The Wire


New Chinese experimental music compilation put together by Yan Jun and Zhu Wenbo

There Is No Music From China is set for release on Noel Meek's End Of The Alphabet label

Wire contributors Yan Jun and Noel Meek have come together to present a new compilation surveying the current state of Chinese experimental music. Compiled by Yan Jun and Zhu Wenbo, There Is No Music From China collects 14 tracks from artists across the country, and is set for release on Meek's End Of The Alphabet label.

Meek writes: "It's a scene that is harried by the Chinese government and struggles in the margins to a degree that's hard to comprehend from the outside – shows cancelled, artists followed by secret police, venues forcibly closed, the fabulously diverse Sino-experimental community know how to keep moving, to improvise, to make do." Artists on the compilation include veteran noise project Torturing Nurse, alongside solo guitar from Mai Mai and minimal improvisation from Jun-Y Ciao, and spans everything from hardcore underground projects to the lofty sound art circles of Beijing and Shanghai. "Somewhere between these two extremes lie the artists on this tape and the tension between makes this music something totally else." The compilation is set for imminent release on End Of The Alphabet.

Wysing Arts Centre launch new record label Wysing Polyphonic

The Cambridge based arts venue and festival will launch imprint at London's ICA this month

Wysing Arts Centre has set up a new record label called Wysing Polyphonic. The first release will come from Ectopia, a group consisting of Adam Christensen, Jack Brennan and Viki Steiri, who performed at Wysing’s annual music festival in 2015. “The label is a natural extension of our festival and it was inspired by hearing Ectopia play and wanting to make their music available to a wide audience,” explains Director Donna Lynas. “We are looking forward to more releases by the artists and musicians we work with.” The arts centre also plans to build a recording studio in the summer of 2017, a project that will allow for the commission of future releases and radio broadcasts.

The label will launch on 23 March at London's ICA and feature live performances from Ectopia themselves as well as N-Prolenta, a UK live debut for xname (aka London based Italian producer Eleonora Oreggia) and dance music collective and zine SIREN, who fight for the equal representation of women and non-binary people.

The label is an extension of the art centre's 2017 focus on 'many voices', which will also be the theme of their music festival which is set to take place this September. Wysing Polyphonic will launch on 23 March at London ICA.

Actress to release new LP AZD on Ninja Tune

“This is the music vitamin of the Metropolis” says Darren Cunningham, as the artist shares a video for the lead track “X22RME”

Actress aka Darren Cunningham will return with a new LP next month. Called AZD, its name stands for both the album and a new musical system, which will be performed at Convergence festival this month. Cunningham expands “[it] will be a test frame for linking circuits using various forms of language — Midi globalised language, Lyrical language, Tikal Graffiti code and various other Synthesizer language — to create one intelligent musical instrument called AZD, if successful it will produce the first translucent, non-soluble communication sound pill synergised through impressionistic interpretations of technological equipment. This is the music vitamin of the Metropolis.”

Ahead of the release, Cunningham has revealed the album single “X22RME”

AZD is released via Ninja Tine on 19 April. Actress will appear at Convergence, Village Underground on 24 March.

A quartet of Bill Drummond plays on Resonance FM

The London arts station will play host to The Cherry Blossom Quartet written by Drummond's alter ego Tenzing Scott Brown

Resonance's Bad Punk show will be taking over Resonance FM's clearspot next week for five nights. Running 20–24 March, it will present a selection of Bill Drummond plays, The Cherry Blossom Quartet, written as Bill's alter ego Tenzing Scott Brown and adapted for radio by Johny Brown.

“The plays themselves are impassioned ruminations on art and music, life and death as seen through the eyes of the playwright Tenzing Scott,” explains Brown. “The sound artists we have chosen will play off the different texts and provide interpretation, sometimes sympathetic sometimes provocative. These live soundscapes will be sometimes improv in nature, sometimes drone, loop, dream.”

