The Wire


Sustainable festival Terraforma announce first round of artists

Laurie Anderson, Mica Levi and Caterina Barbieri to perform

Terraforma Festival will be held between 5–7 July this year. Taking place in its usual location at Villa Arconati just outside of Milan, the intimate event will once again feature an international line-up while focusing on sustainable practices.

Artists announced so far are Laurie Anderson, Mica Levi, Caterina Barbieri, DJ Stingray, Daniel Higgs and Bambounou. Terraforma has also been awarded under the category “improvers” by A Greener Festival, a non-profit organisation monitoring and aiding the implementation of green solutions for musical events.

Early bird tickets are now available for €110 including camping. Watch a short documentary about the restoration of the Villa Arconati Labyrinth, a project Terraforma has been involved in since 2014.

Cooly G Fire Fund started by Kode9

Cooly G's belongings were destroyed by fire in a Croydon self-storage warehouse

Kode9 aka Steve Goodman has launched a fundraising campaign in aid of DJ and producer Cooly G, who lost all her belongings in a fire on 31 December. The Hyperdub veteran had been using a temporary storage lock up in Croydon whilst she waited to move home. Cooly and her two children lost everything in the fire.

“Cooly is a mother of two young children and her family have lost everything they owned. They were in the middle of trying to find a new home after losing their previous house due to a flood. The stress has been so intense she hasn't slept properly since the 1st of January. Cooly was mis-sold insurance which will not come close to covering the value of the items lost and currently the company appears to be refusing any claims of compensation,” says Hyperdub founder Goodman.

Donations can be made via

Brussels' 24 hour festival KRAAK kicks off in March

Line-up features Sam Kidel, Sculpture, Sofia Jernberg and more

This year Brussels based festival KRAAK will take place over a 24 hour period from 2–3 March, 3pm–3pm. Hosted by Beursschouwburg, the line up features C_C, Christophe Piette, Embassador Dulgoon, Forced Into Femininity, Legion Of Andromeda, Lewsberg, Me Donner, Macromassa, Maika Garnica, New Root Canal, Penus, Peter Michael Hamel, Sam Kidel, Sculpture, Sofia Jernberg, Urge, YOR, and Żywizna.

“Bring your beautiful bodies, open your minds and sharpen your most delicate senses for this intense celebration of the visionary tendencies in today's music universe,” they say.

You can listen to a mix of Kraak 2018 highlights on Mixcloud below. More information can be found on their website.

New podcast Merzcast sets out to listen to the discography of Merzbow

Greh Holger is joined in first two episodes by Hair Police’s Mike Connelly and William Hutson of Clipping.

A new underground music podcast has set itself a mighty challenge: to listen to and discuss one-by-one the albums of Japanese noise godfather Merzbow. Each episode of Merzcast sees Greh Holger of Chondritic Sound and another musician or noise fan sit down together to absorb a particular album by Masami Akita and reflect on it afterwards.

“Part of the fun of doing this podcast comes from listening and experiencing the record together, and it makes the discussion much easier than doing it over the phone or internet,” emails Holger. “Some of our future guests live across the country, but plans are underway to make those happen in person.”

The podcast episodes are lengthy and detailed, with the contributors breaking down the album track by track, dropping thoughts on equipment, effects, track titles and more. Pictures posted online show sheets of paper with notes on each track written during the listening sessions, which thus far have taken place around the HQ of Holger’s distro Chondritic Sound in Los Angeles.

Since his debut recordings in the early 1980s, Masami Akita has released hundreds of albums of white-hot sound on labels across the world – a catalogue with few comparisons in the noise scene. Information accompanying each album is often limited to identifying a studio and a date. Faced with such an imposing discography, Holger and co elect to bring their own personal perspectives to the wall of sound. “I prefer to bring our own knowledge and ideas about the material to the table, so there's not a lot of research done aside from listening to the record, going over the liner notes, checking out the instrumentation, tracklist, thanks, label, recording data and such,” he reports. “Things such as when and where it was recorded and what elements were used can help relate it to other records. Mystery is in short supply these days, and there's no reason to ruin it with too much fact-finding.

“Once the album is finished, we head straight to the mics and try not to talk before hitting record,” he adds.

