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Issue 179 January 1999 52 80186 50 ISSN 0952-0686 (USPS 006231)

4 5 4 6 Poland Street London WlV 3DF UK

Tel: 0111 439 6422 .Fax: 0111 2814161

Email: the-wire& Website:

Ed~torlPublisherTony Herrington

Deputy Editor Rob Young Revlews Ed~torChrh Bohn Art Ed~torRobin Hawes

Adverdslng Manager Daniak Gagiulo (0111494 1340) Projects Manager Anne Hilde Neset

Subxr~ptlonsBen House (0111 134 3555) Adrn~n~stratorBen Farrington

Words JakeBarnea, Mike Bames, Ed Baxter, Clive Bell, C l ub Blackford, Philip Brophy, Linton Chiswick, RichardCook, JulianCowley, ChrLtoph Cm,Brian England, KodwoEshun,JohnMrall, Matt ffytche, Sasha Frere-Jones,Louise Gray,lIndy Hamilton, Richard Hendexaon,Ken Hollings, Steve Holtje, Velimir Pavle I lk , David Keenan, Rahma Khazarn, Nick IUmberley, Biba Kopf, MLange, AC Lee, Howad Maudel, Peter 1VIcIntgre,M y M e d h ~ t ,Will MonQommy,Tkah n , E d h Ponncey,SimanReynolds, Tom Ridge, Robin Rirnbaud,JonathanRomney, Mikem, Peter S h a p h , CM s Sharp,Mark Sinker,David Toop, JohnLWaltars, Ben Watson, Val W-, Barry Witherden, Douglaa Wok Images k n y & Tanveer, JIllianIlnderclon,Frank Bauer, Dean Belcher, Iris Garrelfs, Adam bwxence, Simon Leigh, Magda, JoeMiles, Savage Pencil, Maria Ramstriim, Nick Strangelove, Michele T u r h d , Eva Vennaudel

Cover photo of Dav~dSylvlan Michele Tumiani

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Chalrman of the Namara Group Nairn Attallah Founder AnthonyWood Printed by St Ives PLC The Wue a a member of the Namara Group USA The Wire l5SN 09526686IUSPS006231l e publshedmonthly for $60by The Wlre Magmne Ltd PerMlcalspostagepald at Champlaln NY 12919-1518 Pmrnartef,rend address changes to The Wne c10 IMS ofNwvY~kPOBoxI5l8.Champla1n.NY12919-1518

T h e m e m s W m me Weare thw of rhe r ewave conVlbuW~mare M mswhl shared bY W magdllwOr lUItalf The WmmllUmMrerpormbltyfm mUY"ptr Dhaoarapband illmnanr C w s M here Md atroad sMby mewhihw o( b/ h e e l a m c m l b t m U w n m s e d rea- 01 W #ternIS fwbdden and we mean #c ony Herrington is indisposed, chewing an apple rumlnativelyat the far end of the office, so it falls to me to tie up the final loose end in th~s retrospective issue's rich tapestry. Whenever we reach this stage of the year and poll our team of writers for their thoughts on 1998, you can count on more than a few protesting voices to shower you with crles of 'It's not been a good year for muslc. . .' One look at our end of year charts, with their mlxture of old names returning to top form and stellar debuts from new artists, proves otherwise. 9 8 was certainly the most frenetic year 1 can remember at The Wlre, and although a glance over our Rewind feature (which starts on page 26) inevitably reminds you just how much music you didn't manage to bend an ear to this year, this a also a time to reflect on successes and positive developments in other areas outs~dethe recorded medrum For example, alongside The re's continuing increase in sales and subscriptions (this year we hit our largest figure in the mag's 1 6 year hatory), we somehow found the time to give you two free Wre Tapper CD;; curate a number of live events in London, Glasgow and Nottingham; CO-runLondon's Scratch club, which culminated in a sell-out performance by Plastikman and Pole; maintain a presence at Barcelona's Sonar Festival, Battery Park in Cologne, the Visual Music Festival in Lanzarote, Ballroom International in Berlin, and probably a whole lot more that we're too battlefatlgued to remember.

Onward, then: we confidently predict that 1 9 9 9 w~llbring more free CDs, more Wire events, an upgraded Wire Website, and if we get a moment to ourselves In the office, another 12 issues of the world's most adventurous music title. As one small gesture towards the closlng of the century, our new Undercurrents series (beginning with Erik Davis's fascinating account of the esoteric origlns of recording on page 18), will be investlgatlng some of the underlying trends, innovat~ons,hidden movements and flashes of inventlve genius that have profoundly but invisibly shaped the music and sound of the last 100years. As for the rest of our content, we'll be continuing to bring you all the music that makes the present our favourite tense

To conclude, and because they wouldn't fit anywhere else, here are my personal high and low points of 1998:

Pros: Techno strlpped back to its quartz heart and rocked my year: Thomas Brinkmann,The Modernist and Cologne's Kompakt family (Wolfgang& Reinhard Voigt, Jurgen Paape, Frank Heiss, etc), Plast~kman, Underground Resistance, Jeff Mills, Rhythm & Sound, Khan & Walker. Fascinatingflowerings and fester~ngs: musique concrete and pioneering electroacoust~cs swarming on record labels dedicated enough to sniff out the goods: Alga Marghen, Nepless, Cramps (the missing Itallan links), Pogus Productions, Rune Grammofon, INNGRM, Paradigm; critical noise (VNM, Stock, Hausen & Walkman, DHR); The Mre Sound System in demand. Fave labels: Bomb HIP-Hop, Chain React~on, Constellation, DIN, Ernst, Fat Cat, Karaoke Kalk, Moikai, Noise Museum, Sonlg, Tom. Stardust memories: Richie Hawtin In Tokyo and London; Mouse On Mars at Sonar; Dr Walker, Bianca Strauch and Terre Thaeml~tzat Cologne's Battery Park festival; To Rococo Rot and Brokeback m the phantasmagoric industrial setting of Sheffield'sTest One; Dumb Type at the Barbican; Rlchard Thomas & Jon Tye (aka Hairy Butter) at Astrolabe; Pole dubbing till dawn at Berlin's Roter Salon Repeat play: Nuno Canavarro, DJ Disk, Do Make Say Thlnk, Don't Dolby, Fennesz, Pierre Henry, Mark Hollis, lmpulsel reissues, Koln Kmpakt, Lithops, Matmos, Pluramon, Pole, Root, Terre Thaemlitz, VNM Trumpetblowing: Wre events at Interference (especially Theremins, Modulations premlere and Harry Partch); the Union Chapel (Thomas KonerIJurgen Reble's filmloop alchemy); and Nottingham Now ninety8 (Pluramon & Kaffe Matthews, To Rococo Rot + D). In the line of duty: meat 2nd maggots in Manchester; John Martyn interview; Wire women's panel at Sonar; meeting the sons of Mervyn Peake; playing VNM and Xenakis to a room full of Eurocrats at Cultural Competence, Linz. Print: Kodwo'sMoreBriliant Than The Sun eclipsed just about everybody else, except for Harry Smith:Amencan Magus; Vital Signs from the Pen Man at last; WG Sebald - The R~ngsOf Saturn; Jeff Noon -PixelJuice. Art Illuminatingmusic (but not necessarily the other way round):Anish Kapoor;Vienna's Abuse Industries; Futurists at the Estorick; Speed photography at Whitechapel and the Photographers'Gallery. Cons: Lack of available resources means Britain continuesto miss out on the energy of European music. Air traffic control at Heathrow and Cologne. ROB YOUNG


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