Essay from Issue 75

Charles Mingus: Underdog Days

September 2012

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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. This article was originally published in The Wire 75, May 1990.

Essay from Issue 339

Collateral Damage: Phil England

April 2012

Circulating music as resource-free downloads might reduce carbon footprints, but the fast turnover of the computers, MP3 players and mobile phones we play them on costs the Earth plenty, argues Phil England.

Essay

Collateral Damage: John Richards

March 2012

When John Richards of Dirty Electronics began manufacturing interactive sound devices such as a hand-held analogue synth, he tapped into a participatory social experiment in revitalising digitally numbed senses

Essay from Issue 337

Collateral Damage: Vicki Bennett

February 2012

In the early 2000s, increased bandwidth allowed recombinant artists to enter the gift economy. It’s a freedom we should defend at all costs, argues Vicki Bennett aka People Like Us

Essay

Collateral Damage: Terre Thaemlitz

January 2012

Don’t confuse online culture with digital culture, argues Terre Thaemlitz, whose latest project pushes the MP3 format to its absolute limits.

Essay

Collateral Damage: James Kirby

December 2011

Bulk giveaways of music online make it impossible for listeners to make any sense of an artist’s work, argues James Kirby

Essay from Issue 6

Albert Ayler: A response by Mike Hames

November 2011

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In response to The Wire's two previous Albert Ayler pieces (in The Wire 3), Mike Hames reveals the true circumstances of the saxophonist's death, and reassesses his controversial experiments with soul, R&B, and gospel music. This article originally appeared in The Wire 6 (March 1984).

Essay from Issue 333

Collateral Damage: Marcus Boon

November 2011

The culture of copying is intrinsic to all music, argues Marcus Boon. So get over it – copyright buccaneers are roadtesting creative alternatives to obsolete capitalist models.

Essay from Issue 167

Drexciya: Fear Of A Wet Planet

October 2011

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The enigmatic Detroit duo Drexciya disperse the African-American diaspora from the depths of the Atlantic into outer space. By Kodwo Eshun. This article was originally published in The Wire 167 (January 1998).

Essay from Issue 58

Sonic Youth & Savage Republic: Cities On Fire With Electric Guitars

October 2011

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New York's Sonic Youth and Los Angeles' Savage Republic are revitilising American rock music with their hard-core attitudes and screaming guitars. Biba Kopf reports on the coast-to-coast cacophony as rampant discords clash by night. This article originally appeared in The Wire 58 (December 1988).

Essay from Issue 133

Tricky: Black Secret Tricknology

October 2011

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Tricky's debut album Maxinquaye is the most feted, discussed and misunderstood record of the moment. Ian Penman steps back from the media feeding frenzy to consider a music that wreaks havoc with our notions of sex, soul and technology. This article originally appeared in The Wire 133 (March 1995).

Essay from Issue 129

Boredoms + Otomo Yoshihide: Extreme Noise Terrors

October 2011

From the smash-and-grab cut-ups of The Boredoms and Otomo Yoshihide to the psychedelic excesses of YBO2 and Ruins, the Japanese underground is a place of strange views and exotic intensities. David Ilic provides a consumer's guide

Essay from Issue 131

Global Communication + The Black Dog + Bedouin Ascent + Sähkö: New Complexity Techno

October 2011

The combination of digital technology and the easy accessibility of samplers and computers have irrevocably changed the way sound is produced and perceived. As electronic music moves further away from the conventions of the club culture that spawned it to become a profound means of expression in its own right, a new breed of musician is emerging to forge new directions in Ambient and Techno with the parallel sciences of multimedia and electronic networking. Here we profile four such acts: Global Communication, The Black Dog, Bedouin Ascent and the Sähkö collective. This article originally appeared in The Wire 131 (January 1995).

Essay from Issue 137

Scanner: Interference Patterns

September 2011

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For seven days in May [1995], Liverpool reverberated to the signal of the UK's first experimental radio station. That media-styled 'telephone terrorist', Robin Rimbaud aka Scanner, tuned in. This article was originally published in The Wire 137 (July 1995).

Essay from Issue 169

Fela Kuti: Chronicle of A Life Foretold

September 2011

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When Fela Anikulapo-Kuti died in August 1997, Nigeria lost one of its most controversial and inspirational cultural figures. Here, the Africa-based writer Lindsay Barrett maps the extraordinary trajectory of Fela's life, detailing the emergence of his patented brand of Afrobeat, his anarchic lifestyle, and the ongoing battles with the Nigerian authorities. This feature was originally published in The Wire 169 (March 1998).

Essay from Issue 331

Collateral Damage: Amanda Brown

August 2011

This month: alienated from her computer, baffled by download culture, Amanda Brown laments the rise of the faceless uploader and the attendant decline of the DIY underground.