The Wire


London Short Film Festival kicks off its 15th edition

LSFF’s selection of UK and international short features spans music, culture and politics

London Short Film Festival kicks off today, marking their 15th edition with a host of music related screenings and events. Adrena Adrena, an audiovisual project of London based film maker Daisy Dickinson and ex-Boredoms drummer E-da Kazuhisa, will open the festival with Movements Of A Nebulous Dawn, a one-off collaboration at the ICA. The event features Kazuhisa, Geraldine Swayne of Faust, Colin Newman of Wire, Malka Spigel of Minimal Compact, and Kenichi Iwasa, founder of Krautrock Karaoke, and, recently announced, Can's Damo Suzuki – all of the above perform in various combinations under a 360 degree nebulous orb.

On 16 January, London’s Moth Club will host the 2009 documentary Taqwacore: The Birth Of Punk Islam, directed by Omar Majeed and produced by EyeSteelFilm, followed by a panel discussion hosted by film maker Hammad Khan asking what happened to the taqwacore underground scene, and how class, race and gender are tied to Muslim resistance, Trump and Brexit. Also at Moth Club, on 19 January It’s All Good! celebrates the 15 year collaboration between LSFF and UK label Domino with videos and music. The ICA will hold the closing party on 20 February with Home Girls: From Cookie Crew To Now, a screening and panel discussion looking at the representation of female hiphop artists, also featuring a performance celebrating women in British rap with Hackney MC Paigey Cakey.

London Short Film Festival will run between 12–22 January. For a full list of what's on you can visit their website.

Klein's new musical Care premieres at London's ICA

Nigerian B-movies, Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Disney films number among the inspirations for her piece

Following her coming of age script staged at last year's London's New Music Biennial, Klein has written a new musical called Care.Care is a fantasy musical set in a care home,” reads the synopsis. “After a magical turn of events, the kids are transported into a world that will change their lives forever.”

Inspired by Nigerian B-movies, Andrew Lloyd-Webber musicals, Disney films and TV show Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta, Klein constructed Care from earworm loops, piano refrains, murky electronic, gospel and distorted vocals. Her 13-strong cast includes Lord Tusk, Jacob Samuel and BBC AZN Network members Manara and Sweyn J.

“Musicals can be intimidating and inaccessible and I want to open them up,” she declares. “It can be free and it doesn’t have to be intimidating, cheesy or plain old weird and dated. My musical brings a level of diversity not only in the way people look, but also in the mentality. There is a need for multidimensional roles to be played by people of colour and making this visible is important.”

To accompany her musical Klein has written a book illustrated by Evie O'Connor. Care will be performed at London’s ICA on 3–4 February.

Klein's 2017 Hyperdub release Tommy came third in The Wire's top 50 releases of 2017.

AFEM launches sexual harassment support service

The Association for Electronic Music has set up the new service in association with Health Assured

The Association for Electronic Music (AFEM) has launched a confidential sexual harassment support service for those working in the electronic music industry. Delivered by Health Assured, it will offer advice and guidance by trained individuals to those affected.

The Association for Electronic Music is not for profit trade association representing the interests of record labels, managers, promoters, publishers, clubs and other companies who work within electronic music. This current drive aims to promote positive change in the industry.

AFEM directs anyone who has been affected by abuse or harassment to an industry-specific confidential service operated by Health Assured at 0800 030 5182 or, for callers outside the UK, +44 800 030 5182.

Tectonic scores a century

Label boss Pinch announces their 100th record will come from Riko Dan

Pinch's Tectonic record label will reach the 100 mark in March. To mark the occasion, the 100th Tectonic record will be Hard Food, an EP by Riko Dan featuring contributions from label boss Pinch himself, plus Mumdance, Joker, Walton and Ziro.

“It’s great to be reaching the 100th release on the label, 13 years on from when it all started,” remarks Pinch aka Rob Ellis. “For this release we’re focusing on Riko Dan – one of my all-time favorite MCs – who controls six deadly rhythms here in fine style.”