With actor and cultural activist Tam Dean Burn taking the part of Bill Drummond, each night a different live soundscape will be provided by Rothko, Ghost Mind, Farmer Glitch, Psychological Strategy Board and James Stephen Finn. Plays featured will be Tenzing Scott Brown's Bill Drummond Is Dead, To The Shores Of Lake Placid, Repossessed, and Between Heaven And Helsinki, plus a fifth piece called Theatre And Me read by Richard Strange. Visual artist Inga Tillere will be documenting each night via a tumblr feed.

The Cherry Blossom Quartet will take place on Resonance FM between 20–24 March at 8pm. Bad Punk's usual weekly spot is 10pm on Friday night.

Phew goes on tour and releases new album Light Sleep

“I’m sticking to analogue because I am not a slave of technology!” declares the Japanese singer. Her European tour starts this month

Japanese singer Phew returns to Europe in her present guise as analogue electronics soloist this month for three performances in France and Switzerland. She plays at Paris Théâtre De Vanves as part of the Sonic Protest festival on 14 March, followed by appearances at Nantes Lieu Unique (16) and Geneva Cave12 (19). And in April Phew makes her US East Coast solo debut at Brooklyn’s 116 Pierrepont St, an event organised by Blank Forms. The dates coincide with the mid-March release of a new LP by the US label Mesh-Key. Called Light Sleep, it’s comprised of six tracks selected from the three CD-Rs of Phew’s recent analogue electronic and vocal experiments, which she’d hitherto mainly sold at her concerts. “When playing, the most important thing is the physical sensation,” declares Phew. “In my case, electronic equipment can be used as an extension of my body – and I’m sticking to analogue because I am not a slave of technology!”

One of her key inspirations is the late Chrislo Haas, formerly of DAF and founder of Liaisons Dangereuses, with whom she worked alongside Jaki Liebezeit and Einstürzende Neubauten’s Alexander Hacke on her 1992 album Our Likeness, recorded at Conny’s Studio, Germany (as was her 1981 solo debut Phew).

“Because they get too engrossed in the performance, players tend to lose the overall picture of music,” remarks Phew. “They often get too excessive about music structure – especially in electronic music, the playing sometimes becomes flat and boring. But Chrislo composed while he was playing. His sound was very physical. This kind of physical sensitivity is very important for me,” she concludes, “I always wish I could sing like dance and use electronics like singing.”

Sounding DIY kicks off in April

The exhibition, workshop, talk and concert series will run until October

The homemade culture project called Sounding DIY gets underway in London in April. Running until October, its range of activities will bring together up to 30 artists for an exhibition, workshop, talks, concert and cataloguing.

“The aim of the exhibition is to present different works in the gallery space, as well as, the contribution to engaging audiences with a workshop,” says the project’s curator Laura Gracia. “The precariousness of artistic means will be solved with a new curatorial methodology that integrates different activities under the same concept. Here the exhibition, concert and workshop are all under one framework for action. So, its main interest is to reach audiences in an educational and participatory manner.”

The London venues include Cafe Oto, Iklectik Art Lab and New River Studios. Featured participants include Stephen Cornford, Dirty Electronics, Tom Richards and more. More information can be found on their website.

Rewire announce final line-up

The Hague based festival has added an extensive workshop and talks programme – new artists confirmed include Kassem Mosse, Pussy Mothers and more

The seventh edition of the Dutch music festival opens in The Hague on 31 March. Running over three days across the city, previously announced acts include Jeff Mills & Tony Allen, Reckonwrong, Arca & Jesse Kanda, SUMS aka Kangding Ray & Barry Burns, Lorenzo Senni, Pharmakon, The Jameszoo Quartet, Gaika, Moor Mother, Zs, Horse Lords, Sarathy Korwar, Helena Hauff, Aurora Halal, and many more. New artists confirmed to appear include Kassem Mosse, NMO, Pussy Mothers, CAO, Dazion, Nimbus 3000, Baiba Yurkevich, Anni Nöps, Das Ensemble Ohne Eigenschaften & Willem Marijs, Gert Jan Prins & Peter van Bergen.

