The Wire

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Dublab: 20 Years Of Future Roots Radio published in Autumn

Book sets out to “bend time and space through sound”

A new publication, Dublab: 20 Years Of Future Roots Radio, travels back to the dawn of internet radio – “a pre-podcast/smartphone/social-media era with infinite potential”, say its editors, and then “flash forward for premonitions of other worlds, other sounds”.

Founded in 1999, the Los Angeles based Dublab station promises an algorithm-free experience. Over it's 20 year history it has provided an early platform for artists such as Flying Lotus, Animal Collective and Julia Holter. Hosts have included Van Dyke Parks, Linda Perhacs, Egyptian Lover and Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry. Today it also has affiliate stations in Germany, Japan, Spain and Brazil.

“Readers who approach the book with open ears will undoubtedly enhance their own adventures in the music frontier,” promise the editors.

Dublab: 20 Years Of Future Roots Radio springs to life with scenes from sad music parties, all-night ambient happenings and multi-sensory underground events,” they continue. “Stories of sleepwalking DJs, thrift store album alchemy and sizzling circuit boards fill these pages. Wise elders, optimistic youth and receptive listeners share their sonic worldviews.”

Edited by Alejandro Cohen, JC Gabel and Mark ‘Frosty’ McNeill, it's published by Hat And Beard Press and is available for pre-order now.

Carlos Giffoni publishes comic book series

Musician and composer creates new hero Lou The Cat and releases accompanying music

Comic book publisher Dark Horse has a new hero on its books. A cat named Lou is the creation of Carlos Giffoni, the composer who, this August, will be making his debut into the word of comics creation. Conceived and written by Giffoni, the final product was produced alongside artist and colourist Juan Doe (The Fantastic Four In Puerto Rico, The Legion Of Monsters), and letterer Matt Krotzer (House Of Fear, Retcon). Cover artists include Dustin Nguyen, Jim Mahfood, Alexis Ziritt, Matteo Scalera and Sanford Greene.

“I have been a big fan of comic books since I was a kid,” explains Giffoni, “but in the last five years or so I re-discovered them and have been amazed at how much things had evolved artistically as well as the depth of the stories being told.”

It was his curiosity for process and execution that lead him to have a go at writing some comic scripts. “Something clicked in a way that it hadn't since I was 14 and started making music”.

“To make sure I wasn't crazy I started joining a few online communities of comic creators and writers and started sharing some of my work and polishing it. The reception was good enough for me to get confident about putting a full team together and creating a proposal. After exploring about 30 different ideas, this one felt by far like the strongest one. After a few failed attempts I found the perfect collaborators and a year and a half later, here we are.”

In Strayed, “life is bleak”, says the synopsis. “A military-industrial complex reigns over all humanity and is actively destroying distant alien worlds.[...] The fate of the universe rests in the paws of Lou, an astral-projecting cat and his loving owner Kiara.”

What inspired the story? “The political situation in Venezuela, in the US and the rest of the world was a big part of it. I started to think about how often charismatic leaders turn out to be con-artist pieces of shit that have very little empathy and are pushing their own obsessive beliefs without regard for the damage they are doing. I transposed that into the setting of this story. Taking that to a galactic level and contrasting with the concept of colonization of alien planets."

And what for Lou The Cat? “The second and immediately more personal aspect was the relationship between a human and their companion pet; these little furry creatures can be such an integral part of our lives. I wanted to take that concept and push it as far as I could by making a pet have unique abilities that might be able to save humanity while having a powerful bond with their owner. Mash those two ideas together and the result is Strayed.”

Giffoni will also be releasing 15 – 20 minutes' worth of new music with each publication via Bandcamp, “a sort of EP that can be used as a soundtrack for each chapter,” he explains. “It's going to be all super trippy electronic music, all made with analog equipment.”

Each comic in the series is also named after a piece of music or album that he says he loves: issue 1 is titled Space Is The Place.

So far there are five books in the series with future volumes in the pipeline. “I am also writing Space Riders: Vortex of Darkness with Alexis Ziritt on art for the Black Mask publisher, but that offer came later.”

Strayed will be published on 14 August and open to pre-order into local newsagents now.

Listen to the audio companion for Strayed 1

Val Wilmer wins Lona Foote/Bob Parent Award for Career Excellence in Photography

Award given as part of the 24th annual Jazz Journalists Association awards

The Wire's longtime contributor Val Wilmer received the Lona Foote/Bob Parent Award for Career Excellence in Photography at the 24th annual Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Awards. Announced in May on the JJA website, the awards were chaired by another Wire contributor, Howard Mandel.

