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Stroboscopic Artefacts celebrate tenth anniversary with new compilation

Artists featured include Chevel, Rrose, Lucy and others

Stroboscopic Artefacts turns ten this year, and to mark the occasion label founder Lucy aka Luca Mortellaro has compiled a special release featuring both new and longterm collaborators.

Called X – Ten Years Of Artefacts, the 13 track album includes tracks by Adriana Lopez, Alessandro Adriani, Chevel, Denise Rabe, Efdemin, James Ruskin, LB Dub Corp aka Luke Slater, Lucy and Rrose individually and together as Lotus Eater, Serena Butler, Shifted and another Lucy collaboration – this time with Speedy J –Zeitgeber.

Celebrations continue on Stroboscopic Artefacts club tour from October and January 2020, taking in venues in Basel, Warsaw, Hamburg, London, Madrid, Prague, Montreal, Chicago, New York and Amsterdam.

A remix EP of music by Donato Dozzy, Caterina Barbieri, Xhin and Ben Klock is also rumoured. X – Ten Years Of Artefacts is released on 15 November. Listen to Lucy’s “The Goat God”.

Deep Minimalism embarks on round two

Oliver Coates’s celebration of minimal music returns to London in November

Cellist, producer and composer Oliver Coates has announced the programme for the second edition of Deep Minimalism festival, the first of which happened in 2016. Dedicated to meditative listening and deep concentration, the weekend features Grouper as NIVHEK, Eliane Radigue’s Trilogie De La Mort, rare works by Tod Dockstader, performances of Hanne Darboven’s so-called mathematical music, a selection of works commissioned by UK flautist Kathryn Williams, a performance of Morton Feldman’s Triadic Memories, plus Malibu, Mary Jane Leach, London Contemporary Orchestra and others.

Deep Minimalism 2:0 will take place at Southbank Centre on 2–3 November.

Julia Holter to score The Passion Of Joan Of Arc

Opera North has commissioned her to write new music for Carl Theodor Dreyer's silent film classic

Leed's Opera North company has commissioned Los Angeles composer and producer Julia Holter to create a new soundtrack for the 1928 silent film The Passion Of Joan Of Arc. For the piece she'll be joined by the 36 members of Opera North's chorus as well as her own three-piece band.

The new score follows a live soundtrack for the film that Holter performed in Los Angeles in 2017, though the new piece has increased in scale and sound palette. “I’ll be adapting a couple of relevant medieval chants for the ensemble, to take the melodies to a wild place that reflects the rapture and trauma of [Renée] Falconetti’s Joan, with the help of bells, organ and other instruments,” says Holter.

Holter’s live soundtrack is part of a wider programme for Opera North whose other commissions have seen Haley Fohr score Salomé, Hildur Gudnadóttir, Philip Jeck and the late Jóhann Jóhannsson work on Pandora’s Box, and Lotte Reiniger’s The Adventures Of Prince Achmed screened with a gamelan soundtrack.

Julia Holter's score for The Passion Of Joan Of Arc will premiere at Leeds Town Hall on 24 June 2020, followed by a performance at London Barbican on 26 June.

Manfred Scheffner RIP

ECM co-founder, producer and advocate of the German free music scene died on 6 September

Free music and jazz enthusiast Manfred Scheffner died in Munich on 6 September. He was 79 years old.

Scheffner was born in 1939 in Hardteck, East Prussia (now Krasnolesye, Russia). In 1965 he edited Bielefelder Jazzcatalog, a resource for information about modern jazz and free jazz records. He was a lifelong advocate of small independent labels such as Emanem, ICP and FMP, and in 1967 he opened the Munich record store Jazz By Post.

In 1969 Scheffner co-founded ECM Records with Karl Egger and Manfred Eicher – indeed, he’s listed in the production credits of the label’s first release, Mal Waldron Trio’s Free At Last.

“A truly kind and encyclopedic persona, invaluable for being the cornucopia for countless fans of Experimental Musics,” remarks German promoter Jochen Behring.

