The Wire


Laura Cannell starts new event series

The fiddler and recorder player to host Modern Ritual nights at London's Cafe Oto

The Norfolk overbow fiddle and double recorder player Laura Cannell is to start a new series of events at London's Cafe Oto in March. Called [Modern Ritual], the night's description runs in line with Cannell's old-meets-new folkloric storytelling. It’ll be, in her words, a “night of new performances exploring ideas of ritual through music and words, evoking real and fictional landscapes”.

The first session, happening on 17 March, will feature a 30 minute snare drum roll from Charles Hayward, Cannell performing works from her new album Simultaneous Flight Movement, electronic improvisation from Hoofus, and a new collaboration between Cannell and Hayward. In addition, [Modern Ritual] will include a new performance-cum-talk by The Wire's foghorn scholar Jennifer Lucy Allan. Called Foulis’s Daughter: A Short History Of The Foghorn In 30 Interrupted Acts, her piece traces a rhythmic history of the foghorn at the edges of the Atlantic. There will also be a reading from The Quietus's Luke Turner.

“[Modern Ritual] is ancient, modern, experimental, real, fictional, personal, folkloric,” says Cannell, expanding on her theme via email. “It explores human and mechanical rituals, failure of ritual, through live improvisation and provides a platform to premier new works.”

The first [Modern Ritual] night will take place on 17 March at London's Cafe Oto.

Fundraiser set up in support of Mark Fisher’s family

Hyperdub, Repeater Books, University of East London and other friends of the late writer and critic have set up a fund in support of his wife and son

A memorial fund has been set up in the the wake of Mark Fisher's death on 13 January. The writer, theorist, critic and teacher also known for his long-running K-Punk blog left behind his wife Zoë and young son George.

“We – Mark’s friends, comrades, and Goldsmiths and Repeater colleagues – have set up this collection to raise money for them,” explains the You Caring site, “in the hope that it will allow them space to grieve and come to terms with their loss, and reduce the number of things they have to deal with at this devastating time.

“There will of course be memorials, events and tributes to Mark to come,” the post continues, “but for now this is the best way people can honour his memory and help his family.”

You can donate to the fund via

William Onyeabor has died

The Nigerian musician rediscovered by Luaka Bop’s Who Is William Onyeabor? compilation has died aged 70

William Ezechukwu Onyeabor has died, Luaka Bop has announced on Facebook. “It is with incredibly heavy hearts that we have to announce that the great Nigerian business leader and mythic music pioneer William Onyeabor has passed away at the age of 70,” states the label. “He died peacefully in his sleep following a brief illness, at his home in Enugu, Nigeria.

“For people in his hometown of Enugu, Nigeria,” its Facebook post continues, “Mr Onyeabor was simply referred to as ‘The Chief’. He was known for having created many opportunities for the people in his community.”

Onyeabor was born on 26 March1946. He recorded and released nine albums between 1977–85 at Wilfilms Limited, his own pressing plant in Enugu, southeast Nigeria. The plant is also noted for pressing Livy Ekemezie’s 1983 funk set Friday Night, as well as for housing its own Wilfilms label. As a musician and businessman, Onyeabor travelled the world to study record manufacturing set-ups. However he also worked in many other fields – for example, he received the West African Industrialist Of The Year award for opening a flour and food processing business, among other ventures. He was also president of Enugu's Musician's Union, and chairman of the city's local football team Enugu Rangers.

That Onyeabor was an elusive character led to many speculations as to what he had done throughout his career. He stopped making music when he became a Born Again Christian, and for many years he refused any interview requests that came his way. In 2013 Luaka Bop released the well-received Who Is William Onyeabor? anthology compiled by musicologist and researcher Uchenna Ikonne. Julian Cowley described that release as a “mildly eccentric blend of synthesized soul and low-slung funk”, and as clearing up any questions as to who Onyeabor actually was. That album was followed by the film documentary Fantastic Man (named after a track on his 1979 album Tomorrow) and a tour of live shows that featured over 50 guests.

You can hear “When The Going Is Smooth And Good” from Anything You Sow (1985), which Luaka Bop noted as one of Onyeabor's most successful songs.

William Onyeabor is survived by his wife, children and four grandchildren.

CTM festival kicks off this month

The 18th edition starts 27 January with the special theme Fear Anger Love

Berlin's CTM festival kicks off at the end of January. Taking place at HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Berghain, Yaam, and the Kunstquartier Bethanien, the 10 day event features a mass of artists and is set to focus on this year's theme Fear Anger Love.

