The Wire


Aurélie Nyirabikali Lierman & Israel Martínez win CTM 2019 Radio Lab Call

Inspiration comes from forms of animism and the persistence of resistance in Mexico

CTM festival has announced the winners for their annual Radio Lab Call. As usual, the commission is awarded by Deutschlandfunk Kultur – Radio Art/Klangkunst and CTM Festival, in collaboration with ORF musikprotokoll im steirischen herbst festival, Ö1 Kunstradio, and The Wire magazine. This year, Wire staffer and regular contributor Phil England was on the panel.

Artists were invited to submit proposals for a radio piece and live performance or installation in relation to the 2019 theme Persistence. Out of the 175 entries from 43 different countries, two artists have been awarded €5000 for production costs. They were Aurélie Nyirabikali Lierman & Israel Martínez.

Aurélie Nyirabikali Lierman proposed a piece titled (Non) Humanism And Animism. Lierman will focus on modern forms of animism and its survival despite oppression and colonisation. The artist was born in Rwanda and raised in Belgium, and for the work took inspiration from conversations she's had with her 108 year old grandfather, one of the last living Rwandan traditional hunters and doctors.

Mexican sound artist Israel Martínez's offering is called Love And Rage, and acts as a tribute to persistence of resistance. "Persistence in Mexico, as in other parts of the world, or rather, throughout the world, today, is not a choice or a possibility: it is a condition to be able to survive, to be able to imagine a different future ... contributing substantially to critical thinking and resistance throughout the world", he says.

Both pieces will be premiered at CTM 2019 Festival in Berlin, taking place between 25 January and 3 February. Radio versions will be broadcast via Deutschlandfunk Kultur in spring 2019, and again by on ORF musikprotokoll im steirischen herbst festival or Ö1 Kunstradio in autumn 2019.

On the jury were: Cedric Fermont, Elisabeth Zimmerman, Jan Rohlf, Marcus Gammel, and Phil England.

Sam Underwood and Graham Dunning share the secrets of their Mammoth Beat Organ

The duo have made three videos to explain the thoughts and processes behind their new modular instrument

Graham Dunning and Sam Underwood have shared three videos about their new project The Dunning Underwood Mammoth Beat Organ.

They describe their DIY instrument as a “two player, semi-autonomous musical instrument” that plays “unusual, sometimes erratic compositions”. This is the duo’s first instrument collaboration, they continue, adding that it was inspired by fairground organ techniques and their mutual interest in mechanical music.

Three videos have been uploaded onto YouTube: How Do They Make It?! Music, Mammoth Beat Organ – Behind The Scenes and a 38 minute performance of the duo live at Supersonic in July.

There’s more to follow, say the duo, promising instrument updates, a Mammoth Beat Organ tour and a forthcoming record released by Front And Follow.

Watch How Do They Make It?! Music below:

180 Proof Records share “Peggy's Blue Skylight” from long lost Charles Mingus tapes

The previously unheard concert recording from 1973 will be released this winter

This November, BBE Music and 180 Proof Records will release a collection of long lost Charles Mingus recordings. Unheard for over 40 years, the tapes capture the bassist, composer and bandleader performing live during a weeklong residency at Strata Concert Gallery, Detroit in 1973.

The musicians featured on the recording are Roy Brooks, Joe Gardner, Don Pullen and John Stubblefield. It was Brooks’s wife Hermine who had the recordings in her possession. Hermine informed Barbara Cox at Strata Records of the discovery, and Cox in turn involved 180 Proof Records founder Amir Abdullah. Jazz In Detroit/Strata Concert Gallery/46 Seldon is released on 2 November.

Listen to “Peggy's Blue Skylight” below.

Tennessee's Big Ears festival announces its 2019 edition

Four days of concerts, workshops, talks and installations in Knoxville

The eighth Big Ears festival will be held in downtown Knoxville,Tennessee from 21–24 March 2019. Its programme includes a special focus on 50 years of ECM Records, and concerts by The Art Ensemble Of Chicago, The Carla Bley Trio with Steve Swallow and Andy Sheppard, Jack DeJohnette with Ravi Coltrane and Matt Garrison, Wadada Leo Smith (performing Divine Love), Meredith Monk & Kim Kashkashian, Robert Levin, and others.

