The Wire

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


Issue 174

August 1998

Global Ear: Chur
Clive Bell gets onto a Chur thing at an alpine yodelling contest, where he discovers there's more to Swiss culture than the cuckoo clock - like cheese, cowbells and alphorns

Ganger Jockrock journeymen James Ruskin The minimal sound of UK techno Pole Beat interference

Arnold Dreyblatt
Going beyond Minimalism, this American composer began his revision of Western tuning from the ground up. Starting with a single wire, he's now up to a full Orchestra Of Excited Strings. By Cristoph Cox

The Secret History of Film Music
In the latest reel of his film music study, Philip Brophy goes beneath the covers of Crash and Last Tango In Paris to find out how composers are called up to disguise the animal grunt of sex on screen

John Fahey
When the great American guitarist invented Blind Joe death in the 60s, he had the devil to pay for his authentic blues. The debt paid in full, he has re-emerged as a 90s avant rock hero. By Edwin Pouncey

The Herbie Hancock Sextet
Pre-Headhunters, the Best Group in the World recorded Mwandishi, Crossings and Sextant, and electreic jazz would never be the same again. By Tony Herrington

Apocalypse, Hawaiian Style
The H-bomb test on Bikini Atoll was a key image in the 50s exotica boom, when Martin Denny, Arthur Lyman, Les Baxter and Yma Sumac warmed up the suburbs of cold war America. By Ken Hollings

Invisible Jukebox: Talvin Singh
East London's tablatronic One Worlder bends an ear to tracks by Zakir Hussain, Tricky, African Head Charge, Ravi Shankar, Grooverider and more. Tested by Rob Young

The Primer: Musique Concrete
Out of all the historic avant gardes, musique concrete still resists commodification. Art Lange picks out the best available computer and tape compositions, from Pierre Schaeffer to Morton Subotnick