The Wire


Actress unveils new label Werk__Ltd with new EP Young Paint

The EP also baptises his new Young Paint project

Actress aka Darren Cunningham has announced the launch of his new label Werk__Ltd with a mini-album by his latest project Young Paint. Werk__Ltd is the sister imprint of Cunningham’s Werkdiscs, and it will be co-run by Vinyl Factory.

Young Paint is described by Vinyl Factory as a “learning programme” that has used AI technology to capture and imitate the last decade of Cunningham’s output, from Hazyville (Werkdiscs, 2008) through to today. “For the first time since dialogue scripts were written or philosophised,” says the Vinyl Factory statement, “Young Paint has been captured entirely for consumer listening and testing.”

Cunningham plans to record, conduct and perform collaboratively as Actress and Young Paint through the rest of 2018 and 2019. Actress/Young Paint’s first show is a live AV set at Art Peckham in South London on 13 October.

Young Paint will be released in download and limited edition vinyl formats on 12 October. You can listen to the lead single “Ai Paint” below. Pre-order via Vinyl Factory.

Black Sound Film Festival showing at London’s Bernie Grant Arts Centre

The festival’s celebration of UK black music culture includes John Akomfrah's Goldie: When Saturn Returnz and Lucy Harrison's Half A Century Carnaby Street

Curated by Lloyd Bradley and Winstan Whitter, the Black Sound Film Festival takes place at Tottenham, North London's Bernie Grant Arts Centre from 7–9 September. Over three days, the festival will be showing some 30 films exploring the impact of Black British music during the last 50 years.

The programme includes Lucy Harrison's Half A Century Carnaby Street (2013) plus Q&A, Goetz Werner's Dizzee Rascal: Bow Selector (2007), Diggory Kenrick's I Am The Gorgon: Bunny ‘Striker’ Lee And The Roots Of Reggae (2013) plus Q&A, Franco Rosso's portrait of dub poet Linton Kwesi Johnson, Dread Beat An’ Blood (1979) plus Q&A, Horace Ove's Coleherne Jazz & Keskidee Blues (1972), Menelik Shabazz's The Story Of Lover’s Rock (2011) plus Q&A, Duncan Wright’s The Story Of Ginger Johnson (2015) plus Q+A, and John Akomfrah's Goldie: When Saturn Returnz (1998) plus Q&A. Finally, the festival will be hosting panel discussions on 8 and 9 September (details yet to be confirmed). Full listings can be found at the Bernie Grant Art Centre's website. Tickets start from £20.

Instru­ment Builders Project goes to Kyoto

The project is an international forum for exper­i­men­tal sound, music and performance in Aus­tralia and the Asia-Pacific

This year’s Instru­ment Builders Project will take place in Kyoto, Japan. Aptly called Instru­ment Builders Project Kyoto: Cir­cu­lat­ing Echo, it runs from 30 August–17 September. The forum brings in artists from Indone­sia, Aus­tralia and Japan to make musi­c instru­ments at Kyoto Art Centre. Among those participating are Masamitsu Araki, Misbach Daeng Bilok, Caitlin Franzmann, Tomoko Momiyama, Wukir Suryadi, Natasha Tontey and Yuya Tsukahara. The forum’s workshops, talks and performances are open to the public.

Founded in 2013 by Kristi Mon­fries and Joel Stern, the first Instrument Builders Project took place that same year at iCAN in Yogyakarta, Java. The following year it moved to the National Gallery of Vic­to­ria in Melbourne, Australia. Full details of 2018’s Kyoto programme can be found at their website.

Four-part documentary series examines migration and its impact on UK music and culture

The series is part of Boiler Room's System project, which also included Gaika's recent installation at Somerset House

As part of its System project, Boiler Room has launched Migrant Sounds, a four-part documentary series examining the positive impact of migration on UK music and culture in the 70 years since the arrival of Caribbean immigrants on the Empire Windrush in 1948. Directed by Jeremy Cole, the series counters the negative coverage and representations of migration perpetuated in western media outlets. The four weekly episodes are titled Arrival, Racism, Identity, and Future Sound.

