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The Wire Magazine
Issue 431
The Wire
Release Date
December 6, 2019

2019 Rewind: the year in underground music

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

Critics’ Reflections: Our contributors look back on 2019’s cultural highs and lows

Science Fiction: Worlds beyond. By Claire Sawers

Residencies: Adventures with the avant jet set. By Clive Bell

Columnists’ Charts: Our specialist critics select music that shook their corner of the subculture, from avant rock to noise

Criticism: Shade tolerance. By Emily Bick

Streaming: Clouding the issue. By Mark Sinker

Hobbyism: Scene unheard. By Rob Hayler

Archive Releases of the Year: Our contributors voted for their top ten archival records, CDs, downloads and streams, and we counted them all up

Invisible Jukebox: Hildur Guðnadóttir: Will the cellist and composer bow under the weight of The Wire’s mystery record selection? Tested by Lizzie Davis

Unlimited Editions: Discus Records

Unofficial Channels: 64 Quartets

Empath: Philadelphia four-piece let their feelings flow. By Neil Kulkarni

Pod Blotz: Tech trash and future flash from the Los Angeles polymath. By Louis Pattison

Adam de la Cour: High art and kitsch meet in the UK film maker/composer’s work. By Robert Barry

Global Ear: Mexico City: The capital city is a melting pot for contemporary jazz. By Howard Mandel

The Inner Sleeve: Joe Muggs on ’Ard Corrr by Well ’Ard

Epiphanies: Nature nurtures, according to Ben Ponton of :zoviet*france:

Print Run: More Fun In The New World: The Unmaking And Legacy Of LA Punk by John Doe with Tom DeSavia & Friends; The Punk Reader: Research Transmissions From The Local And The Global by Russ Bestley, Mike Dines, Alastair ‘Gords’ Gordon & Paula Guerra; The City Was Yellow: Chicago Jazz And Improvised Music 1980–2010 edited by Mike Reed; Women In The Studio: Creativity, Control And Gender In Popular Music Sound Production by Paula Wolfe; On Time: A Princely Life In Funk by Morris Day with David Ritz; Bass, Mids, Tops: An Oral History Of Soundsystem Culture by Joe Muggs & Brian David Stevens; Tony Conrad: Writings by Tony Conrad, Constance DeJong & Andrew Lampert; The Arithmetic Of Listening: Tuning Theory And History For The Impractical Musician by Kyle Gann

On Screen: Roy Dipankar Extreme Nation

On Site: Honey-Suckle Company: Omnibus, London, UK; David Tudor & Composers: Inside Electronics, New York, US

On Location: Semibreve, Braga, Portugal; Plastique Fantastique: A Friends’ Rendezvous @ Mars Year Zero, London, UK; King Midas Sound, London, UK; Sonica, Glasgow, UK; Moor Mother + Klein + Galya Bisengalieva, London, UK; Pan Daijing: Tissues, London, UK; David Byrne’s American Utopia, New York, US; Bob Mould, London, UK

Soundcheck: Laura Agnusdei, Derek Baron, Derek Baron & Zoots Houston, George Barton & Siwan Rhys/Karlheinz Stockhausen, Ian Brighton, Ian Brighton/Philipp Wachsmann/Trevor Taylor/Marcio Mattos, Peter Brötzmann, Catatonic Effigy, Seungmin Cha, Citizen Bravo, Raymond MacDonald & Friends, Deathprod, Eartheater, Jessica Ekomane, The Flying Luttenbachers, Juliet Fraser & Plus-Minus Ensemble/Cassandra Miller, Nick Fraser/Kris Davis/Tony Malaby (with Ingrid Laubrock & Lisa Allemano), Gang Starr, Giant Sand, Group Jaipongan Endah Parahyangan, Sarah Hennies, Arve Henriksen, Jay Glass Dubs, Mark Jenkin, Kid Acne, Mark Knoop/Tim Parkinson, Hiro Kone, Mark Korven, Jen Kutler, Ingrid Laubrock & Aki Takase, Daniel Lopatin, Makaya McCraven, Mark McGuire, Joe McPhee/Graham Lambkin/Charlie McPhee/Oliver Lambkin, Million Brazilians, Roy Montgomery, Roy Montgomery & Emma Johnston, Moth Cock, Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto, Aki Onda & Paul Clipson, Jim O’Rourke, Oval, Anthony Pasquarosa, Junius Paul, Permanent Six Flags, Petbrick, Psychic Graveyard, Psychic Sounds Ensemble, Fatima Al Qadiri, Rainbow Crimes, Rammellzee, Sandunes, DJ Shadow, Omar Souleyman, Soundwalk Collective with Patti Smith, Speaker Music, Tears|Ov, Ubik MCDXCII, Ben Vida, Serge Vuille & Severine Ballon/Georgia Rodgers, WaqWaq Kingdom, Lisa Williamson, Various Kamaal Williams: DJ Kicks

The Boomerang: Burial, Gene Clark, Issam Hajali, Roland Kayn, Mighty Baby, Om, Sparks, Masahiro Sugaya, Tribe, Walter Zimmermann, Various Brutal Africa: The Heavy Metal Cowboys Of Botswana, Various Congo Revolution: Revolutionary And Evolutionary Sounds From The Two Congos 1955–1962

Cover by Thomas Brown & Ben Weaver

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