The first two episodes are now live online at and at other good podcast outlets. The first edition sees Mike Connelly (of US noise units Hair Police, Failing Lights and Clay Rendering) in the hot seat to discuss 1998’s Tauromachine, and this pair are joined in the follow-up by William Hutson (Rale, Clipping) to check out 1995’s Green Wheels. And what about Masami Akita, the man himself? “He's at the top of the wishlist for guests, of course, so possibly someday.”

Other Merzbow podcasts are also available. While Merzcast was launching, another project Immerzbox was already reaching its fourth episode. Launched by Erik Highter and @metaltxt, Immerzbox started as “sort of a dare” to review every CD of the infamous Merzbox 50 CD career-spanning box set released in 2000. “I knew Erik would be game,” emails metaltxt. “Erik loves dumb ideas.”

Immerzbox started right at the beginning of the Merzbox, and thus currently explores a very different era of Merzbow’s work to Merzcast. “The early Merzbox works we're still discussing are so incredibly different from what people probably think of as Merzbow's work. There's very little harsh noise like he's known for, and some of these tracks even border on the minimal/ambient.

“We're still early in our podcast project,” they continue. “But I'm sure diving so deeply into one artist's work will make us acutely aware of recurring patterns, things that Masami brings up over and over but in slight variations. I'm really looking forward to continuing on this wild journey we've started for ourselves.”

The music that both the two podcasts deal with might be extreme, but the feelings between them are not. “We love what the Merzcast is doing,” enthuses metaltxt, “and hope to collaborate with them on something in the near future.”

DAM announce tour and album release

The Palestinian hiphop outfit share new single “Emta Njawzak Yamma”

Palestinian hiphop outfit DAM have announced a UK tour ahead of the release of their third album Ben Haana Wa Maana on Cooking Vinyl on 7 June. They've also released the lead single “Emta Njawzak Yamma” from that album, which is available to stream on Spotify.

As noted by Courtney Yusuf in his article on the hiphop in Ramallah for The Wire 421, DAM is Tamer Nafar, Suhell Nafar, Mahmood Jrere, and Maysa Daws. The name means blood in Arabic and eternity in Hebrew, and also stands as an acronym for Da Arabian MCs in English. They formed in 1999 in the Palestinian area of Lod in Israel, and released their first single “Meen Erhabi?” (“Who's The Terrorist?”) in 2001. Nafar tells Yusuf that influences have spanned from Tupac Shakur and Public Enemy in the early 2000s to hiphop's Kendrick Lamar today. “Thanks to him and J Cole, conscious hiphop is back in the mainstream and for me, personally, I’m very blessed to pay attention to the details they deliver. I really take them with me everyday.”

DAM will perform at Constellations in Liverpool on 27 February, Band On The Wall in Manchester (28), The Crossing in Birmingham on 01 March and Jazz Cafe in London (2).

Subscribers can read Yusuf's feature on Exact Editions.

Henriksen/Aarset/Bang/French The Height Of The Reeds nominated for Spellemannprisen

Norwegian Grammy Awards nominate the soundwalk companion for the Tono's Composer Award

Arve Henriksen, Eivind Aarset, Jan Bang and Jez riley French have been nominated for a Tono's Composer Award for The Height Of The Reeds in Norway's Spellemannprisen. Originally commissioned as a piece for Hull UK City of Culture 2017, it set to celebrate the city's longstanding seafaring relationship with Scandinavia. A musical companion to a sound walk along Humber Bridge that would happen throughout April that year, it continued on for three months, selling a total of 15,000 tickets. It was released by Rune Grammofon in August 2018, and recently made it into the Athens based record shop Underflow's Wire chart in issue 417.

Spellemannprisen, sometimes referred to in English as the Norwegian Grammy Awards was established in 1972. This year's award ceremony will take place in Oslo on 31 March.

Actress signs to Decca and completes Stockhausen project

Actress joins Max Richter, Clark and Will Gregory on Decca

Decca Publishing has announced they've added Darren J Cunningham aka Actress to their books, “signalling” as Executive Vice President Natasha Baldwin says, their “absolute commitment to building long and illustrious careers for the most talented composers out there”.

In other news, he's also completed the Southbank Centre and Holland Festival commission Actress x Stockhausen Sin {x} II, a new composition for voice, AI and electronics, following on from his AI debut as Young Paint.