Steve Dalachinsky has died

The US poet was active in New York City’s free jazz scene

Blank Forms have announced the death of New York City downtown poet and collagist Steve Dalachinsky. “An inspired conversationalist, Dalachinsky was beloved by the avant garde community for his cantankerous wit, frank sense of humour, generous compassion and love of music, especially free jazz,” reads the announcement. “Having attended Saturday’s Sun Ra Arkestra concert shortly before his stroke, the legendary wiseass’s last words were: Maybe I overdosed with Sun Ra.”

Born in Brooklyn in 1946, Dalachinsky lived in Manhattan with his wife, painter and poet Yuko Otomo. As a performing poet, he played and recorded with the likes of Joe McPhee, Loren Connors, Dave Liebman and Matthew Shipp. His numerous books include A Superintendent’s Eyes, The Final Nite & Other Poems and Where Night And Day Become One. He died on 16 September 2019.

Sarah Davachi reissues in the pipeline

Her self-released runs of vinyl and cassette coincide with US and European tour dates

Sarah Davachi has announced a reissue programme of out-of-print albums in limited edition vinyl or cassette formats. She has already pressed up 200 LPs of her 2016 set Dominions (formerly released by Jaz Records). And on 11 October she’ll be releasing cassette versions of Vergers (2016, Important) and All My Circles Run (2017, Students Of Decay). Downloads will also be available on request.

Davachi has also confirmed her US and Europe tour dates as follows: Philadelphia October Revolution (3 October), Detroit Trinosophes (4), Chicago LAMPO (5), Cleveland Museum of Art at Transformer Station (6), Brooklyn The Sultan Room (7), Los Angeles The Museum of Jurassic Technology (27), Nantes Soy Festival (2 November), Glasgow Webster’s Theatre (5), Manchester The White Hotel (6), Utrecht Le Guess Who? (8) and Rovereto Auditorium Melotti (9).

Zonal share album track exclusive “Wrecked”

Justin Broadrick and Kevin Martin’s duo serve up a slice of “smacked out dub and heavily tranquillised hiphop”

Justin Broadrick and Kevin Martin are offering a sneak preview of the title track from their forthcoming Zonal album on Relapse Records. Called Wrecked, the album marks a rebirth of the Zonal alias some 19 years after their limited edition release of The Quatermass Project Volume 1. Before Zonal, the duo worked together as Techno Animal.

The title track “Wrecked” is “our slo-mo vision for smacked out dub and heavily tranquillised hip hop”, declare the duo. “A parallel dreamworld where DJ Muggs meets Basic Channel, with Scientist at the controls. Probably our deepest transmission from the other side. Hypnotic, headwrecked doom for sub aquatic frequency explorers. Heavy as f-ck, zoned to the max. Welcome to our world!”

Zonal’s Wrecked is released on 25 October in CD, LP and digital formats. Pre-order now.

Comic book documenting Beijing underground music

Wire contributor Josh Feola and artist Krish Raghav share Hang On The Box chapter from their work-in-progress illustrated history spanning 20 years of Chinese alternative culture

The Wire’s China based contributor Josh Feola and artist Krish Raghav have opened the first chapter of their forthcoming comic book documenting 20 years of Beijing underground music from 1999–2019. Shared via the independent media platform RADII, it tells the story of China's female punk pioneers Hang On The Box and the impact they made on a heavily male dominated rock scene when they formed in 1998.

Excerpt from Hang On The Box

The Hang On The Box chapter is the only section the pair plan to share in advance of the publication of their complete project, which will cover everything from FM3’s Buddha Machine and The Wire’s other regular China correspondent Yan Jun’s long-running Waterland Kwanyin event series, to the weekly gig turned label Zoomin’ Night. The comic will also document larger topics such as the history of illicit ‘dakou’ cassettes being smuggled across ports in southeast China, the current wave of “boutique cassette and vinyl labels dotting the underground music scene”, mainland China’s connection with Taiwan and Hong Kong, and individual subcultures like hiphop, punk and techno.

“I lived in Beijing from 2009–18 and was involved in the underground music scene there in several capacities: musician, venue manager, promoter, festival organiser, label-runner,” explains Feola. “For the last six years I’ve worked primarily as a writer, though my approach to covering the scene I was a part of in Beijing was always less about music criticism and more about documentation. I’ve wanted to turn my near decade of experience in Beijing into a book for a while, but I kept coming back to the fact that there was no point in sitting down and writing a book-length block of text, because the hundreds of articles I’ve written on the subject over the years already constitute that.”