Artists on the line up include Genesis Breyer P-Orridge with Aaron Dilloway, Actress, Baris K, DJ Stingray, Tanya Tagaq, Bass Gang featuring Minoto, Ostblokkk, Gofi, J.Cloud, Tuan:Ahn, DEBONAIR, Dragoș Rusu, Elysia Crampton, King Britt, The Bug vs Dylan Carlson, Stara Rzeka, Bjørn Torske, Endgame, Miss Red, Mr Mitch, Jenny Hval feat Skrap, Peggy Gou, Pharmakon, Yally aka Raime, and many others.

There will also be a focus on Mexico with the exhibition Critical Constellations of the Audio-Machine in Mexico, created in collaboration with researcher and curator Carlos Prieto Acevedo which traces the history of electronic music and sound art in the country. As well as this, a large scale installation by Kurt Hentschläger titled SOL will happen in the Halle am Berghain, Alan Warburton will exhibit an installation called Primitives, and there will be a series of talks, panels, workshops and films, including Moor Mother in conversation with Deputy Editor Emily Bick.

CTM will run 27 January – 5 February 2017 at Berlin various.

Little Annie publishes her first art book

Timeless publishes Meditation In Chaos, featuring an introduction by Penny Rimbaud

Toulouse imprint Timeless has published Little Annie’s first book of paintings and photos. Called Meditation In Chaos, it includes an introduction by Crass’s Penny Rimbaud alongside several portraits of Annie herself. It’s available in hardback and three limited sub editions packaged in a ribboned folder

In other Little Annie news, the artist’s first LP Soul Possession has been reissued by Dais Records and she's also embarking on Swans’ European tour in March with her longtime collaborator Paul Walfisch, with whom she worked on her 2015 album Trace (Tin Angel).

Children Of Alice debut album released in February

Warp to release the first full length from Broadcast member James Cargill’s new project

Children Of Alice will release their first album on Warp in February. Fronted by Broadcast's James Cargill, the group formed in 2013 as a tribute to Cargill's partner and fellow Broadcast member Trish Keenan, who cited Alice In Wonderland – in particular Jonathan Miller’s 1960s adaptation – as an inspiration.

As well as Cargill. the trio consists of former Broadcast keyboards player Roj Stevens and Julian House, co-founder of Ghost Box Records. Their debut follows “Harbinger Of Spring”, the Children Of Alice side of a 2013 split cassette shared with Mary Arches called Ornithology, the fifth volume in the Devon Folklore Tapes series released by Folklore Tapes.

That track is included on Children Of Alice’s self-titled album, which brings together their entire recorded output to date. Its release date is 24 February.

Mark Fisher 1968–2017

Writer, theorist and Wire contributor Mark Fisher died on 13 January

The writer, theorist and Wire contributor Mark Fisher died on 13 January. He was 48.

After a brief dalliance with making music in the early 1990s – a 12" Entropy In The UK was released by his group D-Generation – Mark entered the orbit of the Cybernetic Culture Research Unit, a para-academic wing of the Philosophy Department at Warwick University, in the middle part of the decade. The Ccru was conceived by Sadie Plant and Nick Land (it was never officially founded, nor has it ever officially dissolved) and after Plant’s departure, Mark became one of the primary driving forces of the group. Dance music, in particular drum 'n' bass, was crucial to the unit’s theorisation of the relationship between society and sound in the era of sample technology, and Mark wrote widely on dance music at this time, sometimes under pseudonyms such as Dr Mark De’Rozario and Maria De Rosario. In 1999, he helped produce a death garage track “Anticlimax (Inhumans Moreerotic Female Orgasm Analog Mix)”, released under the name Xxignal (a Ccru glossary still available online describes death garage as “Sonic subgenre characterized by (loud) Swarm-beats”). Mark began a long association and friendship at the Ccru with Steve Goodman aka Kode9, whose webzine Hyperdub was heavily inspired by Mark’s ideas, and later morphed into the successful record label.

After completing his PhD Flatline Constructs: Gothic Materialism And Cybernetic Theory-Fiction in 1999, he began working as a philosophy lecturer in Kent. In 2003, despondent at the pressures of further education, and kicking against the constrained intellectual structures of academia, he began his longrunning blog K-Punk. “Blogging seemed a more informal space… a way of tricking myself back into doing serious writing, I was able to con myself, thinking, ‘it doesn't matter, it's only a blog post, it's not an academic paper’,” Mark recalled in a 2010 interview with Rowan Wilson for the website Ready Steady Book.

