The Wire


CTM announces Persistence as new festival theme and launches Radio Lab call

CTM 2019 will examine “the aesthetic and societal potentials and pains of perseverance, and of its opposite: the transient and the provisional”

CTM will celebrate its 20th edition next year. Taking place between 25 January and 3 February across various venues in Berlin, the theme has been set as Persistence and, as usual, they have an open call for artists to submit proposals for new radio works in line with the theme.

“As polarising stances and simplistic rhetoric continue to proliferate at alarming rates, we are faced with the difficulties of resisting them and the rifts they create” explains the accompanying text introducing the themes. “The challenge lies in cultivating persistence without tumbling into rigidity or dogma – in cultivating a steadfastness through a recognition of diversity, difference, and hybridity while also embracing fluidity, uncertainty, and flux.” Examining the difficulties of balancing continuity and changeability, they ask: “Can music and art provide us with methods to move towards new societal horizons? Can we maintain a productive, idealistic kind of perseverance – a persistence of the transitory?”.

CTM has also put out an open call for submissions for this year's Radio Lab. Artists and musicians are invited to submit proposals that explore the medium of radio as it crosses over with either live performance or installation, and one that is based on the festival's special theme. The winning artist will receive a 5000€ honorarium, with the work premiered in the form of an installation or live performance at CTM 2019, followed by a broadcast on Deutschlandfunk Kultur’s Klangkunst programme in spring 2019 as a 40–55 minute radio show. The Österreichischer Rundfunk (ORF) will also present the following autumn.

Radio Lab launched in 2014 and is led by CTM Festival and Deutschlandradio Kultur – Radio Art / Klangkunst in collaboration with The Wire, Goethe-Institut and ORF musikprotokoll im steirischen herbst. The Wire staffer and long-running contributor Phil England will be representing on the panel of jurors this year.

A full description of the theme can be found on the CTM website, where you can also get full submission details of Radio Lab. Last year the Cairo electronic music producer and UIQ affiliate Ahmed El Ghazoly aka ZULI won the commission. You can listen to the final radio work via Deutschlandfunk Kultur.

24 hour audiovisual performance space opens in East London

Launch weekend on 18–19 August features Homodrop & Resis’dance, World Unknown, Body Hammer, Dimensions and Siren

A new events space has opened in an East London industrial estate near Canning Town. Called FOLD, the audiovisual performance space and studio complex is collectively run and features a 24 hour dancefloor, while a second room is said to be opening later in the year. Also noteworthy is the venue's non-residential location, meaning FOLD's 110 decibel sound system with a bottom end of 32 hertz gets freedom to flex its muscles.

Crews set to appear at the 18 August launch party are Homodrop & Resis’dance, World Unknown, Make Me, Test Pressing, Body Hammer, Dimensions, UNITI, Goldsnap, SIREN, !HTBX, Opulence, Possession, Reviveher, Left Alone, KAOS, Body Motion, Gdanse, Structure, Global Roots, Homodrop, SC&P and FOLD themselves.

Co-founder Lasha Jorjoliani says “[FOLD] offer a smorgasbord of alien sounds from the unknown,” with Seb Glover adding: “Gentrifying forces have put huge pressures on artists and musicians, with many leaving as a result,” adding that they plan to create a space “where you can spend extended periods of coming and going as you please. We welcome All races. All religions. All genders. All countries of origin. All sexual orientations.”

The news comes in the wake of Hackney Council's recent announcement of controversial plans to restrict late licenses for new venues opening in the East London borough, and imposing an 11pm curfew on weekdays and midnight on weekends.

FOLD is part of Shapes Collective, with other projects including Many Hands in Bermondsey and The Glove That Fits in Hackney. The opening season at the new venue will include label takeovers from Ilian Tape, Clone & Pinkman. The venue also features lockers to store personal items, music studios with 24 hour access, acoustic treatment, air conditioning, and they accept cryptocurrency.

Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stańko has died

A veteran of the Polish jazz scene, Stańko enjoyed a long association with ECM

Trumpeter Tomasz Stańko, a veteran of the Polish jazz scene and collaborations with Cecil Taylor, Edward Vesala and many more, has died at the age of 76. He cut his teeth in the early 1960s playing with pianist and film composer Krzysztof Komeda in Krakow, and recorded with various Polish groups and labels before getting fired up by free jazz. He went on to perform with Globe Unity Orchestra, Don Cherry and others. Following his 1973 debut album Fish Face, he began a lifelong association with ECM through the release of Balladyna (1976). He also recorded widely for European jazz labels Leo and Jazzwerkstatt.

Stańko in the pages of The Wire, October 1984, issue 8.

