The Wire


Seismic Ooze surveys the work of Mika Taanila

Major London retrospective also includes unheard works from Mika Vainio and Erkki Kurenniemi, as well a special Taanila performance with Charles Hayward and Jussi Lehtisalo

A celebration of the work of Finnish film maker and musician Mika Taanila will be spilling out all over London from 16–22 October. Curated by Stanley Schtinter, Seismic Ooze is an extensive survey of the themes that have obsessed Taanila over the years, ranging from scientific advancement and nuclear power to failed utopias.

On 19 October, the ICA presents Nuclear Renaissance, featuring the UK premiere of Return Of The Atom, when Taanila will also be in conversation with Ele Carpenter, an expert in nuclear aesthetics. Heading east the following day Cafe Oto and NTS hosts the debut performance of a trio featuring Jussi Lehtisalo of Circle, Charles Hayward and Taanila, supported by ex-Wire member Bruce Gilbert. Recordings, in memory of Taanila's friend and collaborator, the late Mika Vainio. Elsewhere in East London, Whitechapel Gallery has lined up a showcase of short films by Taanila on 21 October, and from 20–22 October Close-Up Film Centre will run playbacks of unheard music by Mika Vainio and Erkki Kurenniemi in a pitch-black auditorium. Also on 22 October, Taanila will be in conversation with LUX Deputy Director Maria Palacios Cruz, along with film screenings of works by Pasi ‘Sleeping’ Myllymäki, Erkki Kurenniemi and Eino Ruutsalo. Taanila’s My Silence installation will be on show in the foyer of Leman Locke (16–22 October), and as a warm up to the weekend, Central Saint Martins will present a selection of films at Futuro House, plus Douglas Murphy, Maria Lisogorskaya (of Assemble), Louis Benassi, and the event's curator Stanley Schtinter in conversation.

More information can be found here.

Rhodri Davies concert series in Swansea

Rhodri Davies is putting on four special events in Swansea this October, one of which will have Philip Corner perform in the Welsh city for the first time since the 1960s

Rhodri Davies will host four events in Swansea this October featuring a series of rare performances in the country from Philip Corner and Evan Parker.

The first of the four NAWR October events will happen on 1 October featuring Evan Parker and Jenn Kirby and is in collaboration with Swansea International Festival. The second event will happen on 8 October with Jason Kahn & Christian Wolfarth and Colin Webster & Graham Dunning in a night that bring together avant-garde musicians from the US, Switzerland and the UK. Next up will be on 12 October with Metal Meditations: Philip Corner, Phoebe Neville, Ian Holloway & David Pitt. The following night Philip Corner will then appear again, this time with Davies himself.

“It is a big thing to have Philip Corner back to play in Wales again since the last time he came in the 60s. It is also a rare performance for Evan in Swansea so the concerts are a bit special,” says Davies.

Full information can be found here.

Umor Rex donate all Bandcamp sales to the Red Cross in Mexico

In the aftermath of Mexico's 7.1 magnitude earthquake last Tuesday, Umor Rex will be donating all sales money to the rescue effort

Mexico City's Umor Rex record label and publishing house have announced that from today until 15 October they will be donating 100% of monies raised via digital sales on Bandcamp to the Red Cross in Mexico.

“As you may know, our beloved town, Mexico City was devastated the last Tuesday for a terrible earthquake,” says the label's Daniel Castrejon. “We are working hard doing rescue labors, lifting debris, designing infographics to inform,” he continues. “Unfortunately, we need more than our hard work to achieve the normality. We love our city and our people, but the corruption is present in the political class. So WE, the people are taking the problem in our shoulders.”

You can check out the catalogue, featuring artists such as Kara-Lis Coverdale and LXV, Félicia Atkinson, M. Geddes Gengras, Driftmachine, Rafael Anton Irisarri, Missing Organs (the project of Wire writer Tristan Bath) and loads more, at their Bandcamp page. Alternatively you can donate directly to Mexico's Red Cross via PayPal.

Audio engineer Hedley Jones has died

The Jamaican sound engineer, musician and writer responsible for building the country’s first sound systems was 99 years old

Jamaican musician, audio engineer, inventor and writer Hedley HG Jones died on 1 September – two months short of his 100th birthday. The Jamaican Observer stated that he had died in Montego Bay on 1 September, and noted various tributes, including one from musicologist Kingsley Goodison: “Hedley was a gigantic man where music is concerned. I have known him from I was a child, but never really met him until about 15 years ago when he was honoured at Tribute To The Greats. He was quite an unsung hero.”