K-Punk ranged widely across philosophy, culture and politics, taking in Doctor Who, The Fall, Metalheadz, Spinoza, HP Lovecraft and everything in between. It became a central hub of a prolific generation of music bloggers in the mid-2000s, and Mark co-founded the internet forum Dissensus with blogger and future Wire contributor Woebot aka Matthew Ingram in 2004. Mark was instrumental in coining the concept of hauntology – the term, borrowed from Jacques Derrida, alluded to a cluster of musicians then referencing or riffing on the past, from Ghost Box to Mordant Music to Ariel Pink, as well as what he saw as the general condition of wider music in the 21st century to look backwards. In 2005 he completed londonunderlondon, an audio essay inspired by JG Ballard, with Justin Barton.

Mark began contributing to The Wire in 2007, and the same year he completed his first cover feature: an interview with elusive Detroit techno collective Underground Resistance, whom he met in the Netherlands. He joined the magazine's staff as Acting Deputy Editor in 2008, and filed several major features around this time, including cover stories with Tricky, Mark Stewart and Ultra Red, as well as a rare in-person interview with the London producer Burial. Mark also contributed frequently to the magazine's own blog The Mire, including entries on minimal techno and satirical magazine Private Eye's column Pseud's Corner – a forum for naming and shaming intellectuals and their jargon. His inclusion in the latter was a source of particular pride: “If the section from the Mark Stewart feature that they selected is considered fair game,” he wrote, “then they might as well open up a permanent spot for me.” When his tenure as Acting Deputy Editor was over at The Wire, Mark forged a close alliance with Zero Books, acting as a commissioning editor; his own book Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? was a word of mouth success in 2009. Since then, he has collaborated widely across spheres including art (alongside artist collective The Otolith Group, whose Kodwo Eshun was a longterm associate) and politics (he wrote the pamphlet Reclaim Modernity: Beyond Markets Beyond Machines with Jeremy Gilbert in 2014).

A second book Ghosts Of My Life: Writings On Depression, Hauntology And Lost Futures followed in 2014, and he wrote widely on the connections between politics, economics, class and mental health around that time. A new collection The Weird And The Eerie was published shortly before his death. He continued to contribute to The Wire throughout the 2010s, and participated on numerous panels and discussions on hauntology, dance music, listening and politics during his association with the magazine.

Mark Fisher, 11 July 1968–13 January 2017

Unearthing The Music: Creative Sound And Experimentation Under European Totalitarianism

New archival project focuses on Eastern European music during the communist era

OUT.RA, the association behind the Portuguese festival OUT.FEST, has started a new project called Unearthing The Music: Creative Sound And Experimentation Under European Totalitarianism. The project aims to develop an online resource for experimental and avant garde music made under communist regimes in Eastern Europe between 1957–89. This online archive will gather video, sound, images and personal accounts. It also plans a series of talks, lectures and screenings to be held in Lisbon, complete with supporting texts.

For more information, and to find out how you can get involved, visit their website.

Dimitri Hegemann's plans for new Detroit nightclub gets underway

The new development at Detroit’s Packard Plant will feature an onsite nightclub

Development of the old Packard Plant in Detroit, a project discussed by Berlin Tresor club founder Dimitri Hegemann in his Epiphanies column (The Wire 386), is now underway, Resident Advisor reports. Fernando Palazuelo aims to turn the former factory, a famous historical site of the old car manufacturing industry in the Midwest, into a $350 million renovation project that will contain housing, retail and art spaces. Hegemann has been involved in plans to include a new nightclub on the site. In his Epiphanies column, he declared, “This is my message to all the mayors of the world: give young people space and let them develop their projects! Don’t stop them with senseless rules and regulations such as a curfew. Brighten up the streets at night, keep the city busy and crime rates will decrease.”

Festival For Other Music returns this year

Second edition of the Stockholm festival will run from 9–11 February

The second edition of Festival For Other Music will take place in February. Held at Fylkingen, Reaktorhallen and Musikaliska in Stockholm, and curated by ex-Cafe Oto programmer John Chantler, the line-up features Mazen Kerbaj, Sarah Hennies, Ikue Mori & Steve Noble, Jeph Jerman & Tim Barnes, Angharad Davies & Tisha Mukarji, Áine O’Dwyer, SAWTOUT (Mazen Kerbaj/ Burkhard Beins/Michael Vorfeld), Tetsuya Umeda, Olivia Block and ONCEIM performing Eliane Radigue’s OCCAM OCEAN. There will also be an exhibition of Kerbaj’s drawings which he will open on 9 February with a solo performance.

Festival For Other Music runs from 9–11 February. Earlybird festival passes are now on sale for 400 sek. Standard price will be 500 sek. Individual concerts tickets cost 180/200 sek.