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The Mire: Tangents, threads and opinions from The Wire HQ

Nadja + Capillary Action

Last night at Bardens Boudoir, Capillary Action and Nadja played like each other's inverse reflection. Capillary Action offered the spectacle of virtuosity, with technical mastery of their instruments and a sophisticated understanding of melody and harmony. But their immaculate rehearsal-room constructions – imagine Prokofiev re-arranging Red Krayola – left nothing to chance, and as a result felt somewhat empty emotionally. Everything was so controlled it failed to engage.

Nadja on the other hand offered no such spectacle. Just two folk onstage playing their bass and guitar very very slowly, occasionally tweaking the knobs on their FX units and murmuring lackadaisically into their mics. But their (vaguely adolescent) brand of shoegazing miserabilism possessed the emotional richness that eluded Capillary Action. Best enjoyed with eyes closed, their vast, fuzzy drones and delicate fragments of melody enraptured the crowd, who stood there pale-faced and solemnly nodding, dreaming of forests. A victory of heart over head.


wire mire linkage 18/03/2009

Nathan Budzinski

>>>>>UR on TV (well, internet TV...)*******

Go To: Cath & Phil Tyler come south to visit Dalston this Friday

Go To: Matt Stokes: The Gainsborough Packet and Club Ponderosa, Victory Over The Sun ... Zaum is coming soon!

"On The Idea Of Communism" at Birckbeck via YouTube......why not.

Eduardo Kac (animated) concrete poetry on UbuWeb

The Art of the Overhead [Projector] Festival 2009...

Johan "Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y" Grimonprez & Tom "Tintin" McCarthy's film on Alfred Hitchock...


William Furlong

Nathan Budzinski

A short (and shaky) doc of William Furlong’s installation Possibility & Impossibility Of Fixing Meaning at Laure Genillard, 2 Hanway Place, London until 9 April.

The sound is fairly indistinct and messy until one gets closer to the roughly canvas-sized frames where the directional aspect of the voices can be properly heard. It’s impossible to find any kind of proper narrative or conversation going on inside the chattering hubub of voices mainly constituted by short phrases of conversational hiccups, uhms and half finished sentences. As a whole, the space sonically resembles a sleepy pub or some other public meeting space and the closer one listens, the more hypnotising and numbing the effect becomes.

Furlong (who is the man behind Audio Arts Magazine cassette series, which from 1973 has collected interviews from a broad range of contemporary artists) culled the voices used for the compositions from his no doubt extensive archive, and so the impression one gets when listening to the vocal snippets intermingle is as if Furlong took all the stuttering and stammering from the years of collected recordings and amped it up rather than cuting them out as with radio/tv audio editing.


Adventures In Modern Music 5 March 09

Derek Walmsley

Judging by the arcane, scrawled notes I've got in front of me from Chris Bohn's Adventures In Modern Music show on Resonance FM last night, his head is stuck out in the East, as per usual – there were tracks from the recent release from the late Fushitsusha bassist Yasushi Ozawa entitled Some Fragments Of Bass Performance, plus a new duo of Keiji Haino and Masataka Fujikake. There's also yet Korean stuff after his recent Resonance FM show: Kim Changwan Band are veteran garage rockers with roots in the group San Ul Lim. However, Chris's heart resides in the Midlands, judging by a cover of Slade's "Gudbuy T'Jane" by Condo Fucks (the alter-ego of Yo La Tengo). There's also stuff from Dziga Vertov's early experimental Soviet film soundtracks and Henry Cow. You can download here.


sampledelia and reggaeton cut-ups

Derek Walmsley

Interesting, flashback inducing, idea-gestating piece by Simon Reynolds on sample epiphanies.

My most recent sample epiphany was finally finding something which, cut-up wise, finally measures up to classic period 'ardkore for sheer dirty, use and abuse sample genius. Wayne Marshall indirectly pointed me in their direction, by bigging them up in a forthcoming Duke University book about reggeaton.

These reggaeton mixes by DJ Playero are the missing link between DJ Muggs and DJ Crystl:

DJ Playero 37 (Side A)
DJ Playero 37 (Side B)
DJ Playero 38

Postscript: it seems Wayne Marshall has handily just put a mix up on his site of versions of the Dem Bow rhythm, the foundational track of all reggaeton. Not since the Amen break has one track (originally by Shabba Ranks) been so responsible for so much music...


Master class

Derek Walmsley

The long-promised interview by Robert Henke of Monolake with Rashad Becker, the mastering engineer at Dubplates & Mastering in Berlin, is finally online. Becker's name is ubiquitous from run-out grooves and mastering credits, but as far as I know this is the first lengthy interview he's done.


Wire Mire Linkage 25/02/2009

Nathan Budzinski

Simon Reynolds on the Hardcore Continuum at FACT Liverpool (via Fact Magazine):;=view&id;=2028&Itemid;=28

Dumbing Down or Dumbing Up?:
From the simple entry on Capitalism "Most people agree that capitalism can only work if the government keeps people from stealing other people's things. If people could steal anything, then nobody would want to buy anything." Oh yes.

The Savage Pencil on automatic at the Atlantis Bookshop in London:

A very flashy, arty and colourful web stalking project. Sick and dirty:

Source: Music Of The Avant Garde, 1968 – 1971:

Allan Moore on superheroes, adaptations and the Watchmen:

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the elliptical thought cycle of hearing a familiar reggae rhythm

Derek Walmsley

1. that bassline, that's familiar... yeah, this is one of the true foundation tracks of reggae. Now, what the hell is it?
2. [hint of melody comes in] OK, yeah, that's how the verse goes... so, if I can just remember the chorus, I'll be able to figure out the track...
3. [hums vocal line to self] Ah yes, this is the one.... so the chorus goes something like...
4. "Jah is the light and foundation...."/"Down here in Babylon... "/"Africa... here I come...." Argh that doesn't narrow it down at all!
5. Return to step 1.


Adventures In Modern Music 12 February 09

Derek Walmsley

My Adventures In Modern Music show from the other week is available for download at the On Air section of the site. There's a great mix from the Mississippi Record Label on there. Or rather, the mix might not be great, but the music – raw gospel, blues, African and East Asian stuff – certainly is.