Sam Mehran of Outer Limits Recordings has died

Musician was found dead at home in Hollywood. He was 31 years old

US musician Sam Mehran aka Sam Meringue has died. The news was announced via musician and Gunk TV Records founder Zak Mering’s Instagram account. Mehran worked with LA Vampires and released music under the names Matrix Metals, Outer Limits Recordings, Flashback Repository and many more. He was a key part of the wave of skewed and reprocessed styles tagged hypnagogic pop by The Wire contributor David Keenan.

No Bounds makes more announcements and shares last year's commissioned video work Final Sheffield

Taking place in Sheffield this October, artists announced include Aïsha Devi, Afrodeutsche, Demdike Stare, Ifeoluwa, Memo Comma and others

Sheffield's No Bounds festival has announced the first list of acts to appear at this year's event. Happening across the city at venues including Hope Works, Trafalgar Warehouse, Gas Giant Stage, Gallery Space, 99 Mary Street, The Holt, and Heeley Swimming Pool, the event will also see various festival partners hosting stages throughout the weekend. Off Me Nut Records will host the launch party, with other local crews including Displace and PPG, and a special Algorave stage. On Saturday FACT will host a stage curated by Mark Fell, and The Wire contributor Joe Muggs will oversee a programme of talks and panels discussion with topics ranging from sound system culture to politics, technology and women in music.

Workshops include a live algorithmic drumming workshop, an introduction to live coding music, and Ifeoluwa and Blasha & Allatt will host a DJ workshop for women and non-binary festival goers. Joel Cahen will also host Wet Sounds at Heeley Swimming Pool.

Artists so far announced are A-Bee, Afrodeutsch, Aïsha Devi, Algobabez ,Batu, Beck Trio, Benett/Kane Duo, Ben Suff Donk, Blasha & Alatt, Class Compliant Audio Interfaces, Central Processing Unit, Control Problem, co34pt, coucou chloe, CP Smith, Daniel Avery, Deep Tide Quartet, Demdike Stare, Digital Selves, DJ Storm, Earthworm Jim, Errorsmith, Giant Swan, Ifeoluwa, Imogen, Innocent, Jensen Interceptor, Joe Muggs, Juxtavoices, Linux Lewis, Lo Shea, Machine Woman, Mark Fell, Memo Comma, Mike Paradinas, Minor Science, Mosca, Object Blue, Off Me Nut Records, Paula Temple, Phatworld, Ripsaw Catfish, rRoxymore, Rian Treanor, Sarah Davachi, Sounds of Sisso, Spooky, Thorpey, Venz, Volvox, and Yaxu.

Also on show is last year's commissioned visual work Final Sheffield. Created by Italo-Australian, London-based visual artist Rebecca Salvadori, the work features a non-chronological sequence of footage taken from the 2017 edition, and can be seen below. This year’s commission is yet to be announced.

No Bounds will take place between 12 & 14 October. Tickets are on sale now.

Conny Plank: The Potential of Noise lands in UK cinemas

Sound pioneer behind krautrock and neue deutsche welle is the subject of a new documentary, screening in the UK this summer

As announced last year, a documentary about German studio giant Konrad ‘Conny’ Plank has been made, with the production company Burning Bridges finally putting dates in the diary for some UK screenings. Directed by Reto Caduff and Stephan Plank (Conny's son), Conny Plank: The Potential of Noise examines the legacy of the West German sound engineer, producer and musician who died aged 47, having worked with a wide range of artists including Neu!, Kraftwerk, Cluster, Guru Guru, La Düsseldorf, Michael Rother, Eurythmics, Karl Hyde, DAF, Ultravox, and Dieter Moebius.

Dates are: Goethe-Institut London on 29 August, Showroom Cinema Sheffield (30), Home Manchester (31), and Goethe-Institut Glasgow on 1 September. More information can be found on the film's Facebook page, and you can watch a trailer below.

Traditional and contemporary Korean music explored in London this autumn

K-Music festival will feature Ahn Sook-Sun, Near East Quartet, Ensemble E-Do and others

London's annual Korean music festival is back this year and covering a selection of both traditional and contemporary music. Launched in 2013, K-Music is produced and directed by the Korean Cultural Centre UK and Serious, and aims to reflect the dynamic Korean music scene, with artists that “draw on the past, explore the
borders of tradition and modernity and intertwine old and new.”

Happening at various venues across the city, the line-up includes Ssing Ssing, Ensemble E-Do led by Kyung-Hwa Yu, Ahn Sook-Sun, Hyelim Kim, Alice Zawadzki, Near East Quartet, Kyunso Park, Urban Sound and more.

K-Music will take place between 2 October and 20 November. More information can be found on Serious's website.

The Caretaker and Boomkat donate proceeds from Take Care, It's A Desert Out There in memory of Mark Fisher

100 per cent of sales from the release have been given to charity in honour of the late writer

In memory of Mark Fisher, Leyland Kirby aka The Caretaker has donated all the money he made from the sales of his album Take Care, It’s A Desert Out There, to the mental health charity MIND in Suffolk; in addition Boomkat has given over the fees it earned for selling the record.