Born in Linstead, Jamaica on 12 November 1917, Jones's first self-built instrument was a cello, which he made when he was 14. In 1935 he moved to Kingston, pursuing various careers such as a bus driver or repairing radios and gramophones. His first job, however, was as a proof reader with the Jamaican Times in 1936. It was there he first heard a Benny Goodman record with Charlie Christian on jazz guitar. Jones, a tenor banjo player at the time, called up the Gibson guitar company to enquire about the instrument, but could not afford it so a friend challenged him to make one. At that time no manufacturers produced solid bodied guitars, so Jones made his own using Jamaican rose wood. In 1940 he appeared on the front page of the Daily Gleaner with his invention, one of the first solid bodied electric guitars.

Jones was aged just 23 at the time, and by 1945, he had joined the British Royal Airforce and trained as a radar engineer as part of the war effort. Later, using the knowledge he gleaned in this role, he would help build some of the first sound systems, splitting high and low frequencies having noted that before the Second World War public address systems were not designed to respond to low frequencies. He kitted out studios across Kingston, and built sound rigs for Tom Wong and his system Tom The Great Sebastian, Arthur ‘Duke’ Reid’s Trojan, and Coxsone Dodd’s Studio One.

Later, Hedley would become president for Jamaica Federation of Musicians (1985–95) and in 1993 was awarded the Order of Distinction by the Jamaican Government. He was also awarded with the Musgrave Medal in 2011, and in 2014 received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association.

Punk House exhibition set up in Mike Kelley's Mobile Homestead

The exhibition features an interior mural by The Wire’s Savage Pencil

An exhibition called Punk House is up and running at Mike Kelley's Mobile Homestead, a full-scale replica of the single-story childhood home of Detroit, Michigan born artist and Destroy All Monsters member, the late Mike Kelley.

Running until 7 January, the exhibition is curated by Destroy All Monsters’ founding member Cary Loren, and works as a companion exhibition to the contemporaneous Sonic Rebellion: Music As Resistance exhibition which looks at the music, art and activism of the Detroit punk and noise art scenes from the 1970s to the present day. Punk House will feature display posters, flyers, zines and records, an interior mural by The Wire’s Savage Pencil and an installation by Detroit based artist James J Millross (aka Jimbo Easter), and more.

Both exhibitions take place at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit. Full information can be found on their website.

Europalia Indonesia comes to London

The biennial celebration of traditional and contemporary Indonesian culture is coming to the UK for the first time this year

Europalia Indonesia will kick off this October in London with a specific focus on music and dance. This will be the first time the Belgian Europalia biennale comes to the UK with Indonesia invited as the guest country for this 26th edition.

The programme will start on 20 October at London's Rich Mix with a night of Indonesian 1960s rock featuring performances by Jakarta’s Indische Party and a tribute to the East Javanese all female group Dara Puspita. The music of Moondog will also be reimagined as experimental gamelan compositions by Javanese composer Iwan Gunawan and Moondog’s friend Stefan Lakatos at LSO St Luke’s on 28 October, and vocalist Peni Candra Rini, dancer Ade Suharto and musicians from Surakarta, Central Java, will stage an adaptation of Pramoedya Ananta Toer’s novel This Earth Of Mankind at King's Place on 25 November. As well as that, on 18 January the gamelan composer Aloysius Suwardi’s Planet Harmonik project will bring together a host of self-made instruments and the Pythagorean theory of the Music of the Spheres.

More information can be found on the festival website.

Christian Marclay’s The Clock on show at Tate Modern next year

The 24-hour video installation will be screened at the London gallery from 12 September 2018 – 27 January 2019

Christian Marclay’s 24-hour video installation The Clock will go on show at Tate Modern for three months, starting in September 2018. Released in 2010, Marclay’s montage features of thousands of real-time film and television clips, acting as a fully functioning time piece. The exhibit will be free and can be accessed during Tate Modern opening hours and via monthly 24-hour screenings, exact dates to be confirmed soon.

“Marclay’s The Clock is one of the most exceptional and complex artworks of the twenty-first century and it is no surprise that, wherever it is shown, the audience is riveted”, says Frances Morris, Director of Tate Modern.

Marclay appeared on the cover of The Wire 332. Subscribers can read that article via Exact Editions.

