The Wire


Steph Kretowicz launches new book with a live rendition

Contributor's new book Somewhere I’ve Never Been will be the subject of launch in London this May

Wire contributor Steph Kretowicz is launching her new book Somewhere I’ve Never Been with a live rendition of the text at an event set to be held at London’s The Yard theatre. The collaborative project was curated by Steph and Kimmo Modig and will feature artists Good Sad Happy Bad aka Micachu And The Shapes, Tirzah, felicita, Aimee Cliff, Coby Sey, Brother May, Imaginary Forces, AKA Pellah, Mica Levi solo and Ulijona Odišarija.

The event draws on a podcast made to accompany the new publication which, according to AQNB (the online cultural platform edited by Kretowicz), contains essays meditating on international soundscapes and networked environments. The podcast will also be broadcast on NTS radio at the end of April, and the launch will take place on 14 May. Somewhere I’ve Never Been is set for publication by TLTRPreß.

Unsound announces Flower Power as this year’s festival theme

In a twist of direction, Krakow’s international festival turns floral to mark the Summer of Love’s 50th anniversary

The Krakow based Unsound festival turns to Flower Power to celebrate its 15th birthday in October. The theme, say Unsound’s organisers, is more regenerative than previous festivals, which have floated under such banners as Future Shock, Horror, Interference and The End. The Flower Power tag provides a means to resist “the temptation to spin off in a dystopian musical spiral in response to instability”, maintains Unsound director Mat Schulz. “We feel more than ever that this year’s theme should be multifaceted, reflecting darkness and light, growth and decay, ecological vulnerability and resourceful regeneration.”

Flower Power, say Unsound, will explore a culture in opposition to dominant forces, both marking the 50th anniversary of the legendary 1967 Summer of Love as a time of aspiration and chaos, and giving a nod towards Charles Baudelaire's The Flowers Of Evil. Looking at ideas of protest and hedonism, oppression and resistance, and utopian and dystopian sensibilities, the subject gives the festival space to explore “what might have preceded us and what might be left to sustain and grow after humans are gone. It is a response to the feeling of living in the shadow of the Doomsday Clock ticking ever more forcefully forward.”

The programme is yet to be announced, but it will include artists and commissioned work connected to the ongoing Unsound Dislocation project, which this year takes place in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan.

You can also watch a recent mini documentary about Unsound 2016.

Unsound Krakow 2017 will run from 8–15 October.

Mute announces physical and digital Throbbing Gristle reissues

The label is “pleased and proud to announce the re-ignition of its worldwide partnership” with TG, making the group's music available to stream for the first time

Mute has announced it will be working with Throbbing Gristle on both the digital and physical reissues of their back catalogue. The initial phase will make the group's music available to stream for the first time via Spotify.

Over the course of the next three years the label also plans to make the group's catalogue available both physically and digitally. In addition, they'll be reissuing currently out of print works and new box sets of previously unreleased material are also expected.

In other TG-related news, Chris Carter is set to release his first solo album in 18 years this autumn, Cosey Fanni Tutti has just published her autobiography Art Sex Music through Faber (reviewed by Frances Morgan in The Wire 399) and Genesis Breyer P-Orridge will reinterpret the soundtrack to Derek Jarman’s In The Shadow Of The Sun (originally performed by TG) at Café Oto this May.

Endless Boogie’s Paul Major publishes new book

Feel The Music traces Major's record collecting past

Renowned record collector Paul Major publishes a book of his writings on 1 May. Called Feel The Music: The Psychedelic Worlds Of Paul Major, the book “traces Paul’s singular trajectory from his early days in the Midwest, through his years in the New York punk scene, and headlong into his trailblazing career as a connoisseur of the weirdest records of all time”, state his publishers at Anthology.

The book’s publication coincides with the release of the fourth studio album by his group Endless Boogie. Called Vibe Killer, the six track set was recorded at Gary’s Electric Studio in Brooklyn. It’s released by No Quarter.

Major wrote the Epiphanies column in The Wire 399. Subscribers can read it via Exact Editions.

Mika Vainio has died

Electronic music producer and former member of Pan Sonic has died

Finnish electronic musician and composer Mika Vainio has died. This was initially reported by Finnish news site The Rumba and has since been confirmed by friends.

Vainio was born in Helsinki in 1963, moving to Turku in his teens. It was during this period that he began drumming, and in the 1990s he formed the electronic trio Pan Sonic (originally named Panasonic) alongside Ilpo Väisänen and Sami Salo, the latter of whom left in 1996. In 1994 the group released a self titled EP on Sähkö Recordings. Around that time they also released the Vakio album on Paul Smith's label Blast First. In 2009 they announced their disbandment and – aside from the 2014 live album Oksastus (taken from a 2009 performance) and last year's film soundtrack Atomin Paluu – the duo's final album was Gravitoni, released by Blast First Petite in May 2010.

Solo, Vainio has released under his own name as well as Ø, Philus and others. Using hardware throughout his artistic career, having expressed a lack of interest in computers, Vainio departed from the industrial noise orientation of Pan Sonic, releasing Ambient works via Touch and performing with improvising groups. Last year he scored the soundtrack to Mika Taanila’s film Mannerlaatta (or Tectonic Plate) and released the Reat LP (both on iDEAL), in 2015 he released a collaborative album Peau Froide, Léger Soleil with Franck Vigroux.

