The Wire


Mira Calix opens a portal for her new music

Mira Calix reveals her plans to curate an online portal which will also include her Warp back catalogue

Mira Calix has established a new creative platform for her recordings and other works. The portal, or “virtual gallery space” as her press release describes it, is divided into three sections: Music, Materials and Conversations.

The Music section currently features four new works including I Desire No Commendation. Inspired by a painting of Henry VIII’s last wife Catherine Parr, the track features vocals by UK artist Sarah Lucas. Another piece called Just One More Thing is performed by bassist Robert Black, founding member of the New York ensemble Bang On A Can Allstars. In addition, Calix’s Warp back catalogue is also available. The Materials section has limited edition artworks and virtual sleeve art, and Conversation will host a series of recorded talks with various friends and collaborators. Releases across all three sections will appear at regular intervals, but not to a specific schedule. Parts will be available to download for a limited period while other works are streamed.

‘‘The portal seems really appealing as a new space to share my work and those of people I admire,” states Calix. “I’ve been fascinated over the last decade by objectifying sound, with the song as a place and the challenge of building environments. I couldn’t think of anything I wanted to do in the traditional stereo, album format. Most of my output has been installations, with multiple speaker systems[...]

“It occurred to me that a digital portal allows me to release standalone, longer pieces of music without forcing them into traditional formats. Digital gives me the freedom and the opportunity to build a new environment, one where discourse, visual art, text and music can sit side by side with intimacy and immediacy.”

Calix's portal is hosted by Bleep, and content is already available to view. But the portal launch proper happens in the form of a live stream on 6 January.

Manuel Göttsching doubleheader confirmed for 2017’s Convergence festival

The German composer brings the The Ash Ra Tempel Experience and E2–E4 to London’s The Barbican

As part of 2017’s Convergence festival, German composer and multi-instrumentalist Manuel Göttsching will present two projects in one night at London’s The Barbican. The evening will open with The Ash Ra Tempel Experience, featuring Ariel Pink (vocals, bass), Shags Chamberlain (keys, synthesizer) and Oren Ambarchi (drums) alongside Göttsching on guitar. This new incarnation of Göttsching’s legendary early 1970s group Ash Ra Tempel first came together in Melbourne 2015 to play music from Schwingungen (1972) and Seven Up, the 1973 album Ash Ra Tempel made with Timothy Leary. In the second half, Göttsching will perform his E2–E4 solo album in its entirety.

E2–E4 + Ash Ra Tempel Experience will take place on 22 March 2017. An Ash Ra Tempel Experience live album will follow later in the year.

Klub Katarakt: International Festival For Experimental Music

The Hamburg based festival will take place this January and feature works by John Cage, Michael Maierhof, Éliane Radigue and others

Klub Katarakt: International Festival For Experimental Music will take place in Hamburg this January. The festival, which has reached its 12th edition, was launched in 2005 as a platform for the composers collective Katarakt, who are dedicated to exploring new dimensions of perception. This year the event will feature works by John Cage and Éliane Radigue with artists on the line-up including Michael Maierhof, Thomas Ankersmit, Anton Kaun, F#X, Nika Son, Phuong-Dan, Carol Robinson, Julia Eckhardt, Rhodri Davies, Erik Drescher, Robert Engelbrecht, Volker Hemken and others. There will also be a short film program curated by Giuseppe Gagliano and Jan Feddersen alongside the KurzFilmAgentur Hamburg. Some of the recent films being screened include Karin Fisslthaler: Brainbows, Siegfried A Fruhauf: Vintage Print, Rainer Kohlberger: Not Even Nothing Can Be Free Of Ghosts.

Klub Katarakt is directed by Jan Feddersen, Robert Engelbrecht and Ernst Bechert. it will take place from 18–21 January.

New book and concert series celebrate Can's 50th anniversary

The Wire's Rob Young has penned a new biography of the legendary rock outfit while London’s Barbican host The Can Project

To celebrate Can’s 50th anniversary, which falls in October 2017, Faber & Faber are publishing a new book devoted to the Cologne rock legends. The book will be split into two volumes – one is the first complete authorised biography of the band by The Wire’s Rob Young, and the other is a collage of thoughts, visuals and interviews written and collated by Irmin Schmidt and former Electronic Beats Editor Max Dax.

In April 2017 London’s Barbican will host The Can Project, featuring Irmin Schmidt with London Symphony Orchestra/Thurston Moore and special guests. The show will be preceded by a Q&A with Rob Young, who will also read from the book, and there will also be a screening of Can’s 1972 performance at the Cologne Sporthalle on 8 April, 7.30pm.

