The Wire


Clipping issue disturbing new video for "Back Up"

Anna Zlokovic’s clip features milk-addicted adult babies

US noise-rap trio Clipping have shared the unsettling new video for “Back Up” (from 2016’s Wriggle EP) featuring Antwon and Signor Benedick The Moor.

“Through the perspective of an unnamed film maker, we stumble upon an accidental and horrifying discovery,” explains director Anna Zlokovic. “What begins as a curious exploration of an abandoned warehouse quickly devolves into the uncovering and filming of an underground, cult-like society - one where adults have baby faces and milk is the drug of choice.”

The clip was shot at Los Angeles venue The Smell, famed as a hub for DIY groups such as No Age, Abe Vigoda and HEALTH. The club is now scheduled for demolition; regular visitors Clipping are among those currently campaigning to save it.

Clipping begin their North America tour this week. For dates and details visit their website

Pan's Bill Kouligas announces event series investigating gender identity and music

Featuring Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Honey Dijon, Terre Thaemlitz, and others, the series will run over three weekends in February in MoMAPS1, New York

Bill Kouligas of Pan records has organised a series of performances, talks, screenings and workshops set to investigate the relationship between gender nonconforming identities, technology and electronic music. Featuring Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Honey Dijon, Terre Thaemlitz aka DJ Sprinkles, Juliana Huxtable, Elysia Crampton, Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz, Tavia Nyong'o, Code Liberation, Venus X and Dreamcrusher, the sessions are called Between 0 and 1: Remixing Gender, Technology, and Music will focus “on gender positions that reject and challenge a binary world view” whilst looking at the historical role that electronic music has played in creating alternative spaces that allow for a variety of identities.

Part one will take place on 12 February and focus on communities within New York City’s nightlife. Part two is on 19 February and will be based around a live performance of “Cantos I-IV” from Terre Thaemlitz’s multimedia sound work Soulnessless. Part three on 26 February will explore the ongoing relationship between electronic music and the dissolution of established gender constructs over the generations.

These events will take place on Sundays at the Museum Of Modern Art, New York. More information can be found via their website.

El Nicho's Eric Namour and Jorge Munguia co-edit new series of publications

New project aims to “bridge contemporary concerns within the broad creative contexts of writing, the visual and sound arts, critical theory/thinking, and philosophy.”

El Nicho festival in Mexico has started a new book series called Libretas. Drawing from sources that cover sound art, visual art, critical theory and philosophy, the project aims to open a “window onto processes and reflections from artists and curators”.

The first edition, Limitless Listening, is the result of Keith Rowe's residency in Mexico City during 2015, in which he conducted an interpretation of Cornelius Cardew’s Treatise, and features a conversation between Rowe and Inti Meza Villarino.

Future participants confirmed include Tarek Atoui, John Butcher and Diego Espinosa in an issue titled The Instrument As Artefact And The Challenge Of Composition; Abraham Cruzvillegas, Guillermo Santamarina and Gabriela Jauregui in Why Does Sound Matter?; and Andrea Lissoni, Jennifer Burris, Michelle Fidler in the fourth edition Music And Performance As Exhibition.

The series is available in Spanish and English with print copies limited to 500 and with a free digital edition. Libretas is a collaboration between El Nicho and Buró-Buró and supported by the Jumex Foundation and the Patronato de Arte Contemporáneo (PAC).

Modern composition supergroup Zeitkratzer take on Kraftwerk for latest reworking project

Reinhold Friedl's ensemble to release Performs Songs From The Albums Kraftwerk And Kraftwerk 2

Modern composition supergroup Zeitkratzer are releasing an album of reinterpretations of early Kraftwerk. Reinhold Friedl's ensemble, who in 2007 released a version of Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music, and in recent years have performed the music of Stockhausen and Cage and collaborated with Carsten Nicolai of Raster Noton, recorded their new album in Marseille. Performs Songs From The Albums Kraftwerk And Kraftwerk 2 is the first of two albums exploring the early recordings of the Dusseldorf group.

Kraftwerk's first two albums feature drums, guitar flute and violin, and are notably more rocking than their later electronic albums, but were ignored by the group in the 2009 reissue of their catalogue. “Kraftwerk promised for almost two decade to rerelease these first two records and never did,” complains Reinhold Friedl. “Zeitkratzer on the other hand were several times misunderstood as doing ‘covers’ although we almost never did. So this coincidence, Kraftwerk kind of hiding their early work, brought up the decision to work as a real cover band, because of historic necessity to make this early part of the Kraftwerk story accessible again!”