Elsewhere, the Lifetime Achievement in Jazz went to Ahmad Jamal and Tomeka Reid received Violinist-Violist-Cellist of the Year. Wayne Shorter was awarded Jazz Musician of the Year and Composer of the Year while the Wayne Shorter Quartet bagged mid-sized Ensemble of the Year. Nicole Mitchell won the flute category and Bill Frisell for guitar. Historical Record of the Year went to Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album by John Coltrane (release in 2018 on Impulse!/Verve).

Val Wilmer's latest piece for The Wire, on the life and times of Nigerian trumpeter Mike Falana, can be found in The Wire 424 – subscribers to our digital edition can read the article here.

Unsound explores the meaning of solidarity with Sunn O))), Moor Mother, DJ Marcelle and Nyege Nyege

Passes and Sunn O))) tickets go on sale on 3 June at 4pm CEST

The theme of this year's Unsound Krakow festival, which takes place between 6–13 October, is Solidarity. “At a time of widespread instability, solidarity is a word that belongs to no one group,” they explain of the theme. “It takes as a starting point the 30th anniversary of democratic elections in Poland, a result of protests that spread across Central and Eastern Europe. 30 years on, the festival will explore what solidarity means today, in the context of the wider world and Unsound.”

Highlighting some of the festival's longterm relationships, the program is set to feature a number of premieres and new projects from returning artists. The line-up includes The Caretaker & Weirdcore, Emptyset, Eris Drew b2b Octo Octa, DJ Marcelle, Gabber Modus Operandi, HHY & The Macumbas + HHY & The Kampala Unit, Holly Herndon presents Proto, Jay Mitta & Ant Virus, JD Twitch, Manara, Moor Mother & London Contemporary Orchestra present The Great Bailout, Nazira, The Necks, Ilan Volkov & Sinfonietta Cracovia, Objekt × Ezra Miller, Olivia & Chino, Paula Temple, Population One, Prison Religion, Robert Henke, The Round Table Orchestra (formed especially for Unsound and the European Solidarity Centre), Sherelle b2b Fauzia, Sote presents Parallel Persia, Sunn O))), Violet, VTSS and WIXAPOL.

This year talks will come from Ayesha Hameed, DeForrest Brown Jr, Ewa Majewska, Jay Springett, John Higgs and Nathalie Olah.

Continuing the collaboration formed in 2017 the Ugandan record label and affiliated festival Nyege Nyege is working with Unsound to curate a programme focusing on East African artists; MCZO & DUKE have been rescheduled for this year's festival having been unable to attend 2017's event due to a misprint in their passports.

Terraforma announces full line up including DJ Stingray and Laurie Anderson

This year also features a new site-specific stage

DJ sets from duo Marco Shuttle & Efdemin, DJ Stingray and Paquita Gordon plus Søte presenting his recent Diagonal release Parallel Persia and a performance from Lauren Anderson are a sample of what's in store at the 2019 edition of Terraforma festival.

Taking place on the grounds of Villa Arconti in Milan, the ‘sustainable’ event will this year present a new site-specific stage in collaboration with Belgian festival Meakusma. Kiosque à Musique was built with natural materials and designed to amplify sounds from its surrounding area. The new structure will host a residency from Francesco Cavaliere who will present a series of lectures titled C-Alphabetic Falls. It will also host authors and artists presenting work that focuses on gestures, words and language.

Also on the line-up are Marylou, Walter Prati & Ricciarda Belgiojoso, Izabel, Monolake, Vladimir Ivkovic, Renick Bell, Sir Richard Bishop, STILL, Ramzi, Donato Dozzy, RP Boo, Kelman Duran, Buttechno, Stargate (Lorenzo Senni), Juliana Huxtable, Mica Levi, Caterina Barbieri, Daniel Higgs and Bambounou.

Additionally, neurobiologist Stefano Mancuso will be hosting talks, and festival goers also have the chance to take a guided tour of the grand Villa Arconati.

Terraforma will take place between 5–7 July. Tickets are on sale now.

Meakusma festival finalises 2019 line up

Kassem Mosse, Cera Khin and Arnold Dreyblatt are among those set to perform in September

Between 6–8 September Meakusma Festival will return to the town of Eupen, Belgium. Full details of what's in store have now been announced with a programme featuring concerts, DJs, installations, artist talks, workshops and film screenings.

Kassem Mosse, Mix Mup & Tapes will debut their new Zigtrax project. Also premiering is a first time collaboration between this year's artists in residents NWAQ aka Newworldaquarium and Don’t DJ. They'll be in Eupen a week before the festival developing new music to be presented at the event. LazyTapes's Cera Khin will also be playing a DJ set and La! Neu?'s Viktoria Wehrmeister will be performing solo as Decha.

