The Wire


Afropunk takes over Brixton for its third London edition

The week long festival will take place at various venues from 1–8 September

Afropunk: Takeover Brixton will run for a week at the beginning of September, celebrating alternative black culture through live music, fashion, workshops, DJs, exhibitions, talks and cinema. This year will mark London's third instalment in the global event's 14-plus year history, with other editions hosted in cities including New York, Atlanta, Johannesburg and Paris.

This year the programme includes an exhibition at 198 Gallery (who have currently got an open call running for submissions to their Afropunk fanzine, deadline 19 August), performances from American group August Greene (Robert Glasper, Common, Karriem Riggins), and DJ sets from Soul II Soul’s Jazzie B, local collective BBZ, and NTS radio's Born N Bread. There are also six nights of talks at Brixton's Department Store with a host of guest speakers exploring what it means to be black, covering issues such as mental health, gender and entrepreneurship. The Black In The Day exhibition traces the history of the event at the Black Cultural Archives, and there will also be a Battle Of The Bands.

Afropunk takes place at various venues throughout Brixton. More information can be found on their website. Tickets for Brixton Academy takeover featuring August Greene, Laura Mvula, Bakar and Akala, are on sale from £45.

Oreet Ashery presents mass knitting event accompanied by death metal band

Passing Through Metal will be staged at a four week exhibition series taking place in Kettle's Yard in Cambridge

Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, will present a programme of four exhibitions this Autumn, featuring artists Eva Rothschild, Joe Moran, Oreet Ashery, Broomberg & Chanarin, Patrick Coyle and Francesco Pedraglio. The series is part of the fig-futures project’s 16 week UK-wide tour and follows on from the 50 week London ICA exhibition programme that took place in 2015.

This year, the second week will see a sonic performance from Oreet Ashery titled Passing Through Metal. Performed for the first time in the UK, it will feature local participants knitting en masse in the Sackler Gallery accompanied by death metal band Anoxide.

Part of Ashery’s video series Revisiting Genesis will also be screened during that exhibition week running between 18–22 September. On 19 September Revisiting Genesis will be screened in full and Ashery will be in conversation with curators Guy Haywood (Kettle’s Yard) and Yves Blais (fig-futures). The live performance of Passing Through Metal will take place on 17 September 6–8pm. Watch a short video of the rehearsal below.

Puce Mary previews new album The Drought with the track “Red Desert”

Danish composer confronts vulnerability “through regeneration” on her first LP for Pan

Copenhagen based musician and performance artist Frederikke Hoffmeier aka Puce Mary is making her Pan debut this October. Working with electronics and spoken word, Hoffmeier previously released her music on Danish imprint Posh Isolation, including Success in 2013, and Persona the following year. Other works include her collaborations with Posh Isolation co-founder Loke Rahbek, called The Female Form and The Closed Room, and earlier this year she worked with Jesse Sanes as JH1.FS3, whose Loyalty was released by iDEAL Recordings.

The new Puce Mary album The Drought will be released by Bill Kouligas's Pan label on 5 October. It includes the track “Red Desert” – named after Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1964 film. You can listen to it below.

Puce Mary was the subject of an Invisible Jukebox feature, tested by Britt Brown, in The Wire 384. Subscribers can read that via Exact Editions.

Low share track “Disarray” from forthcoming album Double Negative

Minnesota trio reveal a new track from their forthcoming album which examines the emotional strain of living in a divided America

Wire cover stars and slowcore pioneers Low release their new album Double Negative via Sub Pop on 14 September. Today they share the new track “Disarray” from the release.

Formed in Minnesota in 1993, the group currently consists of founding members Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker, along with bassist Steve Garrington, who for this release collaborated with producer BJ Burton. The album's cover is designed by another longtime collaborator, English artist Peter Liversidge.

Speaking to Abi Bliss the The Wire 415 singer and guitarist Alan Sparhawk explains the themes behind the album: “We made this record piece by piece, stretching over the whole shift in America, the fiasco of the election and everything since then,” he says. “The bearing that that has on anybody making art in America right now is undeniable. People are struggling with how they do this: a lot of things that were considered valid before are now kind of silly and petty. People are realising that there’s a lot more at stake and that the feelings they’re having are new and more tense. That’s where we were.

