The Wire

The world's greatest print and online music magazine. Independent since 1982


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.

A L’ARME! VII festival claims an anarchic approach to noise and drone

The Berlin avant garde jazz & experimental music event runs from 31 July–3 August

“The A L’ARME! Festival can be defined in myriad ways,” declare its organisers, “and is constantly reinventing itself. The festival takes terms like ‘alarm’ and ‘avant garde’, which are shaped by their military origins, and rewrites them with an anarchic approach to noise and drone and a line-up that is as eclectic as it is exceptional.”

Opening at the end of July, the seventh iteration of the Berlin based experimental music festival will take place at Radialsystem and Säälchen at Holzmarkt. The line-up features Greg Fox, Will Brooks, Mats Gustafsson, Hans Joachim, Rieko Okuda & Hanna Schörken, Super Jazz Sandwich aka Florian Walter, Simon Camatta and Flavio Zanuttini, Els Vandeweyer, DJ Illvibe, Hamid Drake, Matana Roberts, the trio of Jan Jelinek, Hanno Leichtmann & Andrew Pekler, Irreversible Entanglements featuring Camae Ayewa, Keir Neuringer, Aquiles Navarro, Luke Stewart and Tcheser Holmes, and Talibam Ensemble.

Full listings and ticket information can be found on their website.

Important new releases by Harry Bertoia and Jacob Kirkegaard

The two sound artists each explore different approaches to working with metal

In June Important Records will release three new albums with a common theme: metal. One is a reissue from the late Harry Bertoia, and the other two feature new recordings by Jacob Kirkegaard. “Using two completely different approaches to working with metal these two artists, a generation apart, create deep, singular works with metal sheets and rods,” says the label.

Cut straight from the original master tapes, Bertoia’s LP Experimental I/Mechanical I features the two tracks “Experimental I” and “Mechanical I”, while the CD version also includes the bonus track “Long Sounds”. The Bertoia release follows the resurrection of his Sonambient label by Important. “When the first new LP was released in 2016 we were only in possession of 1/20th of the archive,” states the label’s press release. “Now, in 2019, we're excited to release the first LP of new material from the full archive and we present it to increase understanding of what Bertoia was doing in his sound-barn deep in the Pennsylvania woods.”

Regarding Kirkegaard’s two new albums, Black Metal Square is released in an edition of 100 copies and its sounds are made from three free hanging black metal plates, while on Phonurgia Metallis you can hear the sounds of free hanging iron, copper and brass plates. The latter is pressed in a limited edition of 300 copies.