Also happening at the fest is a series of talks and workshops. Lighthouse and Rewire present The Sound Of Story special video game edition featuring three talks and a panel discussion with John Broomhall, Adele Cutting, David Housden and SØS Gunver Ryberg, as well as a masterclass with composer Paul Weir on designing sound for games. There will be a panel discussion titled Poetry, Presence and Empowerment featuring Kubra Khademi, AGF and Moor Mother; Studio Loos presenting An introduction to TouchDesigner – a workshop on combining sound, visuals and lights with computer graphics; a screening of Tyler Hubby’s feature documentary Tony Conrad: Completely In The Present; and loads more. The Wire contributor Robert Barry will also be there holding a conversation with Peter Zinovieff about his contributions to electronic music and the new electro-acoustic collaboration with cellist Lucy Railton.

Rewire takes place at various venues from 31 March–2 April. Tickets and a full run of events can be found on their website.

Win two tickets to Cut & Splice this weekend

The festival, organised by Sound And Music, takes place in Manchester on 10–11 March

Sound And Music will present their international Cut & Splice festival this weekend. It’s happening on 10–11 March for the first time in Manchester curated by local ensemble Distractfold.

Artists on the bill include Steven Takasugi, Hannah Hartman, Christina Kubisch, Lee Patterson, Helena Gough, and many more.

Sound And Music has offered us a couple of tickets to give away. To win, please answer the following question:

Which historic fun fair inspired Steven Kazuo Takasugi’s piece The Man Who Couldn't Stop Laughing?

Please send your answer via this link, and include in the subject line Cut & Splice competition.

In the meantime, you can check out some of the artists appearing at the festival:

Cut & Splice will take place on 10–11 March at Hallé St Peter’s, Manchester. Kazuo Takasugi’s The Man Who Couldn't Stop Laughing opens the festival. The festival will run in partnership with Arts Council England and BBC Radio 3.

A compilation of Alice Coltrane's ashram recordings to be released by Luaka Bop

David Byrne’s label compiles Alice’s religious ritual music with the help of her children

Alice Coltrane would have been 80 this year and to mark that anniversary, Luaka Bop are set to release a compilation of the Turiyasangitananda private press ashram recordings made at her 48 acre Sai Anantam Ashram outside Los Angeles between 1982–95. The release has been prepared in collaboration with Alice’s children, who helped source the original master tapes from the Coltrane archives. They were then remastered by engineer Baker Bigsby, who had overseen the original sessions in the 80s and 90s. The album includes tracks from Turiya Sings, Glorious Chants, Divine Songs and Infinite Chants. The set, featuring eight songs, it will be released in digital, cassette and CD formats. A double vinyl edition will include two additional songs: “Krishna Japaye” from Infinite Chants and the previously unreleased “Rama Katha” from a separate Turiya Sings recording session.

Music historian Ashley Kahn has written the sleevenotes and the package also includes a series of interviews with those who knew Alice, including Dublab’s Mark ‘Frosty’ McNeill, and an interview between musician Surya Botofasina (who was raised art Alice’s ashram) and journalist Andy Beta.

World Spirituality Classics Volume 1: The Ecstatic Music Of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda will be released by Luaka Bop on 5 May. In 2014 Divine Songs and Infinite Chants were released on CD via Avatar Book Institute and SOTU, who also sold Coltrane's spiritual memoir Monument Eternal, all three of which have now sold out.

Les Amazones D’Afrique campaign for gender equality

A portion of the profits from their 10 March album release on Real World Records will go towards the Panzi Foundation in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Real World Records will release a new collaboration album by West African Feminist supergroup Les Amazones D’Afrique. Calling for freedom, equal rights and an end to violence towards women, the group consist of Angélique Kidjo, Kandia Kouyaté, Mamani Keita, Mariam Doumbia, Mariam Koné, Massan Coulibaly, Mouneissa Tandina, Nneka, Pamela Badjogo and Rokia Koné.

The album, called République Amazon, will raise funds for the Panzi Foundation and hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which was founded in 1999 by Dr Denis Mukwege to help survivors of sexual violence. The album is produced by Doctor L, known for his work with Tony Allen and Mbongwana Star.

You can buy the record from 10 March via Real World. Or you can donate direct via Indigogo.