Rye Wax presents a series of dubplates celebrating DIY culture

South London record shop and music venue unveils a list of tracks that have been especially cut at a local lathe for their upcoming event

Rye Wax will swerve from Record Store Day's rock reissues this year, compiling its own list of special dubplate releases that will be available at their one-off event focusing on independent labels: The Runout.

Those involved have pulled together new tracks from imprints such as Hyperdub, Príncipe Discos and Night Slugs to be pressed individually with a maximum of only ten cuts per record. The dubplates will only be available on 22nd April 2017 at The Runout, which takes place at Copeland Park in Peckham. For more details see the event page.

Full details of the track names plus the labels and artists involved:

Hyperdub Jessy Lanza “Means I Love You” (Ezrakh remix)
Rhythm Section LT “Darien Gap” / Mallard “Transparent”
West Friends Medlar & FYI Chris “Favourite Dance”
Night Slugs Bok Bok “On A Journey / Midnight Stop”
On The Corner Magnus PI feat. Penya “Search it Out”
Test Pressing Apiento feat. Claire Huss “Things You Do For Love”
FTD Georgia “EMINEMREMIX / Orchid Construct”
Banoffee Pies Mark Nicholas “Doug Oldham”
Where To Now? Jesse Osborne-Lanthier “909 Problems But The Pitch Ain’t One”
Phantasy U “Ascension Hymn” (video version)
Principe Discos DJ Maboku “DO-PETROLIO”
BMU Simeon “Deep Space”
PAN MESH “Damaged Merc” (Fraxinus remix)

Radio news breaking out in London and New York City

Balamii Radio takes up a nightshift in New York City while North London gets a new station: 199 Radio

Peckham’s Balamii Radio is continuing full steam ahead this year. Following the announcement of its new booking agency, the online station's latest news is that it will be opening up a studio in Lower Manhattan, New York. “Two cities – one stream,” declares Balamii about its new schedule. The day shift runs from 9am–9pm in its birthplace on South London's Rye Lane, switching over to New York City (4pm EST) for a night of live US shows. It'll launch in the summer 2017. More information soon.

In other radio news, North London arts base, education centre and studio space New River Studios have started a new station called 199 Radio. Housed in their Manor House home (formerly, a furniture warehouse), the community station will run 24/7 – running order can be found on their website.

Bucharest's Outernational Days 2 takes place in July

The second edition of The Attic’s Bucharest festival happens this summer

Online music magazine The Attic will present the second edition of its Outernational Days festival in Bucharest in July. “The project,” the organisers explained last year in the run-up to their first edition, “was born out of a cultural need [to explore] a very wide musical spectrum, to which the Romanian audience lacked access until now.” In that spirit, this year’s edition features ensembles, bands and musicians not only from Romania but also Kenya, Niger, Senegal, Lebanon, Turkey, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and USA.

The line-up includes Babau, Circuit Diagram featuring Derya Yıldırım, Doug Shipton, Everything Visible Is Empty – by Rabih Beaini (with Raed Yassin, Mazen Kerbaj, Diana Miron, Bogdana Dima), Florin Salam, Görkem Şen pres. Yaybahar, iNSANLAR, Khidja, Kӣr, Les Filles de Illighadad, Mark Ernestus’ Ndagga Rhythm Force, Praed, Ogoya Nengo & Dodo Women's Group, Social Insects (Hans Koch & Gaudenz Badrutt), Traxx, Vladimir Ivkovic, and more.

As well as live performances, there will also be DJ sets, artist talks, panels, art installations, workshops, debates, documentary film screenings and lectures.

Outernational Days runs from 7–9 July at Bucharest’s Uranus garden and The Ark. Tickets are available now.

Kamasi Washington signs to Young Turks and unveils his "Truth"

The saxophonist and bandleader presents his first new material since 2015

Kamasi Washington has announced his first new music since 2015’s The Epic in the form of a 13 minute track titled “Truth” which comes accompanied by an original film from AG Rojas.

“Truth” is the first fruit of Washington's recently signed global deal with London based label Young Turks and will be featured on his forthcoming Harmony Of Difference EP.

The music and film debuted as part of an original six-movement suite that premiered as part of this year’s Whitney Biennial and involves artwork and imagery by Washington's sister Amani Washington alongside Rojas's film.

The suite exhibits at the Whitney until 11 June and explores the philosophical possibilities of counterpoint – defined by Washington as “the art of balancing similarity and difference to create harmony between separate melodies”.

Watch AG Rojas's film:

Harmony Of Difference will be released this summer by Young Turks

Bassist and composer Jair-Rohm Parker Wells presents “Blac Buc”

New synth-based work draws on Booker T Washington and WEB Du Bois

Bassist/composer Jair-Rohm Parker Wells, in residency at EMS in Stockholm, Sweden, has composed a 50 minute multimedia/multi-disciplinary work titled “Blac Buc” – a title which references the Reconstruction-era racial slur “Black Buck” and the name of the synthesizer – the Buchla 200e modular system – that Parker-Wells used to realise the work.

According to its author, the piece “promotes and inspires the consideration that Booker T Washington's ‘Atlanta Compromise’ rather than WEB Du Bois’s ‘Niagara Movement’ held the best solution for post- Reconstruction America and the advancement of its black people”.

“Blac Buc” was produced using the free, open source software GNU and will be presented live as a fixed media performance incorporating the voices of Ayn Rand, WEB Du Bois and Booker T Washington plus projections, dance and live bass. The music will be made available on CD and digital formats.

Watch the trailer: