Bitstream News from under the radar
This month sees the publication of No Regrets: Writings On Scott Walker, an in depth survey of the life and music of one of the most mercurial and enigmatic figures in contemporary music. Published by Orion Books in association with The Wire, No Regrets has been edited by the magazine’s Contributing Editor Rob Young, and covers all aspects of Walker’s music, from The Walker Brothers to The Drift, in a series of newly commissioned essays by several of The Wire’s staff and contributors, including Biba Kopf, Derek Walmsley, Nina Power, David Toop, David Stubbs and Brian Morton, as well as a number of other Scott observers and experts, such as musicians Damon Krukowski and Anthony Reynolds, and film maker Stephen Kijak, director of the 2006 documentary Scott Walker: 30 Century Man. The book also contains a 20,000 word essay by Ian Penman that reassesses Walker’s so-called lost years of the late 1960s and early 70s; an extract appears on page 26 of this month’s issue. The book will be published on 17 May, and will be the subject of the June edition of The Wire Salon, which will feature a talk by Rob Young elaborating on some of the themes developed in the book. The Salon, which takes place at London’s Cafe Oto on 12 June, will also include a panel discussion featuring several of the book’s contributors.
Meanwhile, this month’s edition of the Salon takes place at Cafe Oto on 10 May and will feature an illustrated talk by author Pat Thomas based on his new book Listen Whitey! The Sights And Sounds Of Black Power 1965–1975. The talk will be followed by a panel discussion with Paul Gilroy, John Akomfrah and others: see Out There. orionbooks.co.uk, cafeoto.co.uk
“An international celebration of the art and science of sound” takes place in London next month. Supersonix will comprise artist residencies, installations, and three days of talks, presentations, lectures and performances covering a wide variety of contemporary sound theory and practice. The symposium has been organised by the Exhibition Road Cultural Group of major London museum and gallery spaces, and is co-sponsored by The Wire. Speakers and performers include Jacob Kirkegaard, Bernhard Leitner, Jana Winderen, Rebecca Horn, Kaffe Matthews, David Toop, Mira Calix, Aleks Kolkowski, David Cunningham and many more. Supersonix takes place at various venues around Exhibition Road in West London between 21-23 June. exhibitionroad.com/supersonix
Finnish wyrd folk label Fonal (home to Islaja, Kemialliset Ystävät and Lau Nau) is struggling to cover costs of vinyl production, and has set up a donations page where fans wanting to offer support can donate between €1 and €500. “What we hope to achieve is a few random donations now and then to cover our losses,” says label head Sami Sänpäkkilä. fonal.com
Minutemen/Stooges bass player Mike Watt is publishing a collection of his photography, poetry and diary entries this month titled Mike Watt: On And Off Bass. Watt will be launching the book at two events in the US this month, one in New York with a guest appearance by J Mascis (2 May), one in Los Angeles with performances from Watt with The Missingmen (5 May). threeroomspress.com
Norwegian vocalist and composer Maja Ratkje has been announced as composer in residence for the 2012 edition of the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, which takes place 16–25 November. hcmf. co.uk
Sun Araw (aka Cameron Stallones) will be bringing his collaboration with The Congos and M Geddes Gengras to the stage in the UK this summer, playing at London’s Village Underground on 22 June. The album Icon Give Thank is out now on RVNG Intl. villageunderground.co.uk
Details are emerging of Julian Cope’s Copendium, a collection of album reviews and other music writings, many of which originally appeared on his Head Heritage website. Cope digs his way through Krautrock, Metal, psychedelia, jazz and more in a text that promises to tell the untold musical history of the heavy and the weird. Faber is also publishing a limited edition five months ahead of the book’s proper release in November. The deluxe version will set you back £200, and comes with two CD compilations and an invite to an event at London’s Rough Trade East which is only open to those buying the book. faber.co.uk
Online electronic music boutique Bleep has released a compilation of new tracks by previously unreleased electronics producers. Titled Filtered, the ten tracks were whittled down from more than 4000 submissions, and the album is available now. filtered-music.com
Vocoder historian turned Miami Bass chronicler Dave Tompkins has produced a three track 7" of his favourite 1980s vocoder tracks. Pressed on recycled vinyl (meaning they are all different colours) in screenprinted sleeves, the 7"s are being sold with copies of the paperback edition of Tompkins’s acclaimed history of the vocoder, How To Wreck A Nice Beach. stopsmilingstore.com
Neneh Cherry, stepdaughter of Don Cherry, is releasing an album with Scandinavian jazz trio The Thing. The album includes an unlikely clutch of cover versions, including tracks by Suicide, MF Doom, ex-Tricky vocalist Martina Topley-Bird, Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry himself, and “Dirt” by The Stooges. smalltownsupersound.com
Editions Mego adds yet another label to its stable this month with the launch of Recollection GRM, which has been set up to reissue work from the archive of the Groupe de Recherches Musicales in Paris. Releases are scheduled to arrive every two to three months, starting with Pierre Schaeffer’s Le Trièdre Fertile, and Guy Reibel’s Granulations-Sillages/Franges Du Signe – both have been remastered and repackaged with new artwork by Stephen O’Malley. editionsmego.com/recollection-grm
My Bloody Valentine are set to rerelease their albums Isn’t Anything and Loveless, plus a collection of EPs, in remastered form.
