The Wire


Wiley autobiography to be published in November

Eskiboy will look at the veteran grime artist's life and career

William Heinemann will publish Grime artist Wiley's autobiography. Called Eskiboy, the book will follow the Eskibeat creator and Roll Deep founder member’s life and career “from white label releases and illegal broadcasting to lifetime achievement awards and beyond”, declare the publishers. Over the course of 96 short chapters, Eskiboy will cover his “early years and influences, his friendships and rivalries, and the tragedies and triumphs of two decades in music, as well as explore the history and future of grime and the eskimo sound”.

The news of Wiley’s forthcoming autobiography follows the release of his 11th studio album Godfather earlier this year. Eskiboy will feature lyrics, notes and previously unseen photographs. It’s set for publication in hardback and ebook editions on 2 November 2017. Windmill will publish a paperback version in 2018.

Composer, playwright and author Joanna Brouk has died

She developed her work as a sound poet and performer during her studies with Terry Riley and Robert Ashley

American composer Joanna Brouk has died. Her death on 28 April followed a diagnosis of cancer, announced Blank Form on behalf of her family.

Brouk was a pioneer of electronic and new age music who explored the underlying sounds of words and their effects on the emotions and health. She also wrote extensively for theatre, television and radio. At Mills College Center for Contemporary Music in Oakland, California, she studied under Terry Riley and Robert Ashley, and in the 1980s she released a series of cassettes on her Hummingbird Productions label. Brouk was producer and programme director at San Francisco Bay Area's KPFA radio.

Last year the Numero label released the first major collection of Brouk’s work. Called Hearing Music, it reached number 31 in The Wire's 2016 Archive Releases Of The Year, featured in issue #395.

The New York based Blank Form had planned to present a Brouk concert in June as a follow-up to her first performance in 30 years, which took place in France last month.

New compilation released in memory of Amanda Moss

A compilation to raise money for the late Corsica Studios co-founder's medical treatment is now available with all proceeds going to charity

Record label Candela Rising and promoters Individual Collective have released Elephant Road in memory of Amanda Moss and in aid of her partner's chosen charity Target Ovarian Cancer.

“Originally, we had started to curate the compilation prior to Amanda's passing, but of course we were too late sadly. We've decided to release the compilation (as we were 80% there with it) and donate all proceedings” explains Matt Tharp of Individual Collective, a club event that was held at Corsica. “It's a compilation of exclusive material from the likes of SOS Gunver Rydberg, Rrose, Kangding Ray, Peder Mannerfelt, and more amazing artists, all mastered by mastering supremo Matt Colton (who also donated his time for free).”

Elephant Road is released by Candela Rising


Peder Mannerfelt “Lift Me Up”
Eomac “Perversas”
Kangding Ray “Dotted”
JK Flesh “Being”
Arad “Phase Gills”
Headless Horseman “For All Eternity”
Manni Dee “Leadon Idols”
Whirling Hall Of Knives “Vooidtexx”
SØS Gunver Ryberg “Voyager”
Rrose “Netting”
Nuances “Blakenhall”

Finnish electronic music pioneer Erkki Kurenniemi has died

The instrument builder of Finland's early electronic music scene has died aged 75

Finland’s early electronic music pioneer Erkki Kurenniemi has died. He was 75. The film maker, artist and composer was also an instrument designer who invented one of the world's first digital synthesizers. In 1973 he designed the first commercially manufactured micro-computer, the DIS-System. As noted by Harri Uusitorppa in The Wire 225, the then relatively unknown musician entered the limelight at Helsinki's multimedia Avanto Festival in 2002, when Pan Sonic performed on some of his original electronic instruments. That year also saw the Love Records release of a collection of rare recordings compiled by film maker Mika Taanila, who also made a documentary about Kurenniemi called The Future Is Not What It Used To Be.

Born on 10 July 1941 in Hämeenlinna, Finland, Kurenniemi set up his first electronic music studio during the mid-1950s in his school loft. Between 1962–74 he worked as a volunteer assistant at the University of Helsinki's Department of Musicology where he built an electronic music studio starting with a Telefunken tape recorder. Kurenniemi also worked as as an assistant and a designer at Department of Theoretical Physics from 1962–73, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in 1968.

One of Kurenniemi’s earliest recorded works was 1963's On/Off, which was inspired by a power station. He designed and built the Sähkökvartetti (Electric Quartet) as an instrument for simultaneous group composition, which can be heard in Finnish artist M A Numminen's "Kaukana Väijyy Ystäviä". Inspired by the notion of bio-music and human interaction, Kurenniemi invented the DIMI synthesizer series.