Released in honour of the late music writer, cultural theorist and blogger K-Punk who died on 13 January 2017, Take Care, It’s A Desert Out There was initially given to everyone who went to The Caretaker’s London Barbican performance in December that year. The remaining 400 copies were then put on sale.

Mark, who in 2005 wrote extensive sleevenotes for The Caretaker’s Theoretically Pure Anterograde Amnesia, was instrumental in coining the term hauntology, a concept that has resonated deeply in The Caretaker’s works, as well as those of artists such as Ghost Box.

A major anthology of Mark Fisher's writings is set for publication by Repeater Books in late 2018. Edited by Darren Ambrose, with a foreword by Simon Reynolds, the anthology will feature a selection of pieces spanning his early K-Punk blog posts through to later writings about the phenomenon Mark termed acid communism.

You can listen to Take Care, It’s A Desert Out There below.

Rob Mazurek and Lee Anne Schmitt collaborate on experimental film and musical composition The Farnsworth Scores

Premiered last year, the film captures the interaction between humans, nature, and architecture at German-American architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House

Multidisciplinary artist Rob Mazurek has collaborated with Los Angeles-based artist and film maker Lee Anne Schmitt on a new film concerning Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House. First premiered last year at CineMarfa Film Festival in Texas, it'll screen next at the Warhol in Pittsburgh in conjunction with Carnegie Museum of Art on 20 & 30 September, and again on 1 October in Warsaw as part of the Avant Art Festival. The film and soundtrack sets a precedent to capture the “interaction between humans, nature, and architecture at Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's iconic Farnsworth House.”

A masterpiece of architecture, Farnsworth House was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2006, with The Farnsworth Scores honing in on the building's transparent walls to blur the boundaries between interior and exterior perspectives in sight and sound.

“I was quite obsessed with this house and imagined this project 7-8 years ago,” explains Mazurek over email. “The Farnsworth House is in very close proximity to my family's house, and I would frequent it quite often and began researching the house and its surroundings. We decided to try for the Graham Foundation grant which would give us support to realize the project.”

Schmitt acted as director and photographer for the project, with co-direction, actor and sound design coming from Mazurek. Britt Mazurek worked as grant writer, producer and in production.

“Lee Anne's spot on direction along with camera operator Ki Jin Kim's beautiful camera work wove extraordinary shots that showed the rigorous quality of the house, the deterioration and encroaching nature and magical refraction and reflection from many interesting angles,” continues Mazurek. “The sound track is made almost entirely from recorded sound in and around the house, both natural and then later on morphed and filtered and then placed. The silences are metaphors for the physical glass. The panes of glass are meant to keep elements out, like wind, rain, cold and at times, sound. It is also meant to bring sunshine in, the seasons, the faint sound of the rush of the river, birds and storms. You can not pass through this physical membrane but you can see through it. There is this give and take with the physical structure of the glass and what its purpose actually is, and we found this fascinating to work with in both sound and vision.”

Was there anything that was particularly challenging? “The most challenging aspect was to discover all these elements at play (reflection, refraction, silence, shifting weather, the sound inside the house, outside the house, human made sound, natural sound, frequencies of the various glass panes, how the glass responds etc...) and then how to actually structure the film.

“Lee Anne works wonders with celluloid film, and her edits were excellent and inspiring. The physical film itself is a kind of barrier, refracting/reflecting surface, multiple windows... figuring out the balance of all these ideas/elements and how to place the silences (the glass panes) within the riot of colour, angles, shadings, magic, movement, non-movement and sounds was the challenge.”

In other news, Mazurek also has a new book out. Based on the 2015 exhibition of Marfa Loops Shouts And Hollers, the catalogue documents the exhibition of the artist's works, and features 39 original paintings and objects, and 70 minutes of audio.

Occult label Black Mass Rising release first film in new Spirits Trilogy

Label founder Shazzula directs new film The Essor and collaborates with Warren Ellis and Matthias Loibner on its soundtrack

Shazzula has directed a new DVD titled The Essor. The first offering in the triptych The Spirits Trilogy, it was filmed in Mongolia in 2015 by Shazzula on 16mm film and with an aerial DIY drone. The idea, explains the website of Black Mass Rising, the French label co-run by Shazzula with Philippe Marie, is to create a deep and immersive experience, with each film featuring a special soundtrack. For The Essor, this is a collaboration between Warren Ellis of Dirty Three and composer Matthias Loibner. A fourth soundtrack is also due to be released as part of a four LP box set.

The DVDs are limited to 500 copies and available via their website and Bandcamp. Forthcoming in the series are The Cromlech Dance and The Sacred Pathways. You can watch a trailer below.

In other news, the label has reissued Peter ‘Sleazy’ Christopherson's Live At L'Étrange Festival (2004) on double vinyl.