"I’m in hell now. Welcome to hell if you love it too." Yan Jun reports from the Land Of The Dragon on Makoto Kawabata, the Chinese Bureau of Culture and doomsday cults
"In the very early days, when all film came from the US, benshi could explain the projection technology and also mediate strange western customs to the Japanese audience." Clive Bell on the narration of silent cinema in Japan, the Burmese record industry and Ugandan Video Jokers
"When artists bring underground musical subcultures into seemingly more legitimate spaces, whatever their intentions, those subcultures are easily reduced to the merely symbolic."
"No one is saying anyone ought to sleep through music – just that you might as well make the best of it when the inevitable happens." Philip Clark on the pleasures of Francisco López, Bruckner and blindfolds
"Compositions based on data run the risk of sounding less interesting than the descriptions of the conceptual thought gone into their construction." Emily Bick journeys to the Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research in Plymouth
"Today it’s almost impossible to think of music as anything other than immediately audiovisual." Robert Barry reads between the lines at a new exhibition about graphic scores
Clive Bell ponders the fragmented London music audience
Richard Thomas on minted petit-bourgeois pugilists, the end of year chart and the class politics of Black Friday
"The marketing narratives laid down by the likes of Red Bull and similar have helped beckon forth an enveloping haze of meaningless positivity, creating a world that’s happy yet contentless, adult but toothless." Nathan Budzinski assumes the lotus position, breathes deeply and becomes mindful of Eternal Bliss™
Yan Jun gets more questions than answers when he asks himself what happened in 2014
You read correctly: the sage Mr Bell buffs his crystal ball (well, his laptop screen), peers into the fogs of 2015 and sees double
Clive Bell on plunging one's head into a brazier of burning coals, playing for the angels and the legacy of Ostad Elahi, reclusive tanbour master
Philip Clark on JS Bach, Jimmy Lyons's ear for architecture and the poetic metaphor of the line
Yan Jun blows up knock-off speakers, bids Mother Nature farewell and embraces life and death in The Machine era
Clive Bell muses on the biwa as vehicle for Japanese epic, and finds parallels in Irish folk ballads and beyond
Philip Clark on Deutsche Grammophon's 1970s forays into free improvisation, and the impact of DG's current boss, former A&R pop picker Max Hole
Damon Krukowski on musicians who drop their mother tongue and sing in English – and why it's great to sing in Welsh
"Some recordists are like hoarders, bringing home whatever they find outside with little discrimination as to what's worth preserving and what’s not." Derek Walmsley sorts through The Wire's post bag in search of the person behind the mic.
Emily Bick feels the qualitative in the different approaches improvisors and composers take to the sonification of data sets
Clive Bell on the recent furore over Sam Callow's accompaniments to traditional British folk singers.