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Words Steve Barker, Mike Barnes, Ed Baxter, Clive Bell, Chris Blackford, Ben Borthwick, Julian Cowley, Christoph Cox, Alan Cununings, Brian Duguid, Phil England, Kodwo Eshun, Matt ffytche, Sasha FrereJones , Natalie Gravenor, Louise Gray , AndyHcunilton, Richard Henderson, Ken Hollings , Hua Hsu , David Keenan , Monica Kendrick , Rahm.a Khazcun, Nick Kimberley 1 Biba Kopf, Art Lange, Alan Licht, Howard Mandel, Peter Mclntyre , Andy Medhurst, Will Montgomery, Jon C Morgan, Ian Pemnan, Edwin Pouncey1 Simon Reynolds , Tom Ridge, Stephen Robinson, Chris Sharp, Philip Sherburne, Mark Sinker, Dave Tompkins, David Toop , Dan Warburton , Ben Watson, Don Watson , Val, Barry Witherden Images Amy & Tanveer, Frank Bauer, Dean Belcher, Nigel Bennett, Vince Dohnan, Mattias Ek, Melanie Grizzel, Oily Hewitt , Ti:m Kent , Simon Leigh, Joe Miles , Savage Pencil , Michele Turriani , Eva Verm.andel , Johnny Volcano, Wandy Cover photo of S1gur ROs 1n Iceland Eva Verrnandel

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Chairman of the Namara Group Nairn Attallah Founder Anthony Wood

If 2000 wasn't already atotal blur, after acouple of days ed1t1ng our Rew1nd retrospective th1s month, I'm left w1th th1s page to fill, not qu1te know1ng what was th1s year. what was the prev1ous year, or the sounds I heard st1ck1ng my head 1n the wash1ng mach1 ne aged three. Most of the year's h1ghl1ghts came 1n arush at the very end, namely adeeply moving, human tnbute to W1ll1am Blake, 1n song and story, by Patti Sm1th at StJames's Church 1n Central London;and the all too bnef gl1mpse of Iceland's new mus1cal honzonsoutllned on page 28 (speoal thanks to composer H1lmar Orn H1lmarsson for h1s sage and 1ns1ghtful guidance).

2000 was apartiCularly strong year for underground H1pHop - rediscove ring the power of the Word, the likes of Ant1-Pop Consortium,Son1c Sum and M1ke Ladd made for some aston1Sh1nglywe1rded out and Singular poetry Writing on H1pHop was where critical language found Itself stretching furthest to accommodate the mus1c's supersonic developments.

As ever, it was aconstant source of regret to watch scores of amaz1ng look1ng records fly out of theoff1ceon the1r way to our freelance rev1ewers, without always hav1ng the chance to listen to them myself Nevertheless, some of the great pleasures Idid manage to catch came from outly1ng terntones (in the mus1c Industry's eyes, at least) Fuss1ble, Bost1ch and Panopt1ca - floor-filling Techno-norteiio from TiJuana,Catpmsstma'- Braz1l1an electron1ca; unreality-bathing w1th Argentinian trio Reynols;moreEthtopiques (BudaMus1que)and Hugh Tracey recordings out of Afnca ,Scand1nav1an stuffRune Grammofon, KJetil Bransdal,Ake Hodell,K1mmo Pohjonen,S1gur R6s,Kitchen Motors,Apparat Organ Quartet In arecord shop 1n Crete, Idiscovered FM Rercords' CD senes (wwwfmrecords net) a1nng the haunting, dead vo1ces from early 20th century Armen1a, the Balkans, and aGreece that no longer ex1sts

Pros Labels Antlcon,Blue Chopsticks,Charh1zma, a revitalised Delmark, Erstwhile, Fractal,Grab, Nortec, Orthlorng Musork, R1tornell , 75 Ark, T1gerbeat6

CD Keepers Blechtum From Blechdom,K1d606, Matmos, K1t Clayton (bombdrops from the Bay), Vladislav

Delay, Gunter Muller, Ke1th Rowe, M1lford Graves,Faust's Wumme Years box set, more electroacoust1c treasures: Richard Maxf1eld, Kenneth Gaburo (Pogus ), P1erre Henry box sets, Xenak1s 's Persepolts, Gu1llermo Gregono (Atav1st1c Unheard Mus1c Senes), Enn1o Morncone soundtracks(Dagored), 700 YearsO{TheBerltn Phonogramm-Archtve box set (Wergo)

On stage Kimmo Pohjonen, J1m O'Rourke,Burnt Fnedman, Ph1li pJeckat Pans Batofar; Coil1n Barcelona and London.Mego,Supersllent,Sherwood at The W1re Sess1ons.Nobukazu Takemura and FennO'Berg 1n Donost1a-San Sebastian.Ant1-Pop Consortium at Penfenas,Huesca. Other b1ts and bobs that oiled the wheels of life:Octavo D1g1tal Ed1t1ons (www octavocam); Chnss1 Island; Jane Lerner, Ph1l1p Sherburne, Beta lounge, Richard Henderson, XLR8Rcrew, and the CCAC's hosp1tal1ty 1n San Franosco dunng the Rooms For Listening event,n1ght dnv1ng w1th Terre Thaemhtz over the Bay Bndge

B1g screen 1'1agnolta, Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?, High Rdelrty, 1'1tfune. Small screen Black Books, lain S1nclaw's Asylum Pnnt M1ke Barnes:CaptainBee{heart,M1k1s Theodorak1s Joumals OfReststance, Dave Cavanagh.The Creation Records Story, Neal Stephenson:Cryptonomcon Expo Sonic Boom at the Hayward;W1lliam Blake at Tate Bnta1n,Live In Your Head and Protest &Surv1ve at the Whltechapel;Buckm1nster Fuller at the Des1gn Museum; theaquanum at Pans's Musee d'Oceanographie F1nally d1gg1ng dogs, including Jelf Koons's puppy at the Bilbao Guggenhem Morton Subotn1ck for stories, sounds and unperturbablegood humour.

Cons:London becom1ng harderto live 1n for all sorts of reasons VIolence, distance,traffiC, nOISe pollution, garbage, property pnces. Another no-show summer in Northern Europe coupled w1th breakdown ofenvwonmenta l ta lks and the press fail1ng to report this as one story.Cyclists accused of block1ng roads dunng go-slow protests - like cars don't clog up the streets every day? Compan1es eating each other The Turner Prize and any 'art' 1nvolv1ng d1anes. personal effects and holiday snaps ROB YOUNG

The February issue of The Wire will be on sale on

Tuesday 30 January

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