For his part, Riko Dan adds: “I’ve enjoyed working with Tectonic on releases with Pinch and Mumdance and now it’s nice to be the main artist with producers making beats for my EP.”

Hard Food will be released in vinyl and digital formats on 2 March.

In other news, Pinch will return to Swamp 81 Records this year. His first music on the label since 2011's Retribution/Get Out Of Here will be a new EP called Ahh Fff Sss, released on 16 February.

Listen to Riko Dan & Pinch’s “Vibration” from Hard Food:

Tim Smith of Cardiacs needs help with healthcare costs

The multi-instrumentalist and vocalist talks about the rare condition he has been suffering from since his full cardiac arrest some ten years ago

Cardiacs frontman Tim Smith has opened up about the dystonia that has affected his ability to move and speak since he suffered a full cardiac arrest almost a decade ago. Though he has responded well to treatment of his condition, funding shortfalls and bureaucracy has meant his rehabilitation from this rare disorder has ground to a halt. In December he was also informed that due to recent changes in Continued Health Care, he can no longer stay at his current care home, where he was set to receive a new type of treatment. “The only way I can try and let you know how I feel at the moment,” Smith says, “is, imagine if you were wearing a skintight bodysuit made of fishnet all around you with electrical pulses going all the fucking time. This is what my body feels like unless I fall asleep.” You can read the full story about his state of health at the Cardiacs website.

Tim and his family are now hoping to raise £100,000 to cover the costs of continuing his healthcare in the absence of governmental funding. The money will hopefully secure his place in his current healthcare unit. At the time of writing just over £60,000 has already been raised via Just Giving.

Roswell Rudd died on 22 December

The trombonist who worked with Henry Grimes, Archie Shepp, Don Cherry, and many others, died aged 82

Trombonist and composer Roswell Rudd died on 22 December aged 82. He was born in Sharon, Connecticut and studied at Yale University, where he played in a Dixieland group. In New York he played with pianist Herbie Nichols, and joined a quartet with Steve Lacy, Henry Grimes and Dennis Charles, playing the music of Thelonious Monk. Rudd was a founding member of the free jazz ensemble New York Art Quartet, who formed in 1964 and whose members included John Tchicai, Milford Graves, Lewis Worrell, Reggie Workman and Finn Von Eyben. He also worked with Archie Shepp, Don Cherry, Pharoah Sanders, and many more, performing with poets such as Amiri Baraka and assisting US ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax with various projects. He later went on to teach ethnomusicology.

Octavia Butler's Parable Of The Sower opera hits the stage in New York

Toshi Reagon and Bernice Johnson Reagon's production runs until 15 January

A new opera based on Octavia Butler’s 1993 novel Parable Of The Sower has opened in New York. Composed by Toshi Reagon and her mother, the vocalist and activist Bernice Johnson Reagon, the opera makes use of 15 singers plus a five-piece orchestra. Toshi describes the work as an “unprecedented intersection of science fiction, opera, African-American art and spirituality, feminism, and climate activism”. The opera has been supported by a Kickstarter campaign that raised its $30,000 goal in November, financing rehearsal fees, PR and a touring fund.

Parable Of The Sower was the first book in a two part series. Set in 2024 it follows the story of a woman named Lauren Oya Olamina and the development of a belief system she calls Earthseed. Discussing Parable with io9, Reagan says that although the work is best thought of as an opera, “the show’s music includes elements of multiple genres including blues, EDM and gospel”.

Parable Of The Sower runs until 15 January at New York Newman theater.

