Mark Fell argues that the limits of technological systems do not frustrate creativity.
A collection of tributes to the late former editor of The Wire, who died August 2007
After the extraordinary achievements of his early years, the great bassist/composer Charles Mingus faced crisis – and a nervous breakdown – in the mid-1960s. But his comeback in the 70s, though constrained by illness, led to a few late masterpieces. as Brian Priestley reports in the concluding part of our Mingus retrospective. This article was originally published in The Wire 76, June 1990.
As recording formats become obsolete, sound archivists are rethinking the paradigms around methods of preserving our audio heritage. By Will Prentice of the British Library.
The voracious appetite for ‘buzz’ on social media sites is taking its toll on hiphop artistry says Andrew Nosnitsky
Digital transparency has revealed dimensions to African music beyond Western received ideas. But how to market it sympathetically, asks Brian Shimkovitz
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.
A public resignation from David Toop. This article was originally published in The Wire 166 (December 1997).
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
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
Don’t confuse online culture with digital culture, argues Terre Thaemlitz, whose latest project pushes the MP3 format to its absolute limits.
Bulk giveaways of music online make it impossible for listeners to make any sense of an artist’s work, argues James Kirby
File sharers uploading rare and out of print records challenge official histories of music by confronting hand-me-down narratives with the source artefacts, argues Mutant Sounds blogger Eric Lumbleau.
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.
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).
For seven days in May , 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).
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).
Robin Rimbaud aka Scanner hails the new community spirit of social networking sites that encourage direct communications between artists and listeners.
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.
A regular opinion column on the fallout from music’s shifting economy. This month: After committing ‘professional suicide’ by giving away his back catalogue online, Bob Ostertag wonders how the web is changing our understanding of music for good.
Following Chris Cutler's response to Kenneth Goldsmith's filesharing Epiphany, David Keenan looks at the fallout from music's shifting economy, from the perspective of his webshop and record shop Volcanic Tongue.
Gil Scott-Heron, with and without his longtime partner Brian Jackson, has long refused to fit into anyone's market plan for a soul-jazz singer. Nathan West and Mark Sinker discuss his recorded legacy. This article originally appeared in The Wire 108 (February 1993).
Responding to Kenneth Goldsmith’s epiphany on filesharing in The Wire 327, Henry Cow founder and ReR label boss Chris Cutler counts the cost of free music to those who make and distribute it
This article originally appeared in The Wire 11 (January 1995).