The Wire


NTS presents International Knockout

To mark the World Cup, London's internet station hosts a knock out DJ competition featuring 16 countries

Dalston's NTS radio is hosting an International DJ Tournament. Inviting 16 different DJs from around the globe, each artist will get in the mix for 30 minutes, playing music that represents their country. Listeners will vote on their favourite set in a knock style competition, with the winning four finalists set to DJ an extended hour-long mix on 9 July. Voters will be entered into a prize draw to win a Sonos Beam or limited edition T-shirt.

DJs are: Courtesy (Denmark), Olivia (Poland), JASSS (Spain), Soichi Terada (Japan), Gilles Peterson (England), Kedr Livanskiy (Russia), Lyzza (Brazil), Kasra V (Iran), Lefto (Belgium), Kutmah (Egypt), Crackstevens (Nigeria), Fatima (Sweden), Onra (France), Andras (Australia), and Gerd Janson (Germany). Slots run between 11am-3pm and 5pm-11pm on 29 June. Stream via NTS Live.

This article was updated on 29 June. Kasra V has replaced Mideast Tunes.

Celestial Trax launches label True Aether

New Finnish label and bi-weekly radio show

Having relocated from New York back to his native Finland, musician, composer and producer Joni Judén – aka Celestial Trax – has started a new label named True Aether, which doubles as a bi-weekly radio show in Helsinki. The imprint’s first release, a free digital EP by Celestial Trax titled Ashwagandha/Saariaho, was released in March. It will be followed on 30 July by Judén’s ambient jazz collaboration with Karri Luhtala – his former next door neighbour in 1990s Finland – under the name Linnuissa. On the Ensimmäinen EP Luhtala plays vintage Fender Rhodes, piano and an old Russian Moog clone, while Judén plays additional electronics and synths. All the music was improvised on the spot with no further editing.

Listen to three Celestial Trax cuts:

Anthony Joseph celebrates Windrush

Taking place on 17 November at London Barbican, the event will feature new commission Windrush Suite by Jason Yarde

As part of EFG London Jazz Festival 2018 the British/Trinidadian poet, novelist and musician Anthony Joseph has curated a series of performances in celebration of the Windrush generation and the influence the group have had on British multiculturalism. The evening takes place 70 years since HMT Empire Windrush’s arrival in Port of Tilbury, Essex.

Central to the show is a new commission, Windrush Suite, by composer, director and saxophonist Jason Yarde. That will be performed by Joseph alongside a pan-Caribbean ensemble and Calypso Rose. Anthony Joseph & friends - Windrush: A Celebration will take replace on 17 November at Barbican Centre.

Rie Nakajima publishes book

New audio and sound book with essay by David Cunningham

Rie Nakajima has published an experimental book and sound project on Japanese publisher Cawaii Factory. Becoming Sounds features photographs of 30 objects selected by Nakajima and a download of the sounds produced from the objects. It also features an essay by David Cunningham and Nakajima’s European tour diary written in both Japanese and English. The book's audio is available for free at Nakajima's website. A special limited edition with signed CD is available for 3,800 JPY.

You can also pick up a copy via The Wire's bookshop.

Black Sweat reissues two rare Archie Shepp and Don Cherry titles

Archie Shepp Meets Kahil El'Zabar's Ritual Trio’s Conversations and Bitter Funeral Beer Band With Don Cherry & K Sridhar’s Live In Frankfurt 82 are released on vinyl for the first time

Milan based imprint Black Sweat have reissued two historic works on vinyl for the first time. First up is Archie Shepp Meets Kahil El'Zabar's Ritual Trio’s Conversations, on which Shepp joined forces with Malachi Favors of The Art Ensemble Of Chicago, El'Zabar of The Ethnic Heritage Ensemble, and AACM saxophonist Ari Brown. A tribute to AACM member Fred Hopkins, it was originally released by Chicago imprint Delmark in 1999.

Black Sweat are also reissuing Bitter Funeral Beer Band With Don Cherry & K Sridhar’s Live In Frankfurt 82. Founded by Swedish drummer and percussionist Bengt Berger (of Archimedes Badkar and Arbete Och Fritid) in the 1980s, on this set The Bitter Funeral Beer Band featured Hindustani sarod player Krishnamurti Sridhar. Though recorded in the early 1980s, it was first released in 2007 by Country & Eastern.

Black Sweat's Davide Domenichini with Al Doum And The Faryds' psychedelic rock set Spirit Rejoin is also available via Black Sweat's website.

Saul Williams is writing a musical as part of his MartyrLoserKing project

A Kickstarter campaign has been launched to fund his intersex sci fi love story Neptune Frost

Saul Williams has launched a Kickstarter campaign for a new musical film he is currently writing as part of his MartyrLoserKing project. Called Neptune Frost, it’s set in a village made from recycled computer parts that’s home to world’s most subversive hacking collective and, along with them, the elusive African hacker MartyrLoserKing. “They are the virtual heroes of a world drawn closer and closer to authoritarian rule until they cross the line that takes them from beloved hackers to first-world terrorists,” explains Williams. “Neptune Frost is the love story between an intersex runaway and a coltan miner, and the virtual marvel born as a result of their union – MartyrLoserKing – the world's #1 trend The Authority seeks to end.”