“The title of the record Double Negative came out of that conversation: OK, there are negative things going on and we’re reacting negatively; is that positive? Because sometimes it just feels like more negative…”

Low will embark on a world tour starting with a three nights at National Sawdust in New York City between 19 and 21 September, followed by European dates including Bristol, Manchester and Dublin.

Subscribers can read the cover feature via Exact Editions.

Lena Willikens and Sarah Szczesny release Phantom Kino Ballett soundtrack

The next instalment in RVNG’s Commend See series is a limited edition cassette and vinyl version of audio visual drama Phantom Kino Ballett

RVNG’s Commend See have announced the release of Phantom Kino Ballett: a limited edition set that expands on Lena Willikens and Sarah Szczesny’s hallucinogenic live score for the project of the same name, which they staged at Commend in September of 2016.

It will be made available as 15 vinyl copies and 300 cassettes, with both formats including two alternate takes of the soundtrack. The cassette version also features a 40 minute track called “Passage Transkript”, which was inspired by Willikens and Szczesny’s performances of the work in Tokyo.

They have also presented site specific performances of the piece at Meakusma in Eupen, PCP Gallery in Paris and Dekmantel in Amsterdam. And they’ll be performing it next at New York’s Issue Project Room in Brooklyn on 19 September.

Phantom Kino Ballett is released on 19 September. All proceeds will be donated to Agisra, a Cologne based human rights charity for migrant women.

Dorothy add rave culture map to their music history poster series

Acid House Love poster joins more than 900 dots connecting the rave scene’s DJs, musicians, movers, shakers, clubs, sound systems, labels, radio stations and zines

The latest addition to UK art studio Dorothy’s music blueprint series is Acid House Love Blueprint: A History Of Dance Music And Rave Culture, a map documenting the cities, clubs and individuals behind acid house, rave and dance culture. Its main map references include Manchester’s Haçienda, New York’s Loft and Paradise Garage, Chicago’s Warehouse, Berlin’s Berghain and London's Ministry Of Sound; and key movers covered range from Frankie Knuckles, Arthur Russell, Juan Atkins and Guru Josh, to The Orb, Aphex Twin, Roni Size and Faithless. In total, the map connects over 900 DJs, musicians, clubs, free parties, sound systems, record labels and more.

“The screen print took a massive eight months to design (it was a real labour of love),” says Ali, from Dorothy. “We were lucky enough to meet two of our Haçienda heroes – Greg Wilson and Graeme Park – during the course of designing the print who helped fill in some of the gaps and make suggestions on content.”

Other topics covered in the Blueprint series include histories of alternative music and hiphop. Screen printed in blue or yellow, Acid House Love Blueprint: A History Of Dance Music And Rave Culture costs £35 at

New book by Mark Sinker documents the changing UK music press from the 1960s to the 1980s

Based on a conference that took place in 2015, A Hidden Landscape Once A Week brings together writers, editors and readers of the underground music press

As previously announced, former Wire editor Mark Sinker has edited a book of transcripts from a two day symposium at Birkbeck University of London in 2015 about the changing politics of the UK trade and underground music press of the 1960s, 70s and 80s. It was funded by a Kickstarter in July 2016 and also features additional memoirs, essays and thoughts from participants of the event.

Key contributions have come from Val Wilmer, Richard Williams, David Toop, Bob Stanley, Jon Savage, Cynthia Rose, Penny Reel, Liz Naylor, Charles Shaar Murray, Paul Morley, Paul Gilroy, Simon Frith and many others. And it also features artwork from Wire illustrator Savage Pencil.

A full list of panel discussions that took place can be found on Sinker's website.

A Hidden Landscape Once A Week: The Unruly Curiosity Of The British Music Press From The '60s To The '80s… By Those Who Made It Happen is published by Strange Attractor Press mid-November, and is available to pre-order now.

Pioneer Works music residency expands to include a record label

This September the Brooklyn cultural centre will release music from Miho Hatori and Marijuana Deathsquads

Red Hook's cultural centre Pioneer Works will launch a record label this Autumn. Called Pioneer Works Press, it is an offshoot of the space's Music Residency programme – an invite only residency working out of the venue's stand-alone studio space house in some repurposed shipping containers – with first releases landing this September.

