The Wire

The world's greatest print and online music magazine. Independent since 1982


Issue 407

January 2018

Special audiovisual cover. Download the app.

Inside this issue:
Rewind 2017:

Releases of the year: We asked our contributors to nominate their top ten records, CDs, downloads and streams of the year, then we counted up the votes

Critic's reflections: Our contributors look back on 2017's cultural highs and lows

Bordering On Chaos: Joe Muggs on the increasing importance of global music networks

Performing Miracles: Robert Barry on the narrowing gap between modern composition and performance

Survival Instinct: Marc Masters on post break-up bands

In The Grey Area: Britt Brown examines the legacy of Oakland's Ghost Ship fire

Columnists' charts: Our specialist critics select music that rocked their corner of the subculture, from avant rock to the outer limits

Artists' reflections: A cast of 2017's most active movers and shakers shine the spotlight on their cultural year

Archive releases of the year: Our contributors voted for their top 10 archival records, CDs, downloads and streams, and we counted them all up


Wilted Woman: Producer Lizzie Davis stays home and gets anxious. By Chal Ravens

Domas Strupinskas & Saulius Petreikis: The Lithuanian folk duo get creatively anachronistic. By Francis Gooding

Rakta: The Brazilian witch rock trio bring mythology to screaming life. By Meg Woof

Global Ear: Lagos: Meeting challenges from new media, the Nigerian capital's broadcasters are stepping up their game. By Jack Pepper

Collateral Damage: Box Set Blues: The box set has consequences for the very music it is designed to celebrate and preserve. By Sam Lefebvre

Invisible Jukebox: Hessle Audio: Will Ben UFO and Pearson Sound find themselves “Blanked” by The Wire's mystery record selection? Tested by Chal Ravens

The Inner Sleeve: Joachim Nordwall on Cabaret Voltaire's The Voice Of America

Epiphanies: Neil Kulkarni recalls a whacked out juvenile trance

On Screen: Theo Anthony Rat Film

Print Run: Designed For Hi-Fi Living: The Vinyl LP In Midcentury America by Janet Borgerson & Jonathan Schroeder; Punk Is Dead: Modernity Killed Every Night edited by Richard Cabut and Andrew Gallix; Du Piano-Épave: The Well Weathered Piano by Ross Bolleter; The Raincoats’ The Raincoats by Jenn Pelly; Personal Stereo by Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow; Treatise On Musical Objects: An Essay Across Disciplines by Pierre Schaeffer

On Site: Sonica Festival, Glasgow, UK; John Akomfrah, London, UK

On Location Digging The Global South, Cologne, Germany; Shabaka And The Ancestors, London, UK; Simple Things, Bristol, UK; Zhao Cong + Zhu Wenbo + Satoshi Yashiro + Hiroyuki Ura, Tokyo, Japan; Moondog For Gamelan, London, UK


AGF, Altered Natives, Ariadne, Attempt, Becoming Animal, Bitchin Bajas, Blackdown, Black Mountain Transmitter, Butcher Brown, Chra, CoH, Compton White, Conway, The Chick Corea & Steve Gadd Band, Robert Crotty & Loren Connors, Danger Incorporated, Dead Neanderthals, Roger Eno, Erik Enocksson, JK Flesh, France, Gaika, Gardener, Girlsperm, Godflesh, Tomoko Sauvage, Hans Hassler, Hello Skinny, Ill Considered, Insub Meta Orchestra, Invisible Church & Marie Davidson, Niko Karlsson, Mike Kitcher, Felix Kubin, Michul Kuun, La Téne, Meyhem, Lauren & DJ Muggs, Matthew Lux’s Communications Arts Quartet, Mae.Sun, Donald Sturge Anthony McKenzie II, Jake Meginsky, Lisa Mezzacappa, Nah, Orphax, The Ed Palermo Big Band, Nicola Ratti, Marcelo Dos Reis, Marcelo Dos Reis & Eve Risser, Scanner, Hvide Sejl/Varg/F Valentin, Nadah El Shazly, The Telescopes, Umbra, Westside Gunn, Wildflower, Various The Killing Of A Sacred Deer OST, Various NC5: 5 Years Of NoCorner, Various Organ For The Senses, Various We Roll 100 Deep


Art Zoyd, Ornette Coleman, Dub Syndicate, Dub Syndicate with Doctor Pablo, John Frusciante, Gundella, Richard Horowitz, Kicking Giant, Basil Kirchin, Geoffrey Landers, Magma, Blaine L Reininger, The Residents, Various Andina: Huayno, Carnaval & Cumbia: The Sound Of The Peruvian Andes 1968–1978, Various Black Man’s Pride, Various Dancehall: The Rise Of Jamaican Dancehall Culture, Various Trax Test (Excerpts From The Modular Network 1981–1987)