The first part Arrival focuses on the arrival of the first generation of Caribbean immigrants in the UK through to the current Windrush scandal. Featured in this episode is photographer Pogus Caesar, and the Banton family from the South East London borough of Peckham. Forthcoming episodes will include contributions from gal-dem journalist Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff and stories from A Guy Called Gerald and Skinny Girl Diet.

System has also presented an audio visual installation at Somerset House from Gaika (it closed on Sunday 26 August), and a series of editorial pieces on sound system culture, police hostility, and what it’s like to be queer at West London’s Notting Hill Carnival, all edited by gal-dem Music Editor Antonia Odunlami.

Watch the first episode below.

EuroNoize conference to explore DIY music in Europe

The event, organised by University of Reading, Kunsthall Oslo and ARE Prague, presents talks from The Wire's Editor-In-Chief Chris Bohn and longtime contributor Simon Reynolds

The University of Reading will present a one day EuroNoize conference on 21 September. Called Art Bands, DIY Music And Cultural Identity In An Age Of Transnational Mobility, its core aim is to “explore the history and existing practices of the DIY music in Europe and beyond, to evaluate this particular form of artistic production alongside other contemporary aesthetic modes”. The event, funded by the European Commission, is a collaboration with Kunsthall Oslo and ARE Prague.

The Wire's Chris Bohn will present “The Academy Imperils”, a talk celebrating the Hamburg punk group Abwärts, and The Wire contributor Simon Reynolds will speak about “DIY – Then, Now, Tomorrow”. Other speakers presenting 20 minute talks include conference organisers Pil And Galia Kollectiv, Philip Auslander, Bryan Biggs, Sarah Lowndes, Paula Guerra, Stephanie Phillips and Matt Worley.

Tickets are available from Reading University.

Berlin Jazzfest in November

This year’s event is overseen by new artistic director Nadine Deventer

Jazzfest Berlin runs from 1–4 November at Haus der Berliner Festspiele and the nightclub Prince Charles. This year marks the first in its 55 year history with a female artistic directer at the helm: newly appointed Nadine Deventer. Her priority, she says, is to open it up to a new audience while integrating political issues.

Jazzfest Berlin’s core themes for 2018 are Chicago, Afrofuturism and how jazz came to Europe. The programme includes a freshly commissioned audiovisual work by Jason Moran, and film makers John Akomfrah and Bradford Young on the life of US band leader and composer James Reese Europe. The KIM Kollektiv will showcase a new project at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele, and Mary Halvorson has been invited to join the event as resident artist. Additional musicians include Camae Ayewa with Roscoe Mitchell, Kara-Lis Coverdale, Makaya McCraven, Rob Mazurek with The Exploding Star Orchestra, Freaks, Hamid Drake, Jaimie Branch and Julien Desprez.

More artists are still to be announced. Tickets go on sale from 8 September.

Music Therapy Society call for proposals for new instruments and sounds

Instrument makers, artists and music therapists invited to develop concepts for new instruments

Messe Frankfurt and the German Music Therapy Society (DMtG) have announced a competition to design and implement ideas for new instruments and sounds. The winner of New Therapy Instruments competition will be announced at Frankfurt’s music fair in April 2019, and will receive a €2000 prize.

The competition is open to makers and designers of hand-crafted therapy instruments and new digital applications, with the only condition that the products be suitable for use in one or more areas of music therapy. “They can be developments that are easy to employ, that have a special simulative nature, trigger impressive experiences or offer easier access to music for people with impairments,” explains the Messe Frankfurt and DMtG.

Volker Bernius of DMtG adds: “From inclusion work to neurology: the use of music therapy instruments is multifarious and new products, from which music therapists can profit, are continuously being developed. Our aim is to draw attention to this broad spectrum at Musikmesse. With the new competition, we also aim to boost innovation in the sector and make a contribution to the promotion of future-oriented projects.”

