The Wire


Tsonami International Sound Art fest call for submissions

Open call for proposals of sound research projects

The Tsonami International Sound Art Festival has put out an open call for submissions from artists, theoreticians, researchers and architects for proposals of sound research projects to take part in a residency at the festival’s tenth edition in Valparaíso, Chile. “We are looking for projects that will be able to research sound and its relationship with the specific social, spacial and urban aspects of Valparaíso,” they say. ”Projects that focus on the development of work processes and methodologies that question one of the many problems and tensions that inhabit this city. These can be global problems associated to contemporary cities, anchored in the specificity that a port city entails, or questions related to certain particularities of territory, leaving the elaboration of possible links between sound and urban/social aspects as an open choice.”

Deadline for submissions is 12 June. More information can be found on their website.

The Museum Of Psychphonics opens in Indianapolis

The museum features a selection of oddities including the only remaining original Parliament Funkadelic Baby Mothership

The Museum Of Psychphonics is a new collection of musical curiosities and paranormal ephemera in Indianapolis. Located within the city’s Joyful Noise Recordings shop, the museum brings together a selection of oddities, mysteries and “ephemeral evidence of psychphonic activity pulsating at the edges of our society”, and includes the only remaining original Parliament Funkadelic Baby Mothership, along with a collection of sacred dirt samples from around the world. The museum also features site-specific compositions which are constantly playing, and a series of playlists inspired by the collection, which are set to land in Spotify soon.

“There are two musical components to the museum’s soundtrack,” explains Benjamin Blevins, co-founder of the shop and periodicals archive PRINTtEXT, who helped the museum's founder Michael Kaufmann set up the collection. “One: site-specific compositions commissioned for the museum; and two: a series of playlists inspired by pieces within the museum. Several of these tracks were featured on a recent radio interview with Kaufmann and Kipp Normand, the artist who created the museum’s interior layout.

“The pieces commissioned for the museum,” continues Blevin, “are always playing in the museum, from speakers hidden on either side of the original baby mothership from Parliament/Funkadelic’s concerts.”

He adds, “In addition to the compositions, we produced a zine that features writing from 12 authors, covering everything from Sun Ra's Afrofuturism and Parliament to Elvis, Pythagoras and the birth of the blues on Indiana Avenue.“

This summer the museum will also be launching a series of quarterly events. You can listen to some of the museum's soundtracks on Soundcloud below.

Festival Forte announces line-up

Portuguese festival announces the programme for this year's edition

The Portuguese electronic music festival Forte has announced the acts confirmed for its 2016 edition. Special performances include a new audio visual project by Cabaret Voltaire, and a live modular performance from Trade - the duo consisting of Blawan and Surgeon. Other confirmed acts are Ancient Methods, Apart, David Rodrigues, Drumcell, Kobosil, Manu, Rrose, Rui Vargas, Shcuro, Vil and Vril, Apparat, Ben Klock, Helena Hauff, Marcel Dettmann, Michael Mayer and Rødhåd.

The festival runs from 25–27 August at the Portuguese castle Montemor-o-Velho in the district of Coimbra. Camping is available but due to the limited capacity inside the castle walls tickets are restricted to 5000 per day.

Aquarius Records releases fanzine of 50 favourite records of last 20 years

"This is unpopular music. We are unpopular people."

Aquarius Records, the longrunning San Francisco outpost of weird and wonderful sounds, has released a fanzine collecting 50 of its Record Of The Week reviews from the 20 year lifespan of its Valencia Street store.

The shop has been sending out a weekly email covering new music releases – written by the shop’s staff, including veteran co-owner Andee Connors and The Wire contributor Jim Haynes, and often running to over 10,000 words – for over two decades. The New Arrivals newsletter has become an important document of underground, experimental and otherwise oddball music of the current era, detailing countless little-known metal bands, microedition releases and independent groups from all around the world. They’ve now collected 50 of their favourite reviews for AQ ROTW: Selected Top 50 1996-2016, a new fanzine put together by the shop.

“The very first new arrivals list was in 1995!” exclaims Andee. “So we’ve been doing the list for 21 years now, and have written something like 30,000 reviews, maybe more.” At first, the reviews might be just a pithy word or sentence, but over time, they've grown, making you wonder how they write the newsletter while still finding the time to serve customers. “The crazy thing is it’s gotten to the point where our brains seem perpetually in ‘list mode’,” he explains, “where when we hear something, we automatically begin plotting out the review in our heads. Which can drive you a little crazy.”