New and exclusive on thewire.co.uk this month
Music and videos from AtomTM, Mary Halvorson and Sean McCann, an unreleased album by Benedict Drew, and a sound poetry mix
Plus: news and listings updated daily Listen again Adventures In Sound And Music and Rewired radio shows updated weekly thewiremagazine.tumblr.com Sleeve art showcase updated peripatetically
8 | The Wire | Bitstream Loveless was due for reissue in 2008, but mysteriously delayed – that remaster along with yet another remastered version will now be bundled together on a two disc set. All three sets will be released – so we’re told – on 7 May by Sony.
And yet more reissues on the horizon, with news that three Van Dyke Parks albums – Song Cycle, Discover America and Clang Of The Yankee Reaper – are being rereleased on CD and vinyl in June by Bella Union. Unusually, the albums will not be bulked out with extra tracks; nor will they feature new artwork. bellaunion.com An oral history tracing the rise of Berlin Techno has just been published. The book includes interviews with the likes of Juan Atkins, Mike Banks, Danielle De Piciotto, Alec Empire, Mark Ernestus, Thomas Fehlmann, Robert Hood, Jeff Mills, Ron Murphy, Wolfgang Tillmans, Paul Van Dyke and others. The catch? It’s in German only. Titled Der Klang Der Familie: Berlin, Techno Und Die Wende, which translates as The Sound Of Family: Berlin, Techno And The Reunification, the book has been put together by journalists Felix Denk and Sven von Thülen. suhrkamp.de
Under the banner Tate à Tate, London activist organisations Liberate Tate, Platform and Art Not Oil have commissioned a series of guerrilla audio tours of Tate Britain, Tate Modern and the Tate Boat in protest at the galleries’ involvement with oil giant BP. Former Wire staffer and current contributor Phil England has produced a
Tate Modern tour with Jim Welton titled Drilling The Dirt (“A Temporary Difficulty”), referencing Tate Director Nicholas Serota’s comments that: “We all recognise they [BP] have a difficulty at the moment but you don’t abandon your friends because they have what we consider to be a temporary difficulty.” Ansuman Biswas has produced a tour for Tate Britain, and Isa Suarez, Mae Martin and Mark McGowan have created a soundtrack for the Tate Boat. All Tate à Tate tours can be downloaded onto smartphones. tateatate.org
Hamish Dunbar, the founder and director of East London new music venue Cafe Oto, has been awarded the inaugural £25,000 Genesis Prize, which is designed to encourage the development of new talent in all areas of the arts. Dunbar will be starting an Associate Artists Programme with the funds, teaming emerging performers with established musicians. genesisfoundation. org.uk
Dark corners of Leeds city centre will be transformed later this month via a series of installations and performances as part of Overworlds & Underworlds (18–20 May), which includes compositions by Gavin Bryars, plus work by film makers The Quay Brothers, librettist Blake Morrison, dancers and choreographers. overworldsandunderworlds.com
Three members of Russian Riot Grrrl collective Pussy Riot have been arrested and charged with hooliganism for a performance of a “punk prayer” in Moscow’s
Russian Orthodox Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. The performance was part of a protest against the regime of the Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and appealed to the “Holy Mother, Blessed Virgin [to] chase Putin out”. At the time we went to press with this issue, the women, Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Ekaterina Samutsevic, were reported to have gone on a 12 day hunger strike, while their trial hearing had been scheduled for 24 April.
Drag City has produced a limited number of Ghost member and acupuncturist Masaki Batoh’s Brain Pulse Music Machine, which converts brain waves into sound. The machine is reportedly being trialled by a number of hospitals in Tokyo, and Batoh uses the machine in his practice daily. Batoh expects it to be “an effective therapy for depression, panic disorder and Asperger’s Syndrome”, the theory being that through listening to their brainwaves patients learn to recognise spikes in brain activity. dragcity.com/products/brain-pulse-musicmachine
Los Angeles label 100% Silk, home to LA Vampires, Ital, Maria Minerva and others, is asking supporters to drop some pennies in the pot to help fund a film documenting their forthcoming tour around UK and Europe. The label is aiming to raise $3500 by the end of April via crowdfunding platform IndieGoGo. If the film is fully funded, those who pledged cash will receive rewards ranging from a thank you, to a mixtape or a mention in the credits. indiegogo.com/silkdoc
100% Silk aren’t the only ones crowdfunding this month. Mad King Edmund, a collective of jazz and electronic musicians led by Ed Pettersen, is crowdfunding a project to release a 2011 recording by free jazz saxophonist Giuseppe Logan, who recorded two albums for ESP-Disk in the 1960s before disappearing for 30 years. The Kickstarter project aims to raise $6000 to fund vinyl pressing and mastering, with any extra cash going towards the repair of Logan’s saxophone. kickstarter. com/projects/710927283/the-giuseppilogan-project-a-free-jazz-album
German video art festival Videonale has put out an open call for single or multi-channel video works to be considered for the 2013 festival. Videos can cover any subject but must not date from before 1 January 2010. The festival takes place at the Bonn Kunstmuseum, 15 February–7 April 2013, where around 40–50 works will be exhibited. Closing date for submissions is 6 July 2012. videonale.org
A new Grateful Dead documentary is scheduled for release this month. In addition to tracing the group’s history, the film charts the rise of the San Francisco psychedelic underground and associated groups such as Big Brother & The Holding Company, Jefferson Airplane and Quicksilver Messenger Service. Dawn Of The Dead: The Grateful Dead And The Rise Of The San Francisco Underground is released on DVD by MVD Entertainment Group on 22 May.
Trip Or Squeek By Savage Pencil
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