The Wire

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


Issue 395

January 2017

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Inside this issue

Rewind Specials:

Releases of the year: We asked our contributors to nominate their top 10 records, CDs, downloads and streams of the year, then we counted up the votes

Critics’ reflections: Our contributors look back on 2016’s cultural highs and lows

The Social Network: Robert Barry on the growing importance of the collective

We Are The Music Makers: Sam Underwood on inventor musicians

Justice For All: Laina Dawes on race and resistance

The Enigma Machine: Keith Fullerton Whitman on the fallen heroes of the Buchla synthesizer

Patronising Behaviour: Rory Gibb on corporate interference

Columnists’ charts: Our specialist critics select music that rocked their corner of the subculture, from avant rock to the outer limits

Artists’ reflections: A cast of 2016’s most active movers and shakers shines the spotlight on their cultural year

Archive releases of the year: Our contributors voted for their top 10 archival records, CDs, downloads and streams, and we counted them all up


Foodman: Footwork keeps the Japanese producer’s synthetic mayhem moving. By James Hadfield

Jacques Brodier: The French composer rides the airwaves into far distant worlds. By Philip Clark

DJ Lag: It’s all about drug-free fun for Durban’s young gqom master. By Claire Sawers

Tropa Macaca: The Portuguese duo surf ’n’ loop their way through humid psychedelia. By Stewart Smith

Global Ear – Marrakech: Cosmo Records’ organic electro-acoustic hybrids shape the future of Moroccan dance. By Holly Dicker

Invisible Jukebox – Peter Brötzmann & Heather Leigh: The saxophonist and pedal steel player fill their ears with The Wire’s mystery record selection. Tested by Mike Barnes

The Inner Sleeve – Deathbomb Arc/True Neutral Crew’s Brian Kinsman on Big Audio Dynamite’s No 10, Upping St

Epiphanies – Jamaican saxophonist Saxa teaches Val Wilmer a lesson in rhythm ’n’ rime

Print Run – New music books: Experimental Music Since 1970 by Jennie Gottschalk; Experimentations: John Cage In Music, Art And Architecture by Branden W Joseph; Radio Happenings: Conversations 1966–67 by John Cage & Morton Feldman; Bop Apocalypse: Jazz, Race, The Beats & Drugs by Martin Torgoff; GoneTil November by Lil Wayne; After Sound: Toward A Critical Music by G Douglas Barrett; Honk, Conk And Squacket: Fabulous And Forgotten Sound-Words From A Vanished Age Of Listening by IM Rawes

On Screen – New films and DVDs: Huw Wahl’s Action Space

On Location – Earth + Neurosis, London; Arika Episode 8, Glasgow; Cycle Music And Art Festival, Kópavogur; Matana Roberts’s Wild Card: 2’s/3’s/4’s, London; Matmos Perform The Music Of Robert Ashley, London; Death Grips, London; Moor Mother, Oakland

On Site – Recent exhibitions: Note Form, London, UK

Soundcheck: Lauri Ainala, Amklon, Martin Archer, Borbetomagus, Michael Chapman, Common, Council Estate Electronics, Dam-Funk, Demdike Stare, Desdem, Die Reihe, East Of The Valley Blues, Eaves, Max Eilbacher, Ekkah x Dam-Funk, Emika & Prague Metropolitan Orchestra, Brian Eno, Felicita, Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra, Alfred Harth, Harth/Jörg Fischer/Marcel Daemgen, Harth/Seidel/Spera/Van Den Plas, Hermetic Brotherhood Of Lux-Or, Eric Hofbauer Quintet, Isasa, Dawda Jobarteh, JPEGMAFIA x Freaky, Kamixlo, Leyden Jars, Mai Mai Mai, Harvey Mandel, XL Middleton & Eddie Funkster, Nicole Mitchell Black Earth Ensemble & Ensemble Laborintus, Meredith Monk, Nite-Funk, Norvis Junior, Diamond Ortiz, Bob Ostertag, Overtone Ensemble, Radian, Eve Risser White Desert Orchestra, São Paulo Underground, Ghédalia Tazartès/Paweł Romańczuk/Andrzej Załęski, A Tribe Called Quest, Unruly Milk, Unusual Squirrel, Various Grime 2016, Steven Warwick, Worriedaboutsatan

The Boomerang: Marc Almond, Cat-Iron, Keiji Haino, Brad Laner, John Lennon & Yoko Ono, Pink Floyd, Malcolm Pointon, Sun Ra, Syrinx, Various DJ Pierre Presents: ACID 88, Various LAFMS Box Box, Zappa/Mothers

The Columns: By Noel Gardner, Aurora Mitchell, Steve Barker, Robert Barry, Haley Potiker, Stewart Smith, Julian Cowley, Tristan Bath

Size Matters: Byron Coley