If you’re among the many on the fence about buying Pitchforks Music Festival passes four months early, consider your plans made. That’s because the site just confirmed 25 more acts for this summer’s soiree, from longtime draws like M.I.A., Wire and Yo La Tengo to such rising indie stars as Savages, Julia Holter and Merchandise. Oh, and both of our current cover stars, Pissed Jeans and METZ.
Photo by Shawn Brackbill
As if their recent DJ night with Raime and Demdike Stare wasn’t rad enough, Blackest Ever Black had to go ahead and book a label showcase lineup so strong it’s making us consider a cross-continental trip. Set to hit Corsica Studios on Saturday, October 13, the ridiculously cheap bill (just £12.50!) includes an exclusive performance from Dominick Fernow’s Vatican Shadow alias, as well as live appearances from Young Hunting, Cut Hands, Black Rain and Concrete Fence, a new duo featuring Russell Haswell and “an artist whose identity we’re not allowed to reveal for contractual reasons.” Throw in rare DJ sets from a cultish jungle producer (Source Direct), a former Wire member (Bruce Gilbert) and two other underground label heads (dudes from Diagonal and PAN) and London’s got a must-listen on their hands here.
The Artist/Album: Wire, 154 (Warner Bros., 1979)
Our Review: Here’s something we’re not afraid to admit: Fischerspooner is the reason we’re so familiar with this record. Long story short, a friend of ours was playing Wire’s third album when “The 15th” came on and we mistook its melancholic melodies for the Fischerspooner cover we’d heard first. It’s not the only 154 selection that graced our ears a couple decades too late, either. Dykehouse also put a shoegaze-y spin on “Map Ref. 41°N 93°W” for one of Ghostly International’s earliest releases, their label-defining Idol Tryouts compilation.
Now that we’re quite familiar with the ‘real thing’, we can safely say that there’s a world outside those two tracks, one that strikes a perfect balance between the punchy post-punk and wildly experimental sides of Wire’s daring/daunting back catalog. Some highlights, although the whole thing’s worth playing to the point of exhaustion: the tortured, dovetailing riffs of “A Touching Display,” the groove-locked regret of “I Should Have Known Better,” and the prickly one-two punch of “Two People in a Room” and “On Returning.” HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. And if you like what you hear, be sure to download our exclusive Wire mixtape from earlier last year here.
Stream ’154′ in its entirety via Spotify below…
Words and Mix by Colin Newman
I don’t get to DJ very often but when I do I always play music that you can dance to. Granted, it might be different kinds of dancing, and very different styles, but for dancing nonetheless. This is a precis of the last DJ set I played (about three weeks ago). This should work as a set with good timing and a few judicious cross fades…
Because who the fuck is Cage the Elephant anyway?
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We first stumbled upon the moonlit & moody sonatas of Bishop Morocco at the most random venue ever: Toronto’s rather trendy Drake Hotel. Having quickly read the Canadian duo’s bio, we were surprised to find that one of its members is Jake Fairley, a techno producer best known for a rather ballsy Kompakt album (2004′s Touch Not the Cat) and 12-inch singles for such reputable dance imprints as Border Community, Echochord and Traum Schallplatten. And then there’s his partner-in-post-punk, Jim Sayce, who’s played with everyone from the Deadly Snakes to Tangiers—bands that have counted current and former members of Guided By Voices, the Hives, the Reigning Sound, and Sloan among their ranks.
Not exactly the type of guys you’d expect to fall right in line with Factory Records and the many descendants of Morrissey, but it works quite well on Bishop Morocco’s self-titled debut and makes perfect sense once you play the following crowd-pleasing mix.