The Wire


The final countdown: MaerzMusik’s Festival For Time Issues kicks off on 16 March

Berlin’s ten day festival sets out to probe current affairs through time and sound

The latest edition of MaerzMusik festival reflects on “the time wars of the present” through a series of concerts, performances, installations and symposiums featuring Terre Thaemlitz aka DJ Sprinkles, Mark Fell, Zeitkratzer, and many more. Happening across various venues in Berlin, the ten day event continues its special focus, begun during last year’s edition, on the late Julius Eastman.

Indeed, the festival opens on 16 March with Apartment House performing Eastman’s Buddha and Femenine; and the composer is also the subject of an exhibition called We Have Delivered Ourselves From The Tonal (from 24 March–6 May). Other highlights include a Zeitgeist evening centred around composers Iannis Xenakis, Brian Ferneyhough and Ashley Fure; and Georges Aperghis will premiere his composition Migrants. The latter’s theme of temporality and migration is also central to Hannes Seidl’s Salim’s Salon.

“This Festival For Time Issues proposes to probe the current state of affairs through the lens of time and through listening, collectively considering what today’s ‘beings in time’ experience on a daily basis,” declares Maerzmusik’s festival manifesto, continuing, “exposed as they are to diverging and colliding temporal force fields: flexibilisation, fragmentation and the maxing out of capacities; time horizons shrunk, stretched and warped; the vertigo of reciprocal speed and slowness; the loss of temporal claim and agency. Our hypothesis is that a war is raging between temporalities. Less obvious, perhaps, than today’s countless other conflicts, but no less real.”

MaerzMusik runs from 16–25 March. More information can be found on their website.

Diet Clinic marks International Women's Day with Weaponise Your Sound

NTS radio show Diet Clinic showcases some of its guests on a new charity compilation

To mark International Women's Day, NTS radio show and cassette label Diet Clinic has released a compilation of exclusive tracks that showcase some of the programme's previous guests. Running since summer 2015, Diet Clinic's broadcasts feature female DJs and artists reflecting on aspects of sexuality, environment and mind.

Weaponise Your Sound Vol 1 pulls together a selection of exclusive tracks by guests on the show, including CAR, Deena Abdelwahed, Fantastic Twins, Lokier, Marika Underspreche, Moor Mother, Sue Zuki, and Penelope Trappes. “They may be scattered across the globe”, confirms label boss and host Kristina McCormick, “but their love, strength and support for their art and their female counterparts continues to inspire and drive me on a daily basis.”

Proceeds will go to Focus E15, an independent housing campaign in East London, who support women and their families evicted from their homes, demanding social housing, and not social cleansing. “Moor Mother is involved in a similar project called Community Futures Lab in Philadelphia,” explains McCormick. “I am constantly awe of what they are doing over there.”

Weaponise Your Sound Vol 1 is available on cassette and digitally via Bandcamp.

New documentary Buster Williams Bass To Infinity asks for support

Nearly complete, the film about the US bassist, Buddhist and composer launches Kickstarter to pay for editing

A documentary about US bassist Buster Williams is in its final stages of production. Directed and produced by Adam Kahan, all the footage and early editing has already been done, with a crowdfunding campaign now launched to help finish the project.

As a composer and bassist, Williams has played with a host of artists from Sarah Vaughan to Miles Davis, Nancy Wilson, Art Blakey and many others. In Buster Williams Bass To Infinity, Williams tells his own life story, as he's joined on camera by Benny Golson, Herbie Hancock, Rufus Reid, Christian McBride, Larry Willis, Carmen Lundy, Kenny Barron and Lenny White.

“It is a film about a great contributor to America’s greatest art form, and many other greats” says Kahan on the project's Kickstarter page. “Monk, Trane, Paul Chambers... All of these artists' stories makeup that thing we call jazz, and each individual, each story is intertwined to make up a whole.”

“We have already shot the entirety of this film and the editing is in progress” he explains. “We do however need to raise money for a good amount of editing to come.”

Kahan has used crowdfunding to finance music documentaries before, including The Case Of The Three Sided Dream about Rahsaan Roland Kirk (reviewed in The Wire 384) and a film on Junior Mance, Sunset And The Mockingbird, which is still in production.