Zeitkratzer have become renowned for the reinterpretations of various electronic musics, and taking on Kraftwerk might seem like their stiffest challenge to date. But as Friedl notes, the German group's early works were more krautrock than Kling-Klang. “Beside the electronic keyboard there is not much synthesizer in these early works. And the keyboard sounds are mostly based on a harmonium effect. So we just used a real harmonium and the sound was brilliant! Much more compelling have been other electronic effects, like the acceleration of the master tape in one piece: as a live band you have then to play glissando up and accelerate the tempo at the same time. Very funny unusual exercise and experience."

Despite the disparity between Kraftwerk's early and later albums, Kraftwerk and Kraftwerk 2’s role in the group’s development is often ignored, perhaps in part because of their relative scarcity. "You can already see the later more minimalistic electronic approach,” Friedl argues. “Including their wonderful superficial lightness, combined with Krautrock improvisations (all those alto flute improvisations on looping grooves) with influences of contemporary music (listen to “Atem”, one of the most experimental piece they ever did!)"

Zeitkratzer have adapted the classical ensemble to respond to a wide range of music in recent years, from the extreme rock of Keiji Haino to the conceptual electronics of Terre Thaemlitz. Playing this music, did they start to feel like a krautock band? “Reminds me of the famous question of philosopher Susanne Langer,” responds Friedl. "Does a performer, who performs a Beethoven sonata, need to have exactly the same feelings as Beethoven, in the very moment, when he wrote down the music? For sure not. We started the project exactly the other way round: studying the different versions Kraftwerk themselves did from exactly the same pieces (you can find several live performances of them on YouTube) in very different tempos etc. Then we constructed our version by transcribing as exactly as possible the common content of those different versions. And I hope we found even some aspects in this music, that Kraftwerk themselves did not realize when they played it years ago.

”But for sure our job was to play it as close to the original as possible,” he continues. “And some of us felt like great Düsseldorf kids going Krautrock avant garde.”

Performs Songs From The Albums Kraftwerk And Kraftwerk 2 is released on 24 March on Karlrecords, and coincides with both the 20th anniversary of the ensemble, and the 10th anniversary of the label.

Fat Out Fest takes place this April

Fat Out Fest returns for its first edition since 2014 as Islington Mill's lease is renewed

Islington Mill's Fat Out Fest is back for the first time since 2014. This year the organisers promise a weekender that will “blur the boundaries between music, art and partying in true Fat Out style”. The event has been curated in collaboration with various participants including Lisa Meyer of Birmingham's Supersonic Festival, Garth Be from Sweet Sticky in Manchester and Le Guess Who?, and The Wire will be there hosting talks with Moor Mother and Charles Hayward.

The line up so far announced includes Giant Swan, Test Dept: Redux, The Bug Vs Dylan Carlson, Group A, Moor Mother, Sam Weaver, Sly & The Dead Neanderthals featuring Colin Webster, Teeth Of The Sea, Charles Hayward Begin Anywhere, Islam Chipsy & Eek, Part Chimp, Sarathy Korwar and more.

Fat Out Fest will take place 14–16 April at Islington Mill, Salford. Weekend tickets will cost £65 with day ticket cost set at £25.

Islington Mill, the arts space where Fat Out Fest will be held has also announced the renewal of its license following a lengthy battle with the local council. “We are pleased to announce” said Islington Mill on Twitter, ”that after four years, and a lengthy License Review hearing this morning, Islington Mill has been granted a continuation of our premises license, agreeing to a number of new conditions regarding the use of outdoor spaces and how people enter and leave the building.

”We want to thank everyone who supported us by writing letters to Salford City Council – of which there were over 300, an unprecedented number for this type of hearing. Thank you also to everyone who sent messages of support directly to us and who joined us in person at the hearing.”

You can visit the venue's website for details on how you can support the space, which is currently home to over 50 businesses and 100 artists.