Sons D'Hiver jazz and improv festival returns for its 26th edition

Happening just outside of Paris, the festival features Roscoe Mitchell Sextet, Wadada Leo Smith, Archie Shepp and more

The 26th edition of Sons D’Hiver festival opens on 13 January. Translating as Sounds Of Winter, the annual jazz and improv festival will be held at various venues in Val-de-Marne just outside Paris. The programme includes Sylvaine Helary & Dan Weiss, Wadada Leo Smith & Vijay Iyer, Roscoe Mitchell Sextet paying tribute to John Coltrane, Aron Ottignon Trio, Craig Taborn, Archie Shepp playing Sidney Bechet, and more.

Sons d'hiver runs from 13 January–5 February. Tickets are on sale now.

Launch for Salomé Voegelin and Thomas Gardner’s new sound art book

David Toop and Claudia Molitor are among the featured contributors in the forthcoming book Colloquium: Sound Art–Music

The new Zero Books publication Colloquium: Sound Art–Music will be launched in February. Edited by Wire contributor Salomé Voegelin and Thomas Gardner, it features contributions from David Toop, Volkmar Klien, Aura Satz, Leigh Landy, Cathy Lane, Simon Emmerson, Claudia Molitor, Kathy Hinde, and others. The book materialised out of a debate about the relationship between sound art and music, which took place at London College of Communication in 2012. The publication aims to “open up the continuum between concert hall and gallery space, between record collection, radio, sound and the everyday”. The launch will take place at LCC on 1 February, 7pm.

Jennifer Walshe and Simon Bainbridge win two new British Composer awards

The new category celebrates artists and composers’ entire careers as opposed to an individual work

Jennifer Walshe and Simon Bainbridge have been recognised as two of the most innovative and inspiring contemporary composers in the UK at the British Composer Awards 2016. Walshe won the British Composer Award for Innovation, in “recognition of her lifelong dedication to questioning and challenging the status quo through music and performance”. And Bainbridge received the British Composer Award for Inspiration. Both are new categories that celebrate the entire musical career of those chosen as opposed to a single piece of work.

Nuit D'Hiver celebrates winter in Marseille

The French festival of experimental music hosts its 14th edition

Marseille’s festival Nuit D'Hiver is about to happen at various venues across the city. The line-up for the eight day event includes Claudio Bettinelli, Laure Bonomo, Chris Cutler, Freddy Eichelberger, Paul Elwood, Sebastian Gramss, Sara Haefeli, Heather Leigh, Kaffe Matthews, My Cat Is An Alien with Joëlle Vinciarelli, Mats Gustafsson with Dieb13, Year Of No Light and others.

Organised by GRIM, a Marseille based network that puts on concerts, workshops and artist in residence projects, Nuit D’Hiver runs from 14–21 December.

It’s Been Hell: 20 Years Of Lo Recordings

East London record label celebrates 20 years with a new compilation

To mark 20 years in action, the East London record label Lo Recordings has released a 20 track compilation. Called It’s Been Hell: 20 Years Of Lo Recordings, the release digs deep into the label's back catalogue to uncover originals and remixes from artists like Grimes, Aphex Twin, Luke Vibert, Squarepusher, The Chap, Black Devil Disco Club, and many others.

Over time, this genre-broad label has released 150 records as well as setting up countless parties and exhibitions. “It’s Been Hell…really? Well there have been hellish times but it’s also been a pleasure,” reflects Lo’s founder Jon Tye. “So much of it and so much goodness. Starting off in a basement underneath Spitalfields Market at a time when there was no email – or at least not for me – and the fax machine was king. Thurston Moore said I could hassle him, and so I did – by fax. [Pere Ubu’s] David Thomas would send a fax saying ‘WUZ UP!?’ Nothing else. Aphex Twin said ‘I’ve done the mix shall I bring it over?’ And so he did with Squarepusher in tow.”

Upstairs from the studio was a venue called The Spritz where Tye, Tony Morley and The Wire’s Rob Young ran the Scratch Club for two and a half years​. It saw performances from Derek Bailey, Cornershop, Silver Apples, Talvin Singh & Squarepusher, Lol Coxhill, Eddie Prévost and Andy Weatherall, with its punters including David Bowie.

“This compilation in no way captures the whole journey, just a few snaps along the way,” Tye confirms.

The two-disc set is out now in CD and digital formats.

David Keenan to launch his novel with performances from Bruce Russell and Richard Youngs

The Wire writer celebrates the publication of his first novel with a party night of music, literature and poetry called Go Ahead And Drop The Bomb

The UK launch of David Keenan's debut novel This Is Memorial Device will take place on February 2017. The mega event will feature appearances from The Dead C's Bruce Russell, Richard Youngs, Michael Pederson (co-founder of the literary night and record label Neu! Reekie!), a DJ set from Andrew Weatherall and, of course, David reading extracts from his book.

Called This is Memorial Device, it’s a fictionalised account of the post-punk era in Airdrie, Scotland – “a love letter to the small towns of Lanarkshire in the west of Scotland in the late 1970s and early 80s”, says David.

The launch will take place on 8 February at London The Social, 7pm. Tickets are on sale now, costing £8. The book will be published by Faber.