Reviews from the first Aquarius New Arrivals newsletter

The span of music in Aquarius is vast, from noise, obscure black metal and rare psychedelia to modern composition and field recordings. One of the store’s notable all-time favourites is The Conet Project, Irdial’s famous box set of number stations recordings. “This is unpopular music. “We are unpopular people,” the description for AQ ROTW promises.

Given this spread of sounds, cooking up reviews of dozens of new albums every week must be a challenge? “It's one thing to say how fucking awesome a pop hook is on a nada surf record, but it's another to try to formulate the success and value of a long-form drone / power electronic / noise / field recording artist,” ponders Jim Haynes. “Opprobrium, the old Bananafish absurdities from Seymour Glass, Ed Pinsent's amazing Sound Projector and many of his writers (Jennifer Hor in particular), and the gaggle of writers at brainwashed all provide inspiration for me.”

The fanzine is limited to just 50 copies, but a reprint is supposedly in the works. “It’s hard to complain about getting to listen to so much amazing music, and then being able to write about it, and not only help folks hear this stuff, but help these artists get their music heard,” enthuses Andee. “And no, we NEVER get tired of metal.”

Repeater Books announces anthology of women's writing on misogynist music

Call for submissions for Under My Thumb: The Songs That Hate Women And The Women That Love Them

Repeater Books has put out a call for submissions for Under My Thumb: The Songs That Hate Women And The Women That Love Them, a new anthology edited by Rhian Jones and Eli Davies. They describe the project as "a study of misogyny in music through the eyes of women. It will bring together stories from music writers and fans about artists or songs they love despite their questionable or troubling gender politics, as well as looking at how these issues intersect with race, class and sexuality.

"Moving beyond the rigid and rudimentary ‘your fave is problematic’ approach to cultural criticism, our aim is to explore the joys of loving music and the tensions, contradictions and complexities it can involve. This book is intended to be as much celebration as critique. Think of it as a kind of feminist guilty pleasures. There are no restrictions on types of music here – we’re keen to get contributions across a range of genres, places and eras."

Contributions should be between 1000 and 3000 words and sent to the editors by 1 September at The anthology will be published in 2017, and contributors will be paid.

Rome's Dal Verme venue closed by local authorities

The home of Italian occult psychedelia has been shut down by police

DIY music venue Dal Verme, located in the Pigneto district of Rome, has been shut down by local authorities on the basis that it has become a threat to law and order. Over the course of its seven year existence, the venue has become something of a countercultural hub for Roma Est; it has been instrumental in the development of the Italian occult psychedelia movement – hosting shows from the likes of Mamuthones, Father Murphy, Mai Mai Mai, Lay Llamas and Mushy – while also providing a sympathetic performance space for visiting bands and artists. The closure has resulted in the cancellation and relocation of numerous booked events.

The venue has issued a statement via its Facebook page:

"The Superintendent of Police and the Prefect of Rome, not satisfied with having assigned themselves responsibility for social policies, with the damaging fallout that has brought a forced end to housing and social occupations and the clearing out of spaces used to host refugees, the cancellation of bottom-up policies of integration, stretching as far as the irrational vehemence demonstrated toward various associations, including Il Grande Cocomero, the Palestre Popolari, Viva la Vita Onlus, etc etc, have today decided to write another absurd act in this comedy by assuming responsibility over cultural policies: a far-fetched tool signed by the Superintendent of Police of Rome has informed us that we have become a problem for law and order, worthy of immediate closure in accordance with article 100 of the TULPS, Italy’s Consolidated Act of Public Safety Laws. This degrading accusation places our association dedicated to the promotion of social issues and all of its members on par with serious illegal acts such as drug trafficking, organised crime, the exploitation of prostitution, subversion and arms trafficking."

The statement goes on to assert that, "Those who read this text as an obituary are mistaken: it is only the beginning of a new conflict. If we are not permitted to exist legitimately inside the walls of the club we have constructed, supported by the spaces and realties who recognise the value of our work and those who have made possible this crazy but forward-thinking project, we will be proposing a dense calendar of events and initiatives to keep our actions alive."