“The team of ‘losers’ and outcasts,” he continues, “ignite the imagination of the world’s most ‘connected’ generation through deep space, deep web penetration. A virtual hero for a world caught in perpetual analogue exploitation. Neptune Frost is the MartyrLoserKing.”

More information, along with a film trailer, can be found on the Kickstarter website. The campaign has just over a month left, with pledge rewards ranging from T-shirts and an exclusive mix tape, to VIP World Premiere tickets and a visit from the North African kitten named Choo Choo Bird, who will appear in your dreams once every blue moon.

Pram release first studio album in 11 years

Across The Meridian is out on 20 July, followed two days later by a London show

Next month Pram will release their first LP in 11 years. Called Across The Meridian, it follows on from 2007's The Moving Frontier, and is described by their current label Domino as a “celebration of much of Pram’s iconic quirkiness, focused into a beautifully constructed and tautly produced soundworld”.

Across The Meridian is the outcome of an improv session at Foel studios in Wales, which they later reconvened at a studio in their hometown Birmingham. “It’s slightly more hi-fi than previous albums,” says guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Matt Eaton. “Early Pram music was recorded on a four track cassette player in a squat in Birmingham. Having a reliable working microphone was a prize in itself. The texture of our mixing and production has changed over the years.”

He continues: “We allow ourselves to make these odd mistakes and quirks and then the music has a character of its own. It’s part of what we’ve always done naturally, so it’s very unlike us to take a conventional path to something. We want to create something new – a new sound or a new process – each time we record.”

Across The Meridian is released in vinyl and CD formats and as a download by Domino. Pram will play at London’s The Lexington on 22 July. You can check out a video of Pram’s new single below.

The Attic broadcast first music residency over Facebook

From 21–25 June the online platform will broadcast live from a salt mine in the Bacău county

The Attic have organised their first music residency to run from 21–25 June. Taking place in the Slănic Moldova mountains district in Bacău county, it'll feature a series of live concerts, DJ sets, workshops and film, with much of the content broadcast live over their Facebook page.

The four day event is commissioned by the one-month residency programme InContext, which was initiated by Romanian artist Alina Teodorescum. “The Attic residency will be creating a musical ensemble formed of contemporary Romanian and Western musicians,” The Attic explain. “The musicians will experience interculturality from a sonic perspective, as well as the metabolic interaction between man and nature. They will explore various approaches of Indian music, classic as well as contemporary, while experimenting with several instruments. The residency space will become a resource for dialogue and fusion in itself, the process culminating with a concert at the Târgu Ocna salt mine, preceded by three improv acts by different artists.” The concert will feature an ensemble consisting of Stefan Fraunberger and five Romanian musicians: Laurențiu Coțac, Bogdana Dima, Diana Miron, Sian Brie and Călin Torsan.

Also in the line-up is Avadhut Kasinadhuni & Anne-Marie Ene, Bogman, Electroclown, Houschyar, Megan Dominey & Alexandru Grigore, Melanie Velarde, Miron Ghiu, Saşa Liviu Stoianovici & Dan Michiu, Sillyconductor, Sneha Khanwalker, and others. Plus The Attic Soundsystem with Andrei C, Balearic Goth, Dokia, Duo Mercur, Dragos Rusu, Somebody's Daughters and Stutz.

Full details can be found on InContext's website, and you can stream some of the events via The Attic Facebook page.

Gérard Hourbette has died

Art Zoyd announce director and composer Gérard Hourbette died on 4 May aged 64

Veteran French progressive rock outfit Art Zoyd have announced the death of director and composer Gérard Hourbette. He was 64. Also a violinist, electroacoustic composer, writer and poet, Hourbette was influenced by the work of Iannis Xenakis, Pierre Henry, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Luciano Berio. He joined Art Zoyd in 1971, and collaborated with choreographers including Roland Petit on The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell and Karole Armitage on Schrödinger’s Cat. “He managed to make Art Zoyd Studios, located in Valenciennes in the Hauts-de-France region, a unique place, with artists’ residencies, a permanent centre for musical creation, a space for the gestation of new works and teaching the art of composition with a constant effort to confront it with other art forms,” says the joint statement from his widow Monique and Art Zoyd Studios.

Low announce new album Double Negative

The Minnesota based trio share a triptych video from their forthcoming LP

To celebrate 25 years of Low, the experimental US rock group have announced the pending release of their brand new album Double Negative. Founding members Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker, joined by longtime bassist Steve Garrington, are set to embark on an extensive European and US tour, which will run from June through to November 2018. The album was recorded with producer BJ Burton in Wisconsin and will be released by Sub Pop on 14 September.

This video features three tracks from the record, directed by Ben Chisholm, Karlos Rene Ayala and Mark Pellington, respectively. UK artist and longtime Low collaborator Peter Liversidge helped create the album's cover art.

Low will perform at Leeds Brudenell Social on 19 June and at Queen Festival Hall's Meltdown festival in London on 20 June. For further dates check the band's website.