You can watch the trailer below. As the time of writing, 14 days are left on the campaign, with £5,873 raised out of the £14,395 target.

Allergy Season and Discwoman continue charity projects with Physically Sick 2

44 track compilation will raise money for Brooklyn Community Bail Fund and features tracks by Fatima Al Qadiri, Varg, Puce Mary, Laurel Halo and more

US labels Allergy Season and Discwoman are back with another mammoth charity compilation, one year after Physically Sick raised money for The American Civil Liberties Union, Callen-Lorde, The National Immigration Law Center and Planned Parenthood. Physically Sick Volume 2 focuses on the injustices of the US jail system, donating its profits to Brooklyn Community Bail Fund.

“It's hard to believe it's been a year since we released Physically Sick, and while the response was beyond our expectations – there's no sugarcoating it: we're still sick!” says the joint statement on Bandcamp.

“Everyone's heard of bail, but the cycle of financial bondage it perpetuates is less well known,” it continues. “If a person can't pay their bail, they must wait in jail until their court date... It is a racist, backwards design that disproportionately punishes people of colour and the poor. Our goal is to draw attention to this pernicious cycle, and raise actual bail money for as many people as possible.”

Physically Sick 2 was compiled for the two labels by Umfang, Frankie Decaiza Hutchinson and Physical Therapy, with artists including Fatima Al Qadiri, Varg, Elysia Crampton, Giant Swan, MESH, Puce Mary, Laurel Halo, EMBACI and many more. It's out now via Bandcamp.

Tusk returns to Sage Gateshead

75 Dollar Bill, Ceramic Hobs and Otomo Yoshihide are among the those named to make an appearance at the annual music weekender in the North East of England

Tusk festival returns to Sage Gateshead this year with a fresh selection of acts due to take to the stage. The first wave to be announced are Terry Riley, Sarah Davachi, Otomo Yoshihide, Konstrukt, 75 Dollar Bill and Ceramic Hobs (see The Wire 408).

Loads more artists are still to be confirmed, and its programme will also includes the usual extras: films, talks, installations and exhibitions at both The Old Police House and Workplace Gallery.

Tusk takes place in Gateshead from 12–14 October. Early bird tickets go on sale at 10am on 9 March for £60. Once they've gone it'll be £70 for a weekend ticket with day tickets on sale in September.

Kepla and Nathan Jones collaborate on The Happy Jug

Entr’acte are set to release the new novel and CD work this March

A new novel and CD soundtrack The Happy Jug, featuring music by Kepla aka UK-based musician Jon Davies, and words by writer and artist Nathan Jones, is forthcoming on Entr’acte this month. The work combines verbatim text, fiction, granular synthesis and speculative philosophy in order to reflect on austerity politics and the aftermath of the 2015 general election in the UK.

“I brought the happy jug home the day I found out about a grant, which would eventually lead me to write this novel. The grant is a Paul Auster-style narrative device, in that it makes me unanswerable to material demands, and projects my life into a boundedlessness vertigo… the happy jug a concrete marker of my vulnerable but precise re-emergence into the world of matteringlessness: theory,” says the text. “At this time, Nina has migraines. She goes for an MRI scan but we hear nothing, her exhaustion apparently just an example of the general pressure of living under austerity. This austerity is due to be relieved when a left-leaning coalition gain control of government. A year later, I smash the jug. The MRI scan is transformed. Nina now has a brain tumour which has been growing for more than fifteen years. The result of the general election is also rewritten.”

Sound was produced by Kepla and features spoken word by Nathan Jones and his wife Nina.

The Happy Jug comes as limited edition of 150 copies and is available for pre-order now. Listen to an extract below.

Bizarre Rituals score new film The Sermon

Devon based dance collective soundtrack a vengeance horror film set amidst a church community in the English countryside

Bizarre Rituals have scored the soundtrack to a new film The Sermon. Written and directed by Dean Puckett, it follows the life of church goer Ella, and a secret that unravels a dark tale of oppression, faith and sexuality in her isolated church community. The folk horror was shot on 35mm film and inspired by British cinema and the Unholy Trinity trio of films consisting of Robin Hardy's The Wicker Man, Piers Haggard's The Blood On Satan's Claw, and Michael Reeves's The Witchfinder General. “Not only meant to be an engaging drama about our protagonist Ella's secret life, but also a political fable which seeks to reflect, through metaphor, the current British and US socio-political climate,” explains Puckett. “Written in a frustrated daze after the double whammy of Brexit and the election of Donald Trump, the film is set in a kind of 'nowhere time', a parallel reality almost like a dream that could be in the past or perhaps, if we are not careful, our future.”