Houndstooth announces TS Eliot inspired compilation

In Death's Dream Kingdom features 25 tracks inspired by Eliot’s The Hollow Men

London electronic label Houndstooth is releasing a new compilation consisting of 25 new tracks. Artists were asked to compose a track inspired by the phrase “in death's dream kingdom” taken from the TS Eliot's 1925 poem The Hollow Men. Artists featured on the compilation are: Otto Lindholm, Pan Daijing, Lanark Artefax, Petit Singe, Peder Mannerfelt, Tomoko Sauvage, Pye Corner Audio, Sophia Loizou, Abul Mogard, Par Grindvik, Koenraad Ecker, Roly Porter, Hodge, Gazelle Twin, Shapednoise, ASC, Batu, We Will Fail, Peter Van Hoesen, Spatial, Yves De Mey, Mindspan, Kangding Ray, ZOV ZOV and Ian William Craig.

The selection was compiled by Rob Butterworth and Rob Booth, also responsible for the 111 track #savefabric compilation released last year in response to the threat of permanent closure for London's legendary club. The tracks will be made available to stream one-by-one (at a rate of two a day, Monday to Friday) with online texts, and artwork by Jazz Szu-Ying Chen. The full compilation will be released digitally on 26 January. Listen to the first track “Cain” from Otto Lindholm below.

New book about Kingston's Alpha Boys' School has been published

Heather Augustyn and Adam Reeves write about the famed Roman Catholic boarding school and its music department whose alumni include Dizzy Reece, Winston Foster aka Yellowman, and four of the Skatalites' founding members

A new book about the impact of Kingston’s famed Roman Catholic boarding school Alpha Boys' School, the institution that spawned many of Jamaica’s great jazz, ska and reggae musicians, has been published. Written by Heather Augustyn and Adam Reeves and titled Alpha Boys' School: Cradle Of Jamaican Music, it's one of the first in-depth studies of the school and the students who passed through its gates, and tells the story of Sister Mary Ignatius, the nun who ran the music department at the school for 64 years. Some of its alumni include Dizzy Reece, Cedric Brooks and the Skatalites's Tommy McCook, Johnny 'Dizzy' Moore, Lester Sterling and Don Drummond. In 2014 the school residence closed down and the Alpha Institute took its place, providing vocational training for inner city youth.

The book is published by Half Pint Press, available via Amazon.

Sonic Acts Academy 2018 takes place this February

The line up include Catherine Christer Hennix, Christina Kubisch and Moor Mother

Sonic Acts Academy 2018 will take place from 23–25 February across various locations in Amsterdam, including Dansmakers and Paradiso Noord – Tolhuistuin.

“Today, more than ever, it is necessary to address the function of art and the artist and to expand the conversation to include the processes of the ‘decolonisation of thought’ – certainly one of the most critical factors in artistic practices today,” say the festival organisers. “Together, we need to rethink how education can again become a tool for discovery and growth, for development and emancipation, and not just a machine that disseminates dominant modes of thinking.”

With the programme featuring workshops, seminars, lectures, performances and screenings, the line up will include Ane Hjort Guttu, Ase Manual, Catherine Christer Hennix, Charmaine Chua, Christina Kubisch, Cocky Eek, Daniel Mann, DJ Haram, DJ Lycox, Dreamcrusher, Drippin, Filipa César, Geng, Wire contributor Jennifer Lucy Allan, Jennifer Walshe, Kilbourne, Lorenzo Pezzani, Marija Bozinovska Jones, Mario de Vega, Martijn van Boven, Moor Mother, Nicole Hewitt, Nora Sternfeld, Renske Maria van Dam, Rick Dolphijn, Roc Jiménez de Cisneros, Sasha Litvintseva, Solveig Suess, Susan Schuppli, Swan Meat, and Violence, with more still to be announced. A retrospective exhibition of the works of Swedish artist Catherine Christer Hennix will also take place at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam from 9 February, and on 20 February the film Spell Reel, about the birth of Guinean cinema, will screen at EYE alongside a Q&A with director Filipa César.

Tickets for Sonic Acts are on sale now, priced at €55.07 – €67.94.