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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
Website www.thewire.co.uk
ISSN 0952-0686

Contents

DetailsEdit

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1994; on 14 December 2011 The Wire's staff announced that the magazine's old strapline "Adventures In Modern Music" had been replaced by "Adventures In Sound And Music".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.

Annual critics' pollsEdit

1985–1991: jazz eraEdit

Year Artist Album Nation Source
1985 LP of the Year: Ronald Shannon Jackson Decode Yourself   United States [8]
1986 LP of the Year: Pat Metheny and Ornette Coleman Song X [9]
1987 Top LP of the Year: Ornette Coleman In All Languages [10]
1988 Top LP of the Year: Cecil Taylor Unit Live in Bologna [11]
1989 Critics' Poll: David Murray Ming's Samba [12]
1990s
1990 The Critics' Choice: John Scofield[note 1] Time on My Hands   United States [13]
1991 "Main jazz and improvised" category: Sheila Jordan /
"Open vote 'beyond' category":[note 2] Kraftwerk
Lost and Found /
The Mix
  United States /
  Germany
[14]
  1. ^ Cecil Taylor's 11-CD box set In Berlin '88 was deemed the "most impressive recording project of the year" and appeared at the top of many critics' ballots, but was kept off the main list because "11 against one wasn't really fair odds for the rest".
  2. ^ The "open vote 'beyond' category" marked the first time that The Wire included a poll encompassing all genres. In previous years, the magazine only published a "main" jazz poll alongside polls of other genres. In 1992, the all-genre poll became the "main" poll for Record of the Year. The magazine continued to publish genre-specific polls.

1992–2010: Record of the YearEdit

Year Artist Album Nation Source
1992 Arrested Development 3 Years, 5 Months and 2 Days in the Life Of...   United States [15]
1993 Björk Debut   Iceland [16]
1994 Portishead Dummy   United Kingdom [17]
1995 Tricky Maxinquaye [18]
1996 Tortoise Millions Now Living Will Never Die   United States [19]
1997 Robert Wyatt Shleep   United Kingdom [20]
1998 Sonic Youth A Thousand Leaves   United States [21]
1999 Mouse on Mars Niun Niggung   Germany [22]
2000s
2000 Antipop Consortium Tragic Epilogue   United States [23]
2001 Björk Vespertine   Iceland [24]
2002 Sonic Youth Murray Street   United States [25]
2003 Robert Wyatt Cuckooland   United Kingdom [26]
2004 Albert Ayler Holy Ghost: Rare & Unissued Recordings (1962–70)   United States [27]
2005 The Books Lost and Safe [28]
2006 Burial Burial   United Kingdom [29]
2007 Robert Wyatt Comicopera [30]
2008 The Bug London Zoo [31]
2009 Broadcast and The Focus Group Broadcast and The Focus Group Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age [32]
2010s
2010 Actress Splazsh   United Kingdom [33]

2011–present: Release of the YearEdit

Year Artist Album Nation Source
2011 James Ferraro Far Side Virtual   United States [34]
2012 Laurel Halo Quarantine [35]
2013 Julia Holter Loud City Song [36]
2014 Aphex Twin Syro   United Kingdom [37]
2015 Jlin Dark Energy   United States [38]
2016 David Bowie ★ (Blackstar)   United Kingdom [39]
2017 Chino Amobi Paradiso   United States [40]

BooksEdit

  • 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.

ContributorsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  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". web20158.clarahost.co.uk. Archived from the original on 22 July 2015. Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  8. ^ "The Critics' Choice: LPs of the Year" . The Wire. No. 23. London. January 1986. p. 38 – via Exact Editions. 
  9. ^ "The Critics' Choice: LPs of the Year" . Wire Magazine. No. 36. London. February 1987. p. 36 – via Exact Editions. 
  10. ^ "The Critics' Choice: Wire Top 50 LPs of 1987" . Wire Magazine. No. 48. London. February 1988. p. 39 – via Exact Editions. 
  11. ^ "The Critics' Choice" . Wire Magazine. No. 58/59. London. January 1989. p. 54 – via Exact Editions. 
  12. ^ "Critics' Choice" . Wire Magazine. No. 70/71. London. January 1990. p. 64 – via Exact Editions. 
  13. ^ "The Critics' Choice 1990" . Wire. No. 82/83. London. January 1991. pp. 28–29 – via Exact Editions. 
  14. ^ "The Critics' Choice 1991" . The Wire. No. 94/95. London. January 1992. pp. 56–57 – via Exact Editions. 
  15. ^ "The Critics' Choice 1992: Records of the Year" . The Wire. No. 106/107. London. January 1993. p. 24 – via Exact Editions. 
  16. ^ "The Critics Choice 1993: Records of the Year" . The Wire. No. 118/119. London. January 1994. p. 55 – via Exact Editions. 
  17. ^ "Critics Choice: Record of the Year" . The Wire. No. 131. London. January 1995. p. 29 – via Exact Editions. 
  18. ^ "Blessed Releases: Records of the Year" . The Wire. No. 143. London. January 1996. p. 32 – via Exact Editions. 
  19. ^ "96 Rewind: Records of the Year" . The Wire. No. 155. London. January 1997. p. 37 – via Exact Editions. 
  20. ^ "97 Rewind: 50 Records of the Year" . The Wire. No. 167. London. January 1998. p. 35 – via Exact Editions. 
  21. ^ "98 Rewind: 50 Records of the Year" . The Wire. No. 179. London. January 1999. p. 27 – via Exact Editions. 
  22. ^ "99 Rewind: 50 Records of the Year" . The Wire. No. 190/191. London. January 2000. p. 67 – via Exact Editions. 
  23. ^ "Rewind 2000: 50 Records of the Year" . The Wire. No. 203. London. January 2001. p. 34 – via Exact Editions. 
  24. ^ "2001 Rewind: 50 Records of the Year" . The Wire. No. 215. London. January 2002. p. 40 – via Exact Editions. 
  25. ^ "Rewind 2002: 50 Records of the Year" . The Wire. No. 227. London. January 2003. p. 45 – via Exact Editions. 
  26. ^ "2003 Rewind: 50 Records of the Year" . The Wire. No. 239. London. January 2004. p. 38 – via Exact Editions. 
  27. ^ "2004 Rewind: 50 Records of the Year" . The Wire. No. 251. London. January 2005. p. 39 – via Exact Editions. 
  28. ^ "2005 Rewind: 50 Records of the Year" . The Wire. No. 263. London. January 2006. p. 41 – via Exact Editions. 
  29. ^ "Rewind 2006: 50 Records of the Year" . The Wire. No. 275. London. January 2007. p. 35 – via Exact Editions. 
  30. ^ "2007 Rewind: Records of the Year Top Ten" . The Wire. No. 287. London. January 2008. p. 36 – via Exact Editions. 
  31. ^ "2008 Rewind: Records of the Year Top Ten" . The Wire. No. 299. London. January 2009. p. 26 – via Exact Editions. 
  32. ^ "2009 Rewind: Records of the Year Top Ten" . The Wire. No. 311. London. January 2010. p. 39 – via Exact Editions. 
  33. ^ "2010 Rewind: Records of the Year Top Ten" . The Wire. No. 323. London. January 2011. p. 36 – via Exact Editions. 
  34. ^ "2011 Rewind: Releases of the Year 1–10" . The Wire. No. 335. London. January 2012. p. 30 – via Exact Editions. 
  35. ^ "2012 Rewind: Releases of the Year 1–50" . The Wire. No. 347. London. January 2013. p. 32 – via Exact Editions. 
  36. ^ "2013 Rewind: Releases of the Year 1–50" . The Wire. No. 359. London. January 2014. p. 32 – via Exact Editions. 
  37. ^ "2014 Rewind: Releases of the Year 1–50" . The Wire. No. 371. London. January 2015. p. 32 – via Exact Editions. 
  38. ^ "2015 Rewind: Releases of the Year 1–50" . The Wire. No. 383. London. January 2016. p. 32 – via Exact Editions. 
  39. ^ "Rewind 2016: Releases of the Year 1–50" . The Wire. No. 395. London. January 2017. p. 30 – via Exact Editions. 
  40. ^ "Rewind 2017: Releases of the Year 1–50" . The Wire. No. 407. London. January 2018. p. 32 – via Exact Editions. 

External linksEdit