Kurenniemi made 14 experimental 16 mm films about nature, sex and technology. As Jennifer Lucy Allan notes in an article on the exhibition Erkki Kurenniemi: Towards 2048 in Helsinki, “Kurenniemi anticipated a time where bodies would integrate with machines. In 1982 he wrote in his diary: ‘I have owned a PC for 20 months now. In those 20 months the machine has become part of me (or I of it).’ His self-built instruments bear this out: Dimi-T translates brain waves into sound; Dimi-S (aka the sexophone) uses human touch to complete the circuit to make sound.” She also noted the way he called the body an “organic slime machine”.

Following periods writing about mathematical theories of music, articles on science and the potential of computer technology, and working in jobs such as a designer of industrial automation and robotic systems at Nokia, Kurenniemi returned to music in the mid-2000s, when he collaborated with Thomas Carlsson on a new version of the Dimi instrument. Designed to create sound based on space, it featured two cameras connected to a computer and display unit.

Erkki Kurenniemi’s archives are available at the Central Art Archives of the Finnish National Gallery. He received the Finland Prize of the Ministry of Education and Culture in 2003.

Kurenniemi died in hospital in Helsinki on 1 May following a long illness.

Canadian psychedelic trio Syrinx have reformed

The outfit who opened for Miles Davis and Ravi Shankar in the 1970s are the subject of a new documentary to be premiered in advance of their first performance in 45 years

Rooted in Toronto's creative scene, Canadian trio Syrinx are comprised of composer and keyboardist John Mills-Cockell, saxophonist Doug Pringle and percussionist Alan Wells. A cocktail of LSD and Mills-Cockell’s studies at the University of Toronto and Royal Conservatory of Music served as the inspirations for the music of their self-titled 1970 LP and its 1971 sequel Long Lost Relatives. They also composed music for television, film and dance, notably the theme tune for Here Come The Seventies, scoring a hit with their single “Tillicum”, which rose to 38 in Canada’s RPM charts. Syrinx slipped into obscurity thereafter.

Last year RVNG Intl reissued their entire back catalogue plus a few previously unreleased tracks as Tumblers From The Vault (reviewed by Emily Bick in The Wire 395). Now the label has released a documentary about the group made by visual artist Zoe Kirk-Gushowaty, a Vancouver native and neighbour to Mills-Cockell. You can check out her film below.

Syrinx will perform for the first time in 45 years at Moogfest in Durham, North Carolina, on 20 May.

Jlin to soundtrack choreographer Wayne McGregor’s new show

The footwork producer provides the music for McGregor’s forthcoming Autobiography

Footwork producer Jerrilynn Patton aka Jlin is collaborating with British choreographer and director Wayne McGregor on the score for his new work Autobiography. In keeping with its title, McGregor will also be working on the piece with geneticists to sequence his entire genome.

“His personal biological archaeology laid bare will dramatically alter McGregor’s viewpoint on his own life story, tracing patterns back into the ancestral past of our species and illuminating what creates our individuality,” explains the project’s press release. “Combining memoir, documentary and a re-processing of nature’s code through an act of human imagination, this new work charts McGregor’s adventure into his autobiography.”

For her part, Jlin, from Gary, Indiana, has previously cited choreographer Alvin Ailey and his company American Dance Theater as an influence (as noted in an article in The Wire 374). Her second album Black Origami will be released by Planet Mu on 19 May.

Autobiography will have its world premiere at London's Sadler’s Wells, where it will run from 4–7 October, followed by a UK and world tour.

Kraftwerk to release major project 3-D The Catalogue

The release will feature 8 Kraftwerk albums filmed and recorded between 2012 and 2016 on the band’s 3-D World Tour

Parlophone has announced the release of a major Kraftwerk box set 3-D The Catalogue. Released in various formats, the audio/video documentary is taken from Kraftwerk 3-D multimedia performances filmed and recorded between 2012 and 2016 whilst the group were on tour. The eight albums are: Autobahn (1974), Radio-Activity (1975), Trans Europe Express (1977), The Man-Machine (1978), Computer World (1981), Techno Pop (1986), The Mix (1991), and Tour De France (2003). Locations include New York's MoMA, London's Tate Modern, Tokyo's Akasaka Blitz, Sydney Opera House and others, with the films developed using high definition 3-D with Dolby Atmos surround sound.

Available formats include Blu-ray plus a 236-page hardback book containing computer generated images from the performances alongside a selection of unseen photos; a vinyl box set; CD box set; or digital download box set. The release is out 26 May to coincide with another a UK and Ireland tour this June.