Documentary on The Chills set for release in 2019

The film will document the New Zealand group's story through its ever changing line-up and founder Martin Phillipps’s battle with depression and addiction

A documentary on Martin Phillipps's long running project The Chills is in the early stages of production. Due for release in 2019, the film will document Phillipps's life and the project which he formed in Dunedin in 1980. Phillipps is the only member to have stayed with the group throughout its career. Other members have included Peter Gutteridge, Jane Dodd, Rachel Phillipps, Alan Haig, Justin Harwood, Caroline Easther, Jimmy James Stephenson and others. Placing itself at the forefront of the Dunedin sound, The Chills were one of the highest profiling acts on the country's famous Flying Nun label.

Currently in the early stages of production by Notable Pictures NZ and in association with Fire Films UK, the documentary still needs to raise NZD 60,000 and the film makers have set up a Kickstarter to do so. Rewards include exclusive artwork by Phillipps, memorabilia and limited edition music.

Phillipps says “While I have been through some very dark times I have never stopped believing in and fighting for my music. But now I also have to fight for my recovery and my very life. Bad decisions and bad luck really have taken their toll. I've been forced to take better control of my health and make the best possible use of whatever remaining time I have.

“I must organise my legacy, as I am the only person who can accurately do that. And I must try to make the best and most honest music I have ever made - especially since the band is in the perfect state for this to happen. In some ways, the future is looking brighter, but there are still some darker possibilities. Whatever happens, I want to share it all with the documentary and make some damn fine cinema.”

You can support the project via Kickstater.

Outernational Days calls for support

Following its second edition, the Romanian experimental music festival asks for retrospective financial help as they call for donations to fund their third edition

Online music magazine The Attic has called for support in the aftermath of Outernational Days festival this summer. Having suffered financial loss from its second edition, the project, which came “out of a cultural need [to explore] a very wide musical spectrum, to which the Romanian audience lacked access until now,” in the words of the promoters, is now unable to settle bills for artists' flights.

Their plan is to host an Outernational Days 3, and they're attempting to source the money in advance via an Indiegogo campaign. “We defined Outernational as a place positioned outside of history; as a shapeless world that has been developing at the periphery of the International sphere.” explains the crowdfunding page.

“When we drew the line after the second edition of the festival, we realised that despite its massive success, the festival was a financial failure. There is a risk that the organising company (Sounds in The Attic LTD) will face foreclosure due to the inability to pay some of the invoices. What hurts the most is that the festival risks to go bankrupt and thus will be unable to continue.

“As we did not have a cash flow that would have allowed us to purchase the plane tickets for all the artists attending the festival (54 artists and 2 journalists) early enough, we used the services of a travel agency that helped us to purchase a part of the tickets (around 80%) with a due date payment (after the festival),” they explain. “This is a call for solidarity.”

“You will receive (apart from all our gratitude, gifts and free entries at the future Outernational Nights) that unique feeling that you donated for something that’s good, that you did a good thing, that you helped a festival that can bring something new for the music, but who is currently stuck in an impasse out of which it can’t get out, that you made a difference, no matter how small, as small as you could from your small square.”

You can bid for tote bags, cassette tapes, T-shirts and full passes for Outernational Days 3, though details of this event are yet to be confirmed. At the time of writing, there is a month left on the campaign and 13% of its $5000 goal has been reached.

Outernational Days was reviewed in The Wire 403 by Claire Sawers. Subscribers can read that via Exact Editions.

The Wire Salon at Waterstones

The next edition of The Wire Salon will feature David Keenan, Helm, Ian Rawes, and Elaine Mitchener

Following its return, after a four year lay off, to East London's Cafe Oto in July, The
Wire’s peripatetic Salon event next decamps to the Gower Street branch of
Waterstones in central London on 7 October for a special night of music and

The night, which is one of a series of events hosted at the branch by a variety of UK magazines over the weekend of 6–8 October, will feature David Keenan reading from his acclaimed post-punk novel This Is Memorial Device accompanied by Luke Younger aka Helm on electronics; vocalist Elaine Mitchener and double bassist Neil Charles improvising on Ben Okri’s Grenfell Tower poem; and Ian Rawes of London Sound Survey discussing and demonstrating some of the archaic soundwords collected in his book Honk, Conk And Squacket.

The Wire Salon happens at Waterstones Gower Street branch in central London on 7 October, 7–9pm, tickets £5.