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).
Does the new technology of mix 'n' splice mean the end of Popular Song as we know it? Or the start of a new open-ended dance afterlife? The death of the Original, or the birth of the infinite version? David Toop looks/locks into a brand new time lapse. This article originally appeared in The Wire 103 (September 1992). David Toop reflects on writing the essay below.
Early works, the emergence of the Lydian Theory, the Workshop and associated recordings discussed by Max Harrison. This article first appeared in The Wire 3 (Spring 1983).
The output of George Russell's Sextet, discussed by Max Harrison. This article first appeared in The Wire 4 (Summer 1983).
A three-day conference, sponsored by The Wire and organised by the Centre for Contemporary Music Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London on the Greek composer coinciding with the tenth anniversary of his death. Scholars, researchers and musicians will present papers and participate in panels, alongside a programme of concerts and workshops. London Southbank Centre, 1–3 April.
In its original incarnation, Electro was black science fiction teleported to the dancefloors of New York, Miami and LA; a super-stoopid fusion of video games, techno-pop, graffiti art, silver space suits and cyborg funk. Now that Electro is back, David Toop provides a thumbnail guide to the music that posed the eternal question: "Watupski, bug byte?" This article originally appeared in The Wire 145 (March 1996).
Read an extended version of Will Montgomery's Cross Platform article on Japanese sound artist Toshiya Tsunoda, master of the art of field recording.
An occasional series in which we offer a beginner’s guide to the must-have recordings of some of our favourite musicians (and music). This month, Richard Henderson enters the preternatural realm of field recordings. This article originally appeared in The Wire 168 (February 1998).
A full collection of tributes to the late musician, including a number of pieces which were not published in the magazine.