Are Stereolab the perfect pop group? By combining a rigorous DIY aesthetic with a playful reverence for the arcane relics of musics past, they have managed to make a reality out of that most elusive of notions: experimental music that actually sells. This article was originally published in The Wire 149 (July 1996).
Harry Partch worked as a dish washer and labourer, lived as a hobo and wrote some of the greatest American music of the century. Since his death in 1975 his work has been forgotten and neglected. Now that's all about to change. Joel Lewis reports from New York. This article was originally published in The Wire 123 (May 1994).
Via their releases on Sheffield's Warp label, the Autechre duo of Sean Booth and Rob Brown are searching out new dimensions in electronic sound. Meanwhile, their Disengage radio show has become a community news bulletin for fellow digital denizens. Interview by Rob Young. This article originally appeared in The Wire 156 (February 1997).
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 bizarre creations and their inventors, including the best known of all: Leon Theremin. This article originally appeared in The Wire 139 (September 1995).
Conrad Schnitzler, German pioneer of "cold, hard, electronic sound", has refused to stay dormant in the 35 years since his collaborations with Tangerine Dream and Kluster, as well as his own legendary group, Eruption. He has spewed forth a phenomenal amount of sound and noise in every format, from player piano rolls to MP3s. By David Keenan. This article originally appeared in The Wire 267 (May 2006).
One of the most inspiring and turbulent personalities in jazz, Charles Mingus – as player and composer – has exerted an enormous influence on the post-war era. In the first of a two-part survey of Mingus on record, Jack Cooke ah ums his way through the great bassman's early masterpieces on Candid, Atlantic and Impulse. This article was originally published in The Wire 75, May 1990.