The score, written by Bizarre Rituals's Brain Rays and Cape Khoboi, was made mostly using a church pipe organ, a double bass, some old synths and a Korg MS-20. “It has been quite a collaborative project for us as a crew,” explains Brain Rays, “because Stoogie Houzer worked on the titles and the VFX and features in the film alongside French Tony.”

You can watch the trailer below. It will be screen as part of the Altered States selection of short films (programmed by Michael Blyth) at BFI Flare 2018 on 24 and 25 March. Subscribers can read an interview with Bizarre Rituals in The Wire 384 via the online archive.

Rie Nakajima presents new works and performances in Birmingham

Titled Cyclic, the exhibition will take place at IKON Gallery from 21 March – 3 June

Rie Nakajima has a new exhibition coming up at Birmingham's IKON gallery. Called Cyclic, it will feature a new installation as well as a series of events and performances curated by the artist.

“I work/communicate with architectural environments, and there is always something new to discover with sounds and objects,” says Nakajima. “I would like to make the exhibition at Ikon flexible and open, with the potential to change and transform at any moment.”

Nakajima has made a number of visits to Birmingham in preparation for the event, and, much like the 2014 exhibition at London's noshowspace, Nakajima has been gathering an assortment of found objects, this time from the Brindley Place estate in the city.

Cyclic also features a series of performances curated by the artist, including her own project O YAMA O with Keiko Yamamoto on 21 April. Other collaborations include Nakajima with David Cunningham (11 April), Akira Sakata (1 May), David Toop (22 May) and Pierre Berthet (3 June). An opening reception on 21 March will feature Nakajima solo, and the closing event on 3 June is programmed with London's Cafe Oto, acts still to be confirmed.

Cyclic will take place from 21 March – 3 June.

The Fish Police to host panel on music and neurodiversity at SXSW

London based group The Fish Police have been invited to perform and host a panel at the Texan festival, and are raising funds to get there

London based group The Fish Police are crowdfunding their tour to Austin's South by Southwest festival, in which they have been invited to perform and host a panel discussion on music and neurodiversity. Taking place on 14 March, the talk will feature artists and musicians with lived experience of autism and neurodiversity, and their collaborators, in order to explore the different ways in which musicians interact with music.

The Fish Police came together through London's creative arts company Heart N Soul, who focus on supporting artists with learning disabilities. The outfit consists of Dean Rodney Jr, Matthew Howe, Charles Stuart and Andrew Mclean – Rodney Jr and Howe both have autism – and in 2013 they released The Marzipan Transformations on Heart N Soul's label.

The campaign has already reached target, though they will be accepting donations until 11 March. More information can be found via Justgiving. The Fish Police have also announced that a new EP is on the way, and you can listen to “Cactus” below.

Rewire announces final line-up for 2018

The Hague's annual Rewire festival takes place between 6–8 April

Rewire has announced its full programme for this year's three day event. New artists added to the bill include Maryam Saleh, Maurice Louca & Tamer Abu Ghazaleh, and Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith. As well as that there will be premieres of special projects by Mia Zabelka, James Plotkin & Benjamin Finger, and Elysia Crampton. Artists already confirmed include Laurie Anderson, Nina Kraviz, Panda Bear, Juliana Huxtable, Chino Amobi, Beatriz Ferreyra, and Sophie.

Still to be confirmed is the complete programme of talks and workshops, but we can reveal that The Wire’s Deputy Editor Emily Bick will be in conversation with Laurie Anderson, who recently released her new album Landfall with San Francisco’s Kronos Quartet. Anderson will also present a new book and performance All The Things I Lost In The Flood at Rewire.

Full details of the Rewire line-up can be found on its website. Tickets are on sale now.