter Zummo, and the debut contains new arrangements of Russell’s work, both well known and previously unheard tracks, produced and mixed by Brennan Green and Peter Zummo. Arthur’s Landing will be touring worldwide this year.
Strategies Against Architecture IV, the fourth album in the archival compilation series by Einstürzende Neubauten, is available now on Mute. The double disc release brings together the group’s output from 2002–10, an eight year period which witnessed the release of Perpetuum Mobile, the Musterhaus series (finalised in 2007), Grundstück (CD+DVD, 2005), Palast Der Republik (DVD, 2006), Alles Wieder Offen (2007), and most recently The Jewels (2008). This new release collects highlights from that work plus excerpts from their
8 | The Wire | Bitstream performance at Berlin’s Palast der Republik. The album is available from Mute. In other Neubauten news, the group were forced to cancel their recent 30th anniversary US tour when their visas were delayed. Refunds are available from point of purchase. neubauten.org, mute.com
European free jazz label and publisher FMP have a mammoth special edition box set in production. Im Rückblick (In Retrospect) is a 12 CD and book package limited to 1000 copies. The CDs begin with Globe Unity Orchestra and guests in Baden-Baden in 1975 and run up to Tristan Honsinger and Olaf Rupp recorded in 2010. There are essays in German and English by Wolfram Knauer, Felix Klopotek, Ken Vandermark and Bert Noglik plus Wire contributors David Keenan and Bill Shoemaker, as well as a catalogue of FMP artists, releases and projects from 1968 onwards. fmp-label.de
New World Records are preparing a historic collection of musical collaborations with choreographer Merce Cunningham. Music For Merce is a ten CD set with a list of contributing composers that reads like a who’s who of the 20th century avant garde – Cage, Tudor, Wolff, Feldman, Brown, Mumma, and many more. The recordings run right up to the present day with music for dance works by Robin Rimbaud (Scanner), David Behrman and George Lewis.
Sound artist John Wynne has won an award in the 2010 British Composer awards. Wynne, featured in Cross Platform in The Wire 307, received the plaudits for his Installation For 300 Speakers, Pianola And Vacuum Cleaner.
Sonia Pottinger, Jamaica’s first ever female music producer, has died. Pottinger cut her teeth in the late 1960s and early 70s, producing giants of early reggae such as The Ethiopians, The Melodians, and Toots And The Maytals, and in 1974 she bought the legendary Treasure Isle label from Duke Reid shortly before his death. She retired from the music business in the mid-1980s, and was suffering with Alzheimer’s before her death on 3 November.
Welcome to Doom country: Earth have unveiled details of a new studio album. Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light is the latest release from Dylan Carlson’s slow moving juggernaut, following 2008’s The Bees Made Honey In the Lion’s Skull. Earth’s current line-up adds Lori Goldston and Karl Blau to regulars Carlson and percussionist Adrienne Davies, and the album promises nods to British folk rock groups Pentangle and Fairport Convention as well as North African Tuareg group Tinariwen. The album will be released in February on Southern Lord.
Peter Rehberg’s Editions Mego has been busy at the pressing plant producing a barrage of reissues and vinyl editions. The label has just released deluxe vinyl editions of Kevin Drumm’s Sheer Hellish Miasmah, Emeralds’ What Happened?
Earth’s Dylan Carlson and Fennesz’s Endless Summer, with a CD reissue of Bill Orcutt’s A New Way To Pay Old Debts in the pipeline. Imminent new releases from the label include discs by Mark Fell, Marcus Schmickler, Fenn O’Berg, THYMOLPHTHALEIN and CoH.
French electroacoustic composer JeanClaude Eloy, whose 1970s masterworks Gaku-No-Michi and Shânti were reviewed in The Wire 322, has published a new, enlarged collection of his texts entitled Between Concrete And Abstract. Collecting essays, interview material, photographs and plans for many of his major works, this second edition of the work is self-published through Eloy’s Hors Territoires imprint, and is available now. hors-territories.com
Trip Or Squeek By Savage Pencil
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