Feola first came across Raghav’s work via a comic the latter had drawn for GQ magazine. About the Beijing music scene, that comic featured a club called XP, which was managed by Feola. Working together with Raghav on their illustrated underground music history has been “invigorating”, he says, adding that much of his text for it was drawn from the interviews he has conducted over the last decade. “The visual format allows us to fit in so many more details and also draws in an entirely different audience than would be possible with a text-heavy article.

“The big picture for the book as a whole is telling the story of how the entire history of 20th century alternative music in ‘the West’ – from rock ’n’ roll and punk, to no wave and new wave, to hiphop cyphers and all-night raves – happened in Beijing over a single generation,” expands Feola. “While there are some parallels to times and places like 1970s Manchester or 80s Berlin (and some key figures from those periods like Blixa Bargeld and Mark Reeder will make cameos in our story as well), Beijing’s story is unique and we want to tell it as comprehensively as possible, based on our own direct experiences and research.”

A digital copy of Hang On The Box, including a bonus section not featured online, will be available from October. There are plans to publish limited edition prints next year, but the publication date of the full history has yet to be decided.

Hang On The Box featured in The Wire 246 August 2004 issue, which subscribers can read on Exact Editions.

Unheard Patrick Cowley music discovered

13 unreleased tracks and his journal compiled on new album Mechanical Fantasy Box

A baker’s dozen previously unreleased Patrick Cowley tracks make up the new compilation Mechanical Fantasy Box, released along with the late producer’s personal journal by Dark Entries.

Recorded between 1973–80, the13 tracks are mixed from four-track stems by Joe Tarantino and remastered by George Horn. Along with sleevenotes by Maurice Tani and essays by Josh Cheon, Theresa McGinley and Jorge Socarrás, the set includes Cowley’s journal, which covers the period between 1974–80, ending on his 30th birthday. Chronicling his transition from lighting technician at San Francisco’s The City Disco, to producer remixing Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” and performing with Sylvester at San Francisco Opera House, the journal also offers an insight into 1970s SoMa district and its gay scene. Cowley died in 1982, aged 32.

Released on 19 October, Mechanical Fantasy Box is available to pre-order now as a CD or double LP. Proceeds will be donated to the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.

Radio Lab winners announced

Dani Gal & Ghazi Barakat and duo NUM are the winners of the CTM 2020 Radio Lab Call for Works

The winning projects for this year's CTM Radio Lab open call have been announced. Out of 135 entires from 38 countries, two submissions were chosen: Dani Gal & Ghazi Barakat's Altered State Solution and NUM's Nothingness; Life, Nothingness. The panel was made up of artist Nene H aka Beste Aydin, Elisabeth Zimmerman from ORF Kunstradio, Marcus Gammel from Deutschlandfunk Kultur Radio Art / Klangkunst
, the managing director of CTM Jan Rohlf, and The Wire's deputy editor Emily Bick.

The open call sought radio and live performance or installation submissions addressing the CTM 2020 theme Liminal. Winners receive €5000 plus technical/staging costs with additional funds for travel considered. Works will be premiered at CTM 2020 and broadcast on Deutschlandfunk Kultur and Österreichischer Rundfunk.

For Berlin-based artists Dani Gal & Ghazi Barakat's submission, they consider noise as “an ambiguous space between the disruptive and the creative, and between the oppressive and the subversive.” Inspired by Claude Shannon’s Mathematical Theory of Communication, Gal and Barakat percieve noise as a liminal space and will use techniques of radio jamming, a method of blocking radio transmissions used widely by the Soviet Union and seen today in China, Iran and North Korea.

For duo NUM's project, Maryam Sirvan and Milad Bagheri will create a new work that deals with three stages of time: past, present and future. Incorporating these stages into a graphic score, the project will be a personal voyage into the couple's own experiences as musicians from Iran without formal music training.

More information on the artists and their chosen works can be found on CTM's website. CTM 2020 will run between 24 January–2 February.