Album: V/A – The Wire Tapper 22 (The Wire Magazine 2009)


The 22nd Wire Tapper comes with this month’s copy of the mag. It’s one of the strongest and most diverse yet – a great improvement on #21. Rather than write a long spiel, here’s 20 tracks in 20 sentences.

  1. Stearica feat. Dälek. Big beats, distorted viola and all round heaviness combined with MC Dälek at his most downbeat, a magnificent start.
  2. Arturas Bumsteinas String Quartet. Effective combination of melancholy drones and free violin lines.
  3. Shits and Giggles. Stoned hippies with a deluded sense of their own wit and neatly summed up by the first four letters of their name.
  4. Zenlo. Primitive sounding collision between early Cabaret Voltaire and Little Walter – great stuff.
  5. Marcus Maeder. Near total silence punctuated by occasional quiet electronic rumbles.
  6. Yoshio Machida. An excerpt from a live improvised piece using steel pans (they sound like steel drum – the same thing?) that turns something that’s usually joyous and danceable into something almost eerie and otherworldly – probably best heard in its unedited form for full effect.
  7. Tomoyoshi Date & Corey Fuller. Beautiful poetic meditations over a melancholy backdrop of piano and electronics that are moving even if you don’t speak a word of Japanese.
  8. Elodie Lauten. Excellent rolling, tumbling piano improvisation.
  9. Clang Syne. Crepescular folk-noise that’s a little like Baxters’ era Jefferson Airplane but looser and darker; potentially a real find.
  10. Climax Golden Twins. A little lame – Chinese scales played on acoustic guitars with no real gusto or tempo and ending up sounding like a learner’s piece.
  11. Netherworld. Right up my street, this, a hypnotic, classical loop-based concoction of field samples of glaciers that slides along eerily until its sudden stop.
  12. 10-20. An M M & M favourite, “Athens” is another winner that sets off like a bunch of pinball machines on speed before it begins to clear into a heavy machine-like rhythm.
  13. Franck Vigroux. Wow! One for Pan Sonic fans as electronic pulses are swathed in bursts of noise like high velocity wind, building up a momentum all the way until the circuits seem to fizz and burn with electricity overload.
  14. Arrington de Dionyso. A scary combination of roaring throat-singing, pounding drums, fucked-up organ and bursts of reed – like Beefheart crossed with a very angry grizzly bear (the animal, not the band)
  15. Pink Mountain. A fun and gloriously heavy combination of pounding psychedelic doom metal and “Astronomy Dominie” type vocal harmonies.
  16. Jørgen Plaetner. Nearly fifty year old electronic music based on oscillators and frequency pitching that doesn’t sound nearly as dated as it might, in fact it’s dark and engrossing.
  17. Angkorwat. Pleasing laptop funk with strange wailing voices that sounds like it was recorded through a battered transistor radio.
  18. Abreator. Bass-heavy Autechre beats combined with a droning analogue organ melody that gives the speakers a good shaking.
  19. Oki Dokie. 74 seconds of machine driven hardcore – the missing link between Minor Threat and Nine Inch Nails
  20. Keyboard Choir. A beautiful way to end proceedings with a nocturnal, Eno-esque keyboard melody full of a cosmic sadness.

1. Stearica feat. Dälek – Occhio (edit)
2. Arturas Bumsteinas String Quartet – Karlstad
3. Shits and Giggles – Ripcord
4. Zenlo – The Crab
5. Marcus Maeder – Quadrate
6. Yoshio Machida – Setagaya Art Museum, Sep 28 2008
7. Tomoyoshi Date & Corey Fuller – Seiya
8. Elodie Lauten – Cat Counterpoint
9. Clang Syne – A Death and a Vision
10. Climax Golden Twins – Chinese
11. Netherworld – Aurora Borealis
12. 10-20 – Athens
13. Franck Vigroux – New York
14. Arrington de Dionyso – Rasa Sentuh
15. Pink Mountain – Ditch Witch
16. Jørgen Plaetner – Beta 1962-63
17. Angkorwat – Big / Little Edie
18. Abreator – Flagg
19. Oki Dokie – The Monad
20. Keyboard Choir – Tokyo at Night



4 responses to “Album: V/A – The Wire Tapper 22 (The Wire Magazine 2009)

  1. Just to let you know, re Track 6, steel pans are the same as steel drums. The instruments were called steel pans when invented in Trinidad and Tobago and this continues in most of the world. They are known in the US as steel drums.
    Professional musicians who play the instrument correctly refer to them as steel pans.

    all the best,
    liz mannette

  2. Wire has been annoying me these last few months. Not only did they not send me one of my subscribed to issues, I’m just finding that the content is drifting away from my tastes pretty fast.

    Or maybe I’m just set in my ways!

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