The Wire

The world's greatest print and online music magazine. Independent since 1982

In Writing


Charles Mingus: Hit In The Soul

September 2012

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.


Collateral Damage: archivist Will Prentice

September 2012

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.


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.


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


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


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.


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


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.


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).


Scanner: Interference Patterns

September 2011

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).