Previous artists to have taken up residence in the space include Yonatan Gat Trio, Wolf Eyes, Tashi Dorji, Susie Ibarra, Senyawa, Michael Beharie, Ka Baird, Jaimie Branch, Greg Fox, and Eli Keszler.

First releases come from Miho Hatori as Miss Information, a concept developed during her time at the space, and based around the question: “What if information was a woman?". Plus, Minneapolis collective Marijuana Deathsquads will release Tuff Guy Electronics. Although that release was mostly recorded in Brooklyn, part of the process also happened at Berlin's Funkhaus and throughout Minneapolis.

Listen to a track from each LP below. Pre-order on Bandcamp.

Miss Information “Viva! Madrid!”

Marijuana Deathsquads “Last Sunny Day”

Cafe Oto pays tribute to Cecil Taylor

Seymour Wright, Pat Thomas and Val Wilmer are among those participating in the event

East London’s Cafe Oto has organised a special tribute to the life and work of US pianist Cecil Taylor, who died at home in New York on 5 April 2018.

The event, happening on 12 August, presents XT & Pat Thomas performing the music of Cecil Taylor Unit’s Akisakila, a double album recorded live in Tokyo in 1973, when his Unit consisted of himself, drummer Andrew Cyrille and saxophonist Jimmy Lyons. Their places at Cafe Oto are taken by pianist Pat Thomas and the XT duo of saxophonist Seymour Wright and drummer Paul Abbott. Oto’s tribute is completed by Evie Ward reading poems inspired or written by Cecil Taylor, plus Wire writer/photographer Val Wilmer and Richard Williams in conversation about the man and his music. Finally, Cecil Taylor’s favourite drink – Prosecco white wine “with a dump of lemon sorbet” – will be served at the bar.

Tickets are £8 advance and £6 for Oto members.

Earlier this year The Wire online marked Cecil Taylor’s passing with an obituary by Phil Freeman, Alexander Hawkins’ essay The Unit Structures Of Cecil Taylor, and The Wire Publisher Tony Herrington’s Three seconds In The World Of Cecil Taylor.

CTM announces Persistence as new festival theme and launches Radio Lab call

CTM 2019 will examine “the aesthetic and societal potentials and pains of perseverance, and of its opposite: the transient and the provisional”

CTM will celebrate its 20th edition next year. Taking place between 25 January and 3 February across various venues in Berlin, the theme has been set as Persistence and, as usual, they have an open call for artists to submit proposals for new radio works in line with the theme.

“As polarising stances and simplistic rhetoric continue to proliferate at alarming rates, we are faced with the difficulties of resisting them and the rifts they create” explains the accompanying text introducing the themes. “The challenge lies in cultivating persistence without tumbling into rigidity or dogma – in cultivating a steadfastness through a recognition of diversity, difference, and hybridity while also embracing fluidity, uncertainty, and flux.” Examining the difficulties of balancing continuity and changeability, they ask: “Can music and art provide us with methods to move towards new societal horizons? Can we maintain a productive, idealistic kind of perseverance – a persistence of the transitory?”.

CTM has also put out an open call for submissions for this year's Radio Lab. Artists and musicians are invited to submit proposals that explore the medium of radio as it crosses over with either live performance or installation, and one that is based on the festival's special theme. The winning artist will receive a 5000€ honorarium, with the work premiered in the form of an installation or live performance at CTM 2019, followed by a broadcast on Deutschlandfunk Kultur’s Klangkunst programme in spring 2019 as a 40–55 minute radio show. The Österreichischer Rundfunk (ORF) will also present the following autumn.

Radio Lab launched in 2014 and is led by CTM Festival and Deutschlandradio Kultur – Radio Art / Klangkunst in collaboration with The Wire, Goethe-Institut and ORF musikprotokoll im steirischen herbst. The Wire staffer and long-running contributor Phil England will be representing on the panel of jurors this year.

A full description of the theme can be found on the CTM website, where you can also get full submission details of Radio Lab. Last year the Cairo electronic music producer and UIQ affiliate Ahmed El Ghazoly aka ZULI won the commission. You can listen to the final radio work via Deutschlandfunk Kultur.