David Axelrod has died aged 83

The American composer and producer, sampled by DJ Shadow, J Dilla, Madlib and many more, has died

Born in 1933 in Los Angeles, David Axelrod was an American drummer, producer and composer. He started his musical career in the latter part of the 1950s, producing albums such as jazz musician Harold Land's The Fox. In 1963 he joined Capitol Records working as producer and A&R and in 1968 wrote Mass in F Minor and Release Of An Oath for The Electric Prunes. Around that time, Axelrod started producing solo works, and his first two releases Song Of Innocence (1968) and Songs Of Experience (1969) formed a two-part homage to William Blake. Musician and Wire contributor Kirk Degiorgio, writing in his Hall Of Fame list of his most influential records, described his work as “sparse and moody – heavily reverberated strings mysteriously come and go – and the funky, fatback drumming gives it impetus. Axelrod is one of those great artists who creates music that manages to defy any fixed genre – it straddles rock, classical, jazz and funk.”

As Degiorgio notes, Axelrod's late 60s work was sampled heavily in many hiphop tracks, including by J Dilla, DJ Shadow, Quasimoto, Mos Def and Lil Wayne, who sampled "Holy Thursday" in his track “Mr Carter”. Axelrod's original is below.

Resonance fundraiser taking place this February

The London community arts radio station's annual fundraiser kicks off this month

Resonance FM have announced a programme of events taking place across London between 11–19 February as part of their annual fundraiser.

The list of events includes the station's Resofit standup session at Leicester Square Theatre Soho on 19 February, featuring Daniel Kitson, Tony Law and Stewart Lee, Gwaith Sŵn's Sonic Art Gala (11 February), an “all-star evening of radical sound art, improv & radiophonia” with Rie Nakajima & Ken Ikeda, Phil Minton, Viewfound & Daniel R Wilson, and Dan Linn-Pearl & Paul TQ Freeman (11), Wavelength Roadshow at Kansas Smitty's Hackney (13), William English does a live extended edition of Wavelength with performance artist Bob Parks, Adham Fisher & others, Club Integral Valentine's Day Special at Ikletik featuring 14 acts each playing for 14 minutes and in presentation with Resonance FM's Is Black Music (14), Scratch Orchestra All Stars at Cafe Oto (15), Ulrich Schnauss performing in Lewisham, and much more.

Details of the annual Resonance Auction will be available soon. A full list of events and details (which will continue to be updated throughout February) is available via their website.

John Latham retrospective at the Serpentine Gallery

London’s Serpentine and Flat Time House to hold a major retrospective on the late conceptual artist

London’s Serpentine Gallery has announced a major retrospective of the work of UK conceptual artist John Latham. A World View: John Latham runs from 2 March–21 May and will span his works in sculpture, installation, painting, film, land art, engineering, found-object assemblage, performance and the artist’s theoretical writings. In addition, Flat Time House, John Latham’s studio home in Peckham, South London – a space said by the artist to be a living sculpture in itself – will open to the public, hosting a programme of workshops and events.

David Toop’s article “Brotherhood Of The Bomb” in The Wire 317 analysed the work of Latham, who died in 2006, in the context of postwar Britain, and his many connections to musicians including Joe Harriott and Pink Floyd. In November last year Toop wrote an article on the long rumoured and recently unearthed recordings of Latham and Pink Floyd's 1967 collaboration.

London Improvisers Orchestra take up new residency at Iklectik

Longrunning spontaneous ensemble to become regulars at the South London venue

London Improvisers Orchestra have begun a new residency in the capital. Every first Sunday of the month the spontaneous big band will be performing at South London free music institution Iklectik. The LIO began nearly two decades ago, under the guidance of Steve Beresford, Ian MacGowan and Evan Parker, among many others, and in the years since numerous significant improvisors have emerged from the group.

Forthcoming events at Iklectik also include a screening of Eddie Prévost's Blood by Stewart Morgan which will be followed by a Q&A with Prévost on 25 February, Mark Cunningham's Blood Quartet on 15 April, and as part of The Engine Room project, Philip Jeck will perform on 11 May.

Stewart Smith co-edits special edition of The Drouth

Wire contributor and Elodie Roy guest edit the Scottish literary quarterly

The Wire contributor Stewart Smith has guest co-edited a music-themed issue of Scottish literary quarterly The Drouth. Contributions come from The Wire’s Frances Morgan, in conversation with Claire Biddles about feminist and queer music writing, fandom and publishing, and Jon Dale on Scottish DIY in the post-punk era. Smith himself has written on ancient resonances in Hanna Tuulikki and Drew Mulholland’s recent projects, and there’s a mapping of interwar Glasgow through gramophone record sleeves by co-editor Elodie Roy. “Drouth means thirst, by the way,” Stewart explains.

The Drouth #57 will be available via the website soon.