The Wire

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

In Writing

Public Information Portal

December 2011

Read about the Public Information label's top picks of the web. The label, which focuses on archival releases and the "pre-digital soundworld" is featured in The Wire 334 in an article by Dan Barrow. Their next release is an anthology of work by the inventor and amateur electronic musician Fred Judd.

British Library Sound Archive Indispensable online medium for the British Library Sound Archive's rights cleared collection. Nearly 50,000 freely accessible recordings that hum and crackle and hiss and breathe with vitality. From oral histories of recorded sound, British jazz and Holocaust survivors, ICA talks, early Linguaphone documents, world and traditional music from Uganda, India, Botswana and South Africa, the most comprehensive survey of accents and dialects in the country, to field-sounds of frogs, toads, badgers, buzzards and tits, and many more gems and sound-histories beside.

Hard Format A few simple words surmise why we're into this website, their tagline: "Reaching For The Sublime In Music Design". More than just record-porn though, Hardformat is a sleek and elegant glimpse into graphic design, into artefacts, into the real, tangible thrill of physical manufacture. It makes us realise exactly why we're spending silly amounts of money and devoting time, care and love into getting music pressed for something that exists in your mitts.

Toys And Techniques It may not be the first time someone has drifted through to Toys And Techniques, but regardless, this Canadian blog has been a ray of esoteric warmth, a blast of frequently updated, frequently curious music, graphic and filmic joy over the last few years. It's a real blog-sensation, a pixel-feast for eyes and ears. Think vividly strange Czech Cinema, think 70s Library Music, think beautifully captured 60's educational manuals and then some.

dvdp A strangely psychedelic Tumblr trip into the inspirations and work of a German/Hungarian designer by the name of Davidope. Scroll down and beyond into minimalist gif-freakouts, beautifully composed photography, sculpture and art animation. Aided and abetted by an endless hyperlink trail to dig deeper into associated worlds and platforms.

The Tone Generation An utterly essential online radio series presented and curated by close Public Information ally, Ian Helliwell. The Tone Generation documents pre-1970 electronic music from around the globe, passing through obscure characters previously unknown, through sound-worlds and experiments in that art which deserve to be heard again (or for the first time). Nuggets include shows on Electronics For Dance, Expo 58, Computer Music and reports from Germany, Russia, Italy and the southern hemisphere.

BLA BLA Beguiling art-music-interactive-sound-design tool/game that makes Public Information smile. Designed by Vincent Morriset, this six part "film" is apparently a "tale which explores the fundamental principles of human communication". Whatever: play it, drive though it, tell it once over... then do it again and yet more giddy, melancholic layers will reveal themselves. Lovely stuff.

Exotic Pylon Another Public Information associate: A 21 century Renaissance Man. A Bloke From The Wirral. The World Needs To Know About Jonny Mugwump And His Growing Empire. Premier live music promoter, writer, curator, record label owner, musician, drinker, tinker, Jungle dancer. Drop into the Exotic Pylon nether-zone and you won't be disappointed – whether it's his new NTS show, radio transmissions from the archive, a sizzling live show, a bonkers new EP or scribblings that stem from deep inside that bald head. It's all good stuff. Long may Exotic Pylon prosper.

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