Said to be a reimagining of Karlheinz Stockhausen's Welt-Parlament (1995), the one-off live performance features recordings of a load of MPs discussing love in the House of Lords during the Brexit negotiations. He'll be joined on stage by Italian pianist and Stockhausen alumna Vanessa Benelli Mosell, the Netherlands Chamber Choir and conductor Robert Ames. It will premiere at London’s Royal Festival Hall on 14 May.

According to Cunningham, more projects are on their way, from commissioned work to new technologies he's currently developing.

Grime instrumental London to Addis released by No Hats No Hoods

Featuring tracks by Dexplicit, Ignorants, J Beatz, Proc Fiskal and JT The Goon, the label shares one of its tracks “Hyenas Of Harar” by Shudan

A new compilation on No Hats No Hoods fuses Grime instrumentals with traditional Ethiopian instruments, scales and time signatures.

Artists on the release include Dexplicit, Ignorants, J Beatz, TC4, JT The Goon, Wize, Shudan, Proc Fiskal and Captain Over. Recorded over a week in Addis Ababa, the four instruments heard across the release are a single-stringed fiddle called the masinko, a five-stringed lyre called the krar, a bamboo flute known as the washint, and a selection of drums. Also featured are traditional vocalists.

“My favourite instrument to work with was the washint, as Ermias Nadew plays with a real freedom” explains Dexplicit. “The challenge for making my track was keeping this vibe and freedom whilst making it fit with a 140bpm Grime track which I really enjoyed”

The release is the first part of No Hats No Hoods Ethiopiyawi Meets Grime collaboration with Ethiopian Records that was awarded a new Art new Audiences (nAnA) grant from the British Council in 2017. Coming up as part of the project is a live performance in Addis Abba, a documentary, freestyles and vocal projects featuring Kenyan, Ethiopian and UK musicians.

From 25 February, parts of the recording sessions will be made available to download for the purpose of making new tracks. Four additional bonus tracks from the project will be made available on the No Hats No Hoods Bandcamp. The release is out on 14 March.

Listen to Shudan “Hyenas Of Harar”.

1976 poetry reading by Velvet Underground's Angus MacLise is released on tape

Counter Culture Chronicles captures a reading at the Millennium Poetry and Multimedia Performance in New York City, three years before his death

Unearthed poetry readings by the American occultist, publisher, drummer and founder member of Velvet Underground have been released. A member of La Monte Young's The Theatre Of Eternal Music, Angus MacLise also founded Dead Language Press alongside Piero Heliczer, and co-founded the Spirit Catcher Bookshop in Kathmandu, where he had moved with his wife Hetty McGee and son Ossian in the early 1970s. He would live in Nepal until his death in 1979, aged 41.

In 1976 MacLise travelled to New York City and read poetry to a backdrop of Nepalese music at the Millennium Poetry and Multimedia Performance on 17 September, the recordings of which can be heard on this Counter Culture Chronicles cassette.

Angus MacLise's The Kathmandu Cycle features laser printed J-card and insert and is available to order via

Released on his own Dreamweapon Press in 1974, and reissued by Sub Rosa in 2003, listen to “Four Speed Trance” from The Cloud Doctrine, featuring John Cale and Tony Conrad.

Inaugural edition of Gilles Peterson's We Out Here festival launched

The event brings Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids, Gary Bartz, Theo Parrish, Sons Of Kemet, Nubya Garcia and Kojey Radical to Cambridgeshire in August

Gilles Peterson, Brownwood and Worldwide FM will be staging We Out Here: A Worldwide Family Gathering at the former home of Secret Garden Party at Abbots Ripton in Cambridgeshire. It will be the first public festival happening at the site since 2017.

The line-up so far confirmed showcases a mix of electronic and jazz musicians including Gary Bartz, Idris Ackamoor, Sons Of Kemet and The Comet Is Coming, Kokoroko, Moses Boyd, Kojey Radical, Children Of Zeus, Call Super, Objekt, Josey Rebelle, Skee Mask, Theo Parrish, Adrian Sherwood & Horace Andy, Francois K and Mike Dunn, plus Channel One Soundsystem and Dennis Bovell. Food, drink, wellbeing activities, talks and family activities are scheduled to be announced soon.

Festivalgoers are invited to camp on site or arrange their own accommodation elsewhere. Boutique camping is also available. The festival runs from 15–18 August. Tickets start at £156.