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The Wire (sometimes stylised as WIRE) is a British avant garde music magazine, founded in May 1982 by jazz promoter Anthony Wood and journalist Chrissie Murray. The magazine initially concentrated on contemporary jazz and New Music, but branched out in the early 1990s to various types of experimental music.[1][2][3] Since then it has covered Electronica, modern classical, Free improvisation, Avant rock, hip hop, New jazz, Modern composition, Traditional musics and beyond.

The Wire
The Wire (magazine) Issue 294.jpg
Wire #323, January 2011
Editor-in-Chief Chris Bohn
Categories Music magazine
Frequency Monthly
Publisher The Wire Magazine Ltd
First issue 1982
Country United Kingdom
Based in London, United Kingdom
Language English
ISSN 0952-0686



Richard Cook succeeded Anthony Wood as editor, and was himself succeeded in June 1992 by Mark Sinker;[4] he continued as a contributor for some years. Since then, the magazine has been edited successively by Tony Herrington, Rob Young, Chris Bohn (March 2004 – November 2015) and Derek Walmsley (December 2015 – present).

A series of new music compilation CDs called The Wire Tapper has been given away with the magazine since 1998.[5] The magazine has used the strapline "Adventures in Modern Music" since 1994; on 14 December 2011 The Wire's staff announced that the magazine's old strapline "Adventures In Modern Music" had been replaced by "Adventures In Sound And Music". In addition to the Wire Tapper CDs, subscribers receive label, country and festival samplers.

Apart from the numerous album reviews every month, the magazine has features such as "The Invisible Jukebox", an interview conducted by way of unknown tracks being played to an artist, and "The Primer", an in-depth article on a genre or act.[6] It also features the avant music scene of a particular city every issue. In addition to its musical focus, the magazine likes to investigate cover art and mixed media artistic works.

Between 1984 and 2000 The Wire was owned by Naim Attallah's Namara Group; the magazine was bought out by its staff in December 2000 and is now published independently.[3]

Since January 2003 The Wire has been presenting a weekly radio programme on the London community radio station Resonance FM, which uses the magazine's strapline as its title and is hosted in turns by members of The Wire.[7]

The Wire celebrated its 400th issue in June 2017.


  • Undercurrents - The Hidden Wiring Of Modern Music. Continuum, 2002.
  • The Wire Primers. Verso, 2009.
  • Savage Pencil’s Trip or Squeek. Strange Attractor, 2012.
  • Epiphanies: Life-changing Encounters With Music. Strange Attractor, 2015. Edited by Tony Herrington.



  1. ^ Jones, Steve (2002). Pop Music and the Press. Temple University Press. p. 58. ISBN 1-56639-966-1. 
  2. ^ Lindberg, Ulf (2005). Rock Criticism from the Beginning. Peter Lang. pp. 315–317. ISBN 9780820474908. Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Green, Thomas H. (25 October 2007). "A haven for lovers of avant-garde bagpipe music". The Telegraph. Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  4. ^ Music Blog, "Inky Fingers: Maggoty Lamb on the state of the nation's jazz mags", The Guardian, 23 September 2009.
  5. ^ Couture, François. "The Wire Tapper, Vol. 1 [Wire Magazine]". Allmusic. Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  6. ^ Klein, Joshua (29 March 2002). "Tony Herrington, Editor: Invisible Jukebox". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  7. ^ "The Wire Presents Adventures in Modern Music on Resonance". Retrieved 18 July 2015. 

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