The line-up also features Spiritualized, Mercury Rev, Nils Frahm, Jlin, Carl Stone, The Comet Is Coming, Lonnie Holley, Yves Tumor and Kara-Lis Coverdale. Oher highlights include a three day celebration of Harold Budd, Alvin Lucier performing I Am Sitting In A Room and Bird And Person
Dyning, among other works.

Tickets are on sale now.

The Radiophonic Workshop score music for new UK horror film

This is the first time the research lab has composed a feature length soundtrack

Radio and television composers The Radiophonic Workshop have scored their first ever feature length soundtrack. It’s for Matthew Holness’s debut horror film Possum, starring Sean Harris and Alun Armstrong. The score features sound elements and drones from the Delia Derbyshire archives, which were originally discovered in Derbyshire’s attic and since fully restored.

“At once unnerving, atmospheric and deeply moving,” says Holness about the music. The Workshop have shared the film’s “Verse 1 And Main Titles” track so you can decide for yourself.

Possum opens in UK cinemas on 26 October, and the original soundtrack album featuring nine bonus tracks will be released on 30 November, with sleeve art designed by Ghost Box’s Julian House.

Watch the trailer for Possum below:

ZULI announces debut LP and shares track “Kollu l-Joloud” featuring MSYLMA

Called Terminal, his record questions preconceived notions about what it means to be an Egyptian living in Cairo

Last year's Radio Lab winner ZULI will release his debut LP Terminal in November. Featuring Abyusif, Abanoub, Mado $am, R-Rhyme and MSYLMA, the album has been described as a more localised and personal project than ZULI’s previous EPs Bionic Ahmed and Numbers (both on UIQ) and Trigger Finger (Haunter). As its artwork city photography indicates, the album reflects on his own experiences in hometown Cairo.

“In a world that feels like it’s regressing into tribalism, many of us who don’t fit into any one specific group identity feel sidelined at best,” declares ZULI. “When people talk to me, whether it be the press or peers in the scene I operate in, I am often approached with a preconceived notion of pretty much everything from my influences and taste to my politics and lifestyle, solely based on my nationality. It is a caricature that has proven very marketable, one that makes for a more interesting read/conversation/booking, apparently, than a multifaceted (hence unique) human personality just like each and every one of us. Ever since this came to my attention I have been making a point to be as vocal as possible about how unfair that is.

“This is an album inspired by my own personal experience in the city I live in,” he continues. “I just happen to be an Egyptian musician and the city just happens to be Cairo. My experience in Cairo may very well have more in common with that of an Indian accountant in New Delhi than of another Egyptian musician in Cairo.

Terminal draws from an abstract narrative of increasingly frequent cycles of ego-death and rebirth,” he concludes, “its effect on everything from self-image and worldview, to the creative process, its fruits and the various masks/identities assumed in the process.”

Listen to “Kollu l-Joloud” featuring MSYLMA below. ZULI’s Terminal is released by UIQ on 2 November.

Shenzhen’s OCT-LOFT Jazz Festival kicks off next month

Happening between 9–21 October, its special ‘festival in festival’ programme focuses on improvisation and free jazz

The eighth edition of OCT-LOFT Jazz Festival in Shenzhen, Southern China, includes a ‘Festival In Festival’ focus on international improvisors and free jazz players, among them Jooklo Duo, Zu, William Parker, Vladimir Chekasin & Vladimir Tarasov – La Grande Sonata, Yoriyuki Harada Quartet, Alexey Kruglov/Jaak Sooäär Quartet, RS5pb and FIF Improvisation Union. The festival proper presents AVA Trio, Luca Sestak, Jeppe Zeeberg, EYM Trio, Hagiga Sextet, Ruth Koleva, Janet Klein & Her Parlor Boys, Mamer, Kazakhstan’s Ensemble Turan, Yossi Fine & Ben Aylon and others.