Clone to issue previously unreleased James Stinson material

Following on from Warp's The Other People Place reissue, Clone Aqualung will release Jack People’s Laptop Cafe

Clone's Aqualung Series will release some previously lost works by Drexciya’s late founder member James Marcel Stinson. Made under the name Jack Peoples and called Laptop Cafe, it apparently follows his two The Other People Place releases from early 2000. Lifestyles Of The Laptop Café receiving a lot of attention earlier this year in the run-up to its reissue via Warp records.

The story goes that this music originally didn’t see “the light of day due to James Stinson's untimely death”. It has finally “resurfaced on a long lost DAT tape”. Snippets can be heard below, or also download for free.

The EP will ship on 26 June but it's available for preorder now via Clone. This year Clone celebrates its 25th anniversary. To mark that occasion Meg Woof spoke to Serge from the label. You can read her interview piece here.

Win tickets to a night of percussion and electronics at Germany’s SYN / CUSSION festival

“Drums meet laptops, percussion meets synthesizers,” declares the Berlin festival focusing on percussive instrument and electronic sound generator combinations

SYN / CUSSION will take place in May at Radialsystem V, Berlin. Named after the 1979 SYNCUSSION SY-1 drum synthesizer, it's based on the concept of combining percussive instruments with electronics, just as its subtitle Festival for Percussion & Electronics says on the tin. Over the course of three nights it will feature nine collaborative duos – the majority of which will be playing together for the first time after being commissioned by festival organiser Hanno Leichtmann.

The line-up consists of Katharina Ernst (drums) & Andrew Pekler (electronics and modular synth); Martin Brandlmayr (drums) & Nicholas Bussmann (automat); Will Guthrie (drums) & Mark Fell (computer); Lê Quan Ninh (percussion) & Thomas Ankersmit (serge modular synth); Ying-Hsueh Chen (percussion) & SØS Gunver Ryberg (electronics & objects); John McEntire (drums) & Sam Prekop (modular synth); Morten J Olsen (percussion) & Marta Zapparoli (electronics); Sven-Åke Johansson (comboschlagzeug) & Jan Jelinek (elektronik); and Paul Lovens (selected drums and cymbals) & Thomas Lehn (synthesizer). Plus DJ sets by Baby Vulture, Annika Henderson and Natalia Escobar.

We've been offered the opportunity to give away two tickets for Saturday 6 May (with Lê Quan Ninh, Thomas Ankersmit and others). To win, please email your answer to the following question (with the subject line: SYN / CUSSION giveaway) via this link

Question: Which artist on the bill started a label named after Bruno Latour’s term for the blurred line between facts and fetishes?

The festival is part of the WIRE 400 celebrations and it runs from 5–7 May. Tickets are available via their website.

David Toop autobiography to be published in Japan

Longrunning Wire contributor's book released in Japanese language edition this June

Writer, sound thinker and Wire contributor David Toop has completed his autobiography, but you’ll need to understand Japanese to read it. Entitled Flutter Echo: Living Within Sound, it will be first published in Japanese translation by the Tokyo imprint Du Books, an associate of the veteran independent music outlet Disk Union. There are no plans as yet for its English language publication.

The title, David writes, “comes from my first memory of listening and noticing a sound. When I was a child in the early 1950s my mother would take me to visit my grandparents in Enfield. On the walk to their house there was a narrow alleyway flanked by two parallel walls. I noticed that the sounds of our footsteps became hard and metallic as we walked through this alley, an experience strong enough to lodge itself in my memory as an emotional marker of childhood. The phenomenon of rapid reflections between two parallel surfaces is known as flutter echo, a phrase which also suggests the fluttering of a heart when revisiting such personal memories and the way that significant experiences can echo throughout a life.”

Flutter Echo spans childhood memories of Edgar Allan Poe and rock ’n’ roll, longrunning sound collaborations with Paul Burwell and Bob Cobbing, a field expedition to observe and record Yanomami shamans in South America, group projects with 49 Americans and Alterations, all the way through to more recent projects including his 2012 opera Star-Shaped Biscuit.

“My books are always personal,” David writes. “Flutter Echo is different for being a way of examining my own evolution as a person who has worked with many different aspects of music, sound and listening for nearly 60 years. It allowed me to be relatively open about the way in which events of life, relationships, collaborations and disasters shape the work itself. For me it’s about change, learning how to be fluid enough to go where your collaborators and the works take you and learning how to be patient enough to wait for your ideas to mature.”

The Japanese translation of David’s autobiography will be published in June. More information (in Japanese) can be found via the Disk Union website.