Various initiatives to assist Dal Verme have materialised in the wake of the closure, some of which can be investigated by reading the full statement. The Italian label Boring Machines, which has issued music by artists including Mai Mai Mai, Father Murphy, Heroin In Tahiti, Rella The Woodcutter and Mamuthones, is currently offering up its full digital discography for 49 euros (one euro per album) with proceeds going to towards future legal actions.

Boring Machines founder Andrea 'Onga' Ongarato says, "Dal Verme has been home of the most adventurous sounds in Rome, with shows that span across many underground genres. It hosted several festivals, including Thalassa: Italian Occult Psychedelia. Some of the international artists which played for Dal Verme includes Wolf Eyes, Joe McPee, Senyawa, Mike Cooper, Rabih Beaini, Oren Ambarchi, Valerio Tricoli, Peter Brötzmann & Steve Noble and hundreds more. Without Dal Verme in Rome, the city loses an important hub for the arts."

Visit the Boring Machines Bandcamp page for further information. Subscribers can read Joseph Stannard's Global Ear feature on Italian occult psychedelia from The Wire 364 via the online archive.

Swiss record label Intakt announce event series with London Jazz Composers’ Orchestra

The Intakt series will happen in April 2017

The Swiss record label Intakt have announced a major series of events happening in London next year. The label will launch the series with an opening day concert by London Jazz Composers’ Orchestra to celebrate the 70th birthday of its founder and director, the bassist and improv pioneer Barry Guy, at London’s King’s Place. It will be the Orchestra’s first UK performance in 15 years. Performances will also happen at London’s Vortex Jazz Club, and musicians so far confirmed include Irène Schweizer, Louis Moholo-Moholo, Alexander von SchIippenbach, Ingrid Laubrock, Aki Takase and Mark Feldman. The festival is set to run from 15–27 April, 2017.

Cesura//Acceso to launch new website

The print and online journal for music, politics and poetics announces a new website amd night at Cafe Oto

Cesura//Acceso has announced that it is to launch a new website containing material from all of its issues to date. The experimental music journal, the subject of Dan Barrow’s Unofficial Channels column in The Wire 371, will publish essays and editorials from the likes of Seymour Wright, Stevphen Shukaitis, Howard Slater and many more.

The publisher has also announced a discussion evening with US poet and writer Fred Moten, author of In The Break: The Aesthetics Of The Black Radical Tradition, presenting a reading, listening session and talk around themes from his work at London’s Cafe Oto on 12 June.

Reissue of Allen Ginsberg’s 1983 release First Blues

The release includes 11 previously unreleased songs

Los Angeles label Omnivore Recordings are to reissue Allen Ginsberg’s 1983 release First Blues, a record he made alongside Bob Dylan, Anne Waldman, David Amram, Happy Traum, Arthur Russell and others. Titled The Last Word On First Blues, the three CD box set will also include 11 previously unreleased songs recorded between 1971–81 as well as demos and live recordings featuring Dylan, Russell and Don Cherry. Also included is a 28 page booklet of rare photos, writings and drawings from Ginsberg’s archives and an essay by Listen, Whitey! author Pat Thomas.

The Last Word On First Blues will be released 20 May.

Supernormal expand their programme

This year's Supernormal festival will happen from 5–7 August. Line-up includes Heather Leigh, Maria Chavez, Sophie Cooper & Delphine Dora, and others

Supernormal has made its first programme announcement for this year’s festival, which takes place from 5–7 August at its usual Braziers Park spot in Oxfordshire. Artists so far confirmed include The Ex, Aşiq Nargile, Bridget Hayden & Claire Potter, Heather Leigh, Maria Chavez, Sophie Cooper & Delphine Dora, Vibracathedral Orchestra, and many more. The festival’s remit has expanded to include new attractions such as the Music Collaborations series, the first of which will feature Helm and Valentine Magaletti performing together. Following on from The Pink Shed project (2013–15), the festival are also commissioning artists to “transform the common garden shed into intriguing enclaves, micro museums, curious shelters, provocative installations or miniature venues.”

Other new events include the Art and Music Residency for those festival alumni invited back to create a site-responsive piece. And the City Partners Programme will see the festival travel to various cities around the UK in 2016–17.

Supernormal runs from 5–7 August. Anyone under 13 can attend for free. Tickets are on sale via their website.