So you thought Royal Trux were a pair of strung-out rock 'n' roll junkies? Wise up. From their remote Virginia ranch, avant garage's First Couple are astutely playing the media and the stock market. Words: Louise Gray. This article originally appeared in The Wire 171 (May 1998).
Are Stereolab the perfect pop group? By combining a rigorous DIY aesthetic with a playful reverence for the arcane relics of musics past, they have managed to make a reality out of that most elusive of notions: experimental music that actually sells. This article was originally published in The Wire 149 (July 1996).
Roll over Beethoven, it's Vorsprung Durch Technik time! The most visionary – and least understood – of modern European composers, Karlheinz Stockhausen talks to Brian Morton about the 'time bombs' he has created to escape from the 'graveyard' of the Western classical tradition. This article originally appeared in The Wire 62 (April 1989).
Digital composer Yasunao Tone's paramedia assault on old paradigms has led him from Tokyo to New York, via Japanese Fluxus pranks, work with Merce Cunningham and Yoko Ono, and destabilising CDs with Scotch tape. This article originally appeared in The Wire 223 (September 2002).
Talvin Singh - virtuoso percussionist, producer, club organiser and musical live wire - is a crucial contributor to the passage of black and Asian music into the wide world of global pop. Rob Young speaks to him about his collaborations with Bjork, Sun Ra and On-U Sound, and hears a vision of the future sound of India. This article originally appeared in The Wire 144 (February 1996).
Ravi Shankar spearheaded the meeting of Eastern and Western musics via collaborations with Philip Glass, George Harrison and others. Clive Bell speaks to the sitarist in his 76th year. This article was originally published in The Wire 148 (June 1996).
In this rare interview with poet, playwright and Black Liberation Movement activist Amiri Baraka, Val Wilmer offers an insight into his immeasurable contribution to 20th century Afro-American thought and his 'commitment to humanity' in building the black New World. This article was originally published in The Wire 10 (December 1984).
Brian Morton on the incredibly slow unfolding of Harold Budd. This article originally appeared in The Wire 48 (February 1988).
Conrad Schnitzler, German pioneer of "cold, hard, electronic sound", has refused to stay dormant in the 35 years since his collaborations with Tangerine Dream and Kluster, as well as his own legendary group, Eruption. He has spewed forth a phenomenal amount of sound and noise in every format, from player piano rolls to MP3s. By David Keenan. This article originally appeared in The Wire 267 (May 2006).
The film maker and journalist talks to Nathan Budzinski about pop trash, posh documentaries and writing with archives.
Singer, composer, synth pioneer – Annette Peacock has been skating in her own skies for 20 years. Jonathan Coe reckons she's still the one. This interview originally appeared in The Wire 75 (May 1990).
The multi-talented Carla Bley lifted more than a few sagging spirits as she passed through recession-gripped Britain last month [in 1982] with Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra. She has been described as ‘the most original pianist-composer since Monk’, and her latest album – Live! – with her own band is already proving one of 1982’s biggest success stories. In a rare moment of relaxation, Carla Bley offered Stan Britt an insight into her individual world of music. This interview originally appeared in The Wire 2 (Winter 1982/83), alongside a feature on Bley's influences and musical roots by Charles Fox.
Carla Bley wrote her first opera when she was eight. Charles Fox appraises her roots – and, along the way, discovers some intriguing musical influences. This article first appeared in The Wire 2 (Winter 1982/83), alongside Stan Britt's interview with Carla Bley.
Using digital samplers, John Wall constructs vivid musical fantasias, where classical recitals rub shoulders with Death Metal and free improvisation. Interview by Tony Herrington. This article first appeared in The Wire 136 (June 1995).
Once just a bystanding thug in the crowd, John Wardle astonished all when he picked up bass for his friend Johnny Rotten's new group Public Image Limited, and in fame's high glare proved himself the creative motor of this vanguard unit. Ten years on, Simon Reynolds finds Wobble's own group Invaders Of The Heart continuing the exploration. This article first appeared in The Wire 93, November 1991.
Elegant, Crystalline, Mysterious or Enervated, Chilly, Morose? In this rare interview, Europe's leading label boss explains to Richard Cook exactly what ECM stands for. This article originally appeared in The Wire 58.
The compositions of Iannis Xenakis are inseparable from his skills as an architect. Brian Morton talks to "an ancient Greek in the modern world". This article first appeared in The Wire 55 (September 1988).
The compositions of Iannis Xenakis are shot through with the sound of warfare, crowds, arcane mathematics and Chaos Theories. Ben Watson meets a composer whose attempts to transform Futurism into sound capsize the cliches of modern classical music. This article originally appeared in The Wire 136 (June 1995).
Read the unedited transcript of Hype Williams's Invisible Jukebox, tested by Lisa Blanning.
The unedited transcript of Biba Kopf's interview with Robert Wyatt. A feature based on this interview appeared in issue #163 of The Wire
It has take Mick Karn over ten years to emerge from the manicured electro pop of Japan into the hi-tech world fusion of Bestial Cluster. He tells Louise Gray what a difference a decade makes. This article first appeared in The Wire 122 (April 1994).
The German artist explores the inner life of stones and sounds made by colours. By David Keenan. This article first appeared in The Wire 306 (August 2009).
Rolf Julius explains why sound and vision are simply opposite sides of the same coin. By Rahma Khazam. This article first appeared in The Wire 261 (November 2005).
On the streets and in the subways of New York, the spirit of black free jazz lives on in the music of a few true believers – musicians like Charles Gayle; homeless, neglected but still burning with the passion to be free. By Howard Mandel. This article originally appeared in The Wire 121 (March 1994).