Also on the line up is Arnold Dreyblatt & The Orchestra Of Excited Strings, Günter Schickert featuring Andreas Spechtl, Harmonious Thelonious, Jens Uwe Beyer & Albert Oehlen, Koki Emura, Lee Gamble, Mazen Kerbaj & Franz Hautzinger, Meeuw Muzak, Piotr Kurek, Thomas Ankersmit, Ben UFO, Benjamin Finger, James Plotkin & Mia Zabelka, Disrupt, Don The Tiger, Elena Colombi, Eli Keszler, Giuseppe Lelasi, Going & Tetuzi Akiyama & Manuel Mota, Keith Fullerton Whitman, Nicola Ratti, Parris, Sirom, Tashi Wada Group featuring Julia Holter and Corey Fogel, Muqata’a and others.

Flipper announce 40th anniversary tour

The San Francisco group have put together a special live line-up for the dates

Flipper have announced their 40th anniversary European tour will start in July. The group's line-up will consist of founding members Steve DePace on drums and Ted Falconi on guitar, plus David Yow of Scratch Acid and Jesus Lizard on vocals and Mike Watt of The Minutemen and Firehose.

In 1979 Flipper made their recording debut on Subterranean Records's SF Underground compilation with the track “Earthworm”. They followed it with two singles, “Love Canal”/“Ha Ha Ha” and “Sexbomb”/“Brainwash” in 1981. Their album Generic Flipper came out the following year.

The tour will commence on 30 July at Nottingham's Rescue Rooms, then Bristol (31), Blackpool (1 August), Glasgow (2), Leeds (3), London (4), Gent (5), Amsterdam (6), Aachen (8), Karlsruhe (9), Bologna (10), Milan (11), Padova (12), Vienna (13), Bielefeld (15), Hamburg (16), Helsinki (17). The tour closes at Berlin's Bi Nuu on 20 August.

Alfred Panou & Art Ensemble Of Chicago’s Je Suis Un Sauvage/Le Moral Necessaire reissued

The Souffle Continu 7" was originally released by Saravah in 1969

French label Souffle Continu have reissued “Je Suis Un Sauvage”/“Le Moral Necessaire” – a 7" single documenting a rare 1969 meeting between French actor Alfred Panou and The Art Ensemble Of Chicago. 50 year old copies on Saravah now command high prices on the collectors market.

The encounter happened when Panou met Saravah label founder Pierre Barouh in a bar. Barouh took him on a tour of the studio where The Art Ensemble Of Chicago were recording. Panou immediately joined in with a spontaneous improvisation of his own texts on black identity.

The limited edition reissue is sleeved inside a reproduction of the original single’s artwork.

My Cat Is An Alien launch new record label and multimedia platform Antigravitational

The Opalio brothers’ new phase focuses on “Aliencentric” vision

Maurizio and Roberto Opalio’s duo My Cat Is An Alien mark their third decade of sonic activity with the launch of a new record label and multimedia platform. Called Antigravitational, they set it up with gallerist and publisher Marco Contini. “The imprint focuses on MCIAA's ‘aliencentric’, iconoclastic vision, privileging limited vinyl editions whose peculiar, serial design features proper art books mounted on the LP jackets,” say the brothers. New releases will also feature QR codes providing further digital contents for a “deeply immersive experience”. To commemorate the moment, Thurston Moore has written a special poem titled Spiritual Noise, which begins: “Art is.../...nothing.../if not vision”.

The label’s first release is Spiritual Noise_Vol 1. That will be followed by a release featuring Lee Ranaldo and Jean-Marc Montera and a box sex of live recordings captured at Xavier Veilhan's Studio Venezia during the opening of Venice Biennale 2017.

AACM Great Black Music Ensemble pay tribute to vocalist Saalik Ziyad

Conducted by Ernest Dawkins, AACM’s new live recording features Ben LaMar Gay, the late Saalik Ziyad, and others

A new live recording of AACM Great Black Music Ensemble at the Currency Exchange Cafe on 7 January 2018 has been released by the association’s label. The set pays tribute to vocalist Saalik Ziyad, who died on 12 February, aged 40. On the night the recording was made, Ziyad contributed keys, effects and vocals. “This recording is now a tribute to the life of featured vocalist Saalik Ziyad, who unexpectedly left this earth this year,” says Kevin Johnson, formerly of Chicago's Delmark Records. “Devastatingly sad news, but the beautiful and powerful music lives on.”

Led by Ernest Dawkins, AACM’s line-up features Maggie Brown, Taalib-Din Ziyad, Art Turk Burton, Micah Collier, Jeremiah Collier, Jerome Croswell, Ben LaMar Gay, Ed House and Adam Zanolini.

The group currently perform from 5–7pm on the first Sunday of each month at Chicago’s Stony Island Arts Bank.

Live At The Currency Exchange Cafe Volume 1 is out now.