The Wire

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


Undercurrents - The Hidden Wiring Of Modern Music edited by Rob Young

Undercurrents Book

Price: £41.99
Postage and packing:
UK – free
Europe airmail – £3
Rest of world airmail – £4
Subscribers to The Wire get a discount of £5 off each copy

Published by Continuum Books in 2002 to coincide with The Wire's 20th anniversary, this anthology of essays, many adapted from back issues of the magazine, outlines the key concepts and underlying themes hardwired into the radical music of the past 100 years. The book is now required reading for many music-related courses at universities worldwide.

Print-on-demand edition.


"Recording Angels: The esoteric origins of the phonograph" by Erik Davis
"On The Mic: How amplification altered the voice for good" by Ian Penman
"The Jerrybuilt Future: The Sonic Arts Union, ONCE Group and MEV's live electronics" by Christoph Cox
"Worship The Glitch: Digital music, electronic disturbance" by Rob Young
"The Eternal Drone: Good vibrations, ancient to future" by Marcus Boon
"Slapping Pythagoras: The battle for the music of the spheres" by Rob Young
"The Ragged Trousered Anthologist: Harry Smith and his worlds" by Peter Shapiro & Philip Smith
"The Solar Myth Approach: Sun Ra, Stockhausen, P-Funk, Hawkwind: the live space ritual" by Ken Hollings
"Humans, Are They Really Necessary?: Sound art, automata, musical sculpture" by David Toop
"Automating The Beat: The robotics of rhythm" by Peter Shapiro
"The Autobahn Goes On Forever: On the road with Kraftwerk, Neu!, Wim Wenders" by Biba Kopf
"Rock Concrète: Counterculture plugs into the academy" by Edwin Pouncey
"Deck Wreckers: The turntable as instrument" by Peter Shapiro
"Destroy All Music: The Futurists' Art of Noises" by Mark Sinker
"The Limits Of Language: Sound poetry and Lettrism's textual assault" by Julian Cowley
"The Music Of Chance: Cage, Kagel, Zorn: Chance operators, musical dice men" by Andy Hamilton
"Smiling Faces Sometimes: Soul music's grinners and backstabbers" by Peter Shapiro
"Frames Of Freedom: Improvisation, otherness and the limits of spontaneity" by David Toop
"Generation Ecstasy: New York's free jazz continuum" by Tom Roe