The deadline for prototypes and product information is 31 January 2019. Full details about entries can be found at

Musikmesse will take place in Frankfurt am Main from 2–5 April, 2019. In The Wire 415,Trevor Barre travelled to the South West of England to examine the relationship between music and mental health through an innovative project helping residential patients articulate their experiences using recording, improvisation, poetry and chance operations. Subscribers can read the article via Exact Editions.

Longform Editions launch themselves as a platform for deep listening

The new Australian imprint’s first batch of albums includes Caterina Barbieri, Richard Youngs and more

A new series of music designed to “foster and celebrate immersive listening experiences for the musically adventurous” has been launched. Called Longform Editions, the Australian imprint is keen to distance themselves from the notion that they’re a record label. Instead they claim what they do is on a par with an art gallery group show exhibiting digital music.

Longform Editions is co-founded by Andrew Khedoori, Music Director of Sydney’s community radio station 2SER-FM, and label artist Mark Gowing. Together, the pair were previously responsible for the Preservation label.

The albums so far on show include Richard Youngs’ take on new age music called Daybreak, Lee Noble’s modular synth piece Q, Mexico City’s Upgrayedd Smurphy aka Jessica Smurphy’s #InterDimensionalMagic, a piece originally conceived for a dance company, and Caterina Barbieri’s Sogno Che Suona, which interrogates the psycho-physical effects of repetition. Future releases, promises Khedoori, include offerings from matthewdavid, Ahnnu and Yamaneko, among others.

You can access Longform Editions’ releases via Bandcamp, and listen to 20 minute Barbieri track below.

Josephine Foster shares lead track of new LP

The four-part double album Faithful Fairy Harmony is released by Fire on 16 November

American vocalist and songwriter Josephine Foster has announced details of her new album. Called Faithful Fairy Harmony, it’s an 18-track song cycle in four parts, with Foster providing multi-instrumental accompaniment to her voice – she plays guitar, piano, organ, harp and autoharp – alongside contributions from Victor Herrero on lead guitars, Gyða Valtýsdóttir on cello, Chris Scruggs on pedal steel, Jon Estes on bass, and various other cameos by members of The Cherry Blossoms.

Her new set follows a host of albums on Fire Records, including No More Lamps In The Morning (2016), I'm A Dreamer (2013) and Blood Rushing (2012).

Faithful Fairy Harmony is released on 16 November. Pre-orders are are available now, and you can check out the lead track “Shepherd Moon Of Starry Height” below.

Foster was the cover star of The Wire 343. Subscribers can read that article, written by Clive Bell, by accessing our online archive via Exact Editions.

Afropunk takes over Brixton for its third London edition

The week long festival will take place at various venues from 1–8 September

Afropunk: Takeover Brixton will run for a week at the beginning of September, celebrating alternative black culture through live music, fashion, workshops, DJs, exhibitions, talks and cinema. This year will mark London's third instalment in the global event's 14-plus year history, with other editions hosted in cities including New York, Atlanta, Johannesburg and Paris.

This year the programme includes an exhibition at 198 Gallery (who have currently got an open call running for submissions to their Afropunk fanzine, deadline 19 August), performances from American group August Greene (Robert Glasper, Common, Karriem Riggins), and DJ sets from Soul II Soul’s Jazzie B, local collective BBZ, and NTS radio's Born N Bread. There are also six nights of talks at Brixton's Department Store with a host of guest speakers exploring what it means to be black, covering issues such as mental health, gender and entrepreneurship. The Black In The Day exhibition traces the history of the event at the Black Cultural Archives, and there will also be a Battle Of The Bands.

Afropunk takes place at various venues throughout Brixton. More information can be found on their website. Tickets for Brixton Academy takeover featuring August Greene, Laura Mvula, Bakar and Akala, are on sale from £45.