OCT-LOFT will also be screening the films Inside Out In The Open: An Expressionist Journey Into The Music Known As Free Jazz and Cecil Taylor's Piano Marathon, Berlin 1988: Erzulie Maketh Scent. And Steve Holtje will present a talk called “55 Years Of Nurturing Avant-Garde And Outsider Music: ESP-Disk's Perpetual Revolution”.

Happening between 9–21 October at B10 Live, Shenzhen, 2018 OCT-LOFT Jazz Festival is curated by Tu Fei and Teng Fei with Shenzhen Old Heaven Culture Communication Co Ltd. Check out the full programme or buy tickets via their website.

The extraordinary story of library music at the British Library

The event will feature a panel discussion moderated by Emily Bick

On 6 October the British Library will host a night dedicated to library music. Featuring some of library music label KPM's key composers, the event will feature the first live show in six years for the KPM All Stars performing a selection of classics, and starring Keith Mansfield, Brian Bennett, John Cameron, Alan Parker, and The Mohawks' Alan Hawkshaw.

Also happening will be a premiere screening of Shawn Lee’s feature length documentary The Library Music Film, and a talk hosted by The Wire's Deputy Editor Emily Bick. Plus DJ support from Finders Keepers' Andy Votel, and Jane Weaver.

The library will also be host to an exhibition of library music album covers curated by David Hollander, author of Unusual Sounds: The Hidden History Of Library Music. The KPM archive is resident at the British Library.

Smith & Mighty celebrate 30 years since their debut with Ashley Road Sessions (1988-1994)

For the release, Bristol veteran labels Tectonic and Punch Drunk team up in a one-off collaboration

Bristol's Smith & Mighty celebrate 30 years since their first release. To mark the occasion they've released a collection from the archives with the album Ashley Road Sessions (1988-1994), on a special one-off double label partnership between Pinch’s Tectonic and Peverelist’s Punch Drunk.

Combining their creative efforts in the now defunct band Sweat, when the group split Rob Smith and Ray Mighty began recording together and launched the label Three Stripe Records. Their first release proper came in 1988 when the pair was introduced to Daddy G and Lloyd at Revolver distribution, releasing a four track 12“ Anyone. That year the duo released three more 12” singles on Three Stripe, including R+R ‘s Acid Off A Way PT 1 & 2, as well as Smith & Mighty's Walk On with Jackie Jackson, and Clash Of The Beats featuring MC Kelz. They also mixed and produced Massive Attack's first release Any Love. Tracks on the Ashley Road Sessions release are taken from recordings made in the pair's studio housed in Ray's flat on Ashley Road in Bristol's St Pauls area.

"Smith & Mighty are true pioneers in music whom I've found deeply inspirational on many levels, explains Tectonic founder Pinch. “Tracks like ”Closer”, “U Dub” and “Same” are some of my all-time favourites. To be putting out these unreleased gems is such an exciting project for both me and Tom. We both took a great deal of influence from Smith & Mighty – especially from Bass Is Maternal – the album and era from which most of this compilation’s source material originates."

Ashley Road Sessions (1988-1994) is released on 16 November. Pre-orders are available on Bandcamp, where you can also pick up a 10” sampler, Love Is The Key / Version (not available for the LP). Listen to “Tumblin' (Death March)” from the release, below.

Rachid Taha has died

The Algerian singer died on 12 September aged 59

Algerian singer and activist Rachid Taha died of a heart attack in Paris on 12 September. Born in 1958, he moved to France at the age of ten. In Lyon, he began DJing and writing. In 1982 he formed Carte De Sejour along with Mohamed and Mokhtar Amini, Eric Vaquer and Djamel Dif, releasing their debut album Rhorhomanie in 1984. Taha recalled in an Invisible Jukebox in The Wire 277 how they tried to get The Clash to produce their first record. 20 years later he recorded a version of “Rock The Casbah” titled “Rock El Casbah” with ex-Clash members Mick Jones and Paul Simonon. The group had a 1986 hit with their version of Charles Trenet’s patriotic “Douce France”. After they split, Taha moved to Paris and launched his solo career in the late 1980s. In 1999 he collaborated with raï musician Cheb Khaled and Faudel on 1, 2, 3 Soleils, conceived by ex-Gong guitarist Steve Hillage as an “Arab equivalent of the Three Tenors”.