The Wire


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.

The Wire to host a series of pub based events at Safe As Milk

We'll be hosting a programme of events at the festival's on-site drinking haunt with guests including Richard Dawson, Jeff Mills and more

The Wire will hosts a series of talks at Safe As Milk festival in Pontins, Prestatyn in April. The programme includes Editor Derek Walmsley putting Richard Dawson to the test with a selection of surprise tracks in a live version of our Invisible Jukebox column. Deputy Editor Joseph Stannard will be talking to Jeff Mills about the Detroit techno pioneer's favourite comic books, and Wire contributor Robert Barry will be discussing his new publication The Music Of The Future, described by the author as “a history of failures, mapping 200 years of attempts by composers, performers and critics to imagine a future for music”. As a bonus to their main performance, we'll be joined by Circle who will perform a cosmic/acoustic set, and the takeover will also feature The Wire quiz and the usual DJ team spinning some tunes.

The Quietus and Bleep will also be hosting takeovers. The Quietus will be doing their You Are Mark E Smith! Fall karaoke. Plus they'll be talking to Princess Nokia and Michael Rother. And Mark Pilkington of Strange Attractor will present a screening of his documentary Mirage Men.

Bleep say they've got some “tricks up their sleeves” for their takeover, but so far they have only confirmed Bleep DJs and a Polytik Modular Synths workshop led by John Richard and Hans Lo, who will also deliver a full-on AV presentation.

Safe as Milk will take place in North Wales from 21–23 April. Artists confirmed so far include Actress, Michael Rother, Anna Meredith, Ata Kak, Princess Nokia, Gaika, Carla dal Forno, Circle, Mark Ernestus’ Ndagga Rhythm Force, Moor Mother, Ulver, Shirley Collins, The Residents, This Is Not This Heat, Dopplereffekt, Hieroglyphic Being, Nurse With Wound, Grouper and others. Tickets are on sale now from £199.00 including accommodation.

Lee Gamble and Éliane Radigue set to collaborate with Shiva Feshareki

This will be the first acoustic composition for the UIQ label boss and deconstructed dance music producer

Lee Gamble and Éliane Radigue have been commissoned by composer-cum-turntablist Shiva Feshareki and the Arts Council England to compose one new acoustic composition each. Gamble will create the piece working alongside the London Contemporary Orchestra while Radigue will be working with Angharad Davies and Dominic Lash. Both pieces will be written and performed in a cave somewhere in the Peak District.

The project was first announced last night on the BBC Radio 3 Late Junction with Max Reinhardt show, with guest Feshareki declaring Radigue and Gamble as two of her favourite artists, describing the latter's music as something that “transcend[s] that linear movement of time and duration”

“I haven't made music without the aid of electricity before,” says Gamble. “So I'm intrigued. Also very flattered to be asked to be part of the project alongside Éliane Radigue – I have listened to her music a lot over the years.

“Shiva approached me a few months ago and to be honest I started working on it in my head once we'd agreed to do it.” He continues, explaining his plan of action via email. “I have a day to visit the cave soon, so that will change how I think about it a lot. It'll have a very specific acoustic I imagine - I'll be making some recordings of the space - things like reverb time, psychoacoustic properties - I'll take them to the studio, try and create a kind of virtual imprint of that space to work inside. That will help inform what instrumentation I'll use, then the work can start to form from there - from the instrument(s) and their potential in space.”

Feshareki has promised a set of coaches to take audiences from London and Manchester to the cave, where they, along with a local audience, can participate in “deep and mindful listening”.

Dates are yet to be confirmed.