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Newsletter 1.5

September, 1994


Welcome to a record collector endorsed Newsletter. Has it only been three months since our last one? We've been so busy with our first CD release (and recovering from the headache) and all the other things that we report on, that the summer is nearly over and we're onto our second release! Apologies also for the late arrival of Bulletin three, technical problems blah blah, meant we couldn't get it dispatched sooner.


Despite the delays reported in Bulletin three, Desmond Simmons Alone On Penguin Island has finally made a return to the world. Originally produced by Bruce Gilbert and Graham Lewis for their Dome records label, this reissue also contains seven (7) extra tracks: They Fly Information, a studio track originally left off the vinyl release; Man The Lifeboats, a home demo recorded with Colin Newman; plus five alternate live versions, featuring The Amorphons and Soft Option with Robert Gotobed, and Beacon Hill Six. Packaged in the original sleeve design, the CD reissue contains extensive notes by Desmond on the making of the album and his involvement with the members of Wire.
"On his own record (which Simmons single-handedly wrote and performed), this Colin Newman cohort fell in austere minimalism of Graham Lewis and B.C. Gilbert, who produced Penguin Island. Simmons is more song orientated than they are, but seemingly mistook reduction for redaction; despite some good songs here, they've been cut to the bone, made somewhat alien and abstract. A few even sound as though they were recorded underwater. All the same, a moving, high, lonesome quality does come across... Patience is rewarded."
Jim Green, Trouser Press Record Guide

These and that

We had hoped to tie our release date in with These Records' reissues of P'o and Michael O'Shea CD's, but due to matters beyond their control they are to release them during the colder months. Fortunately, the P'o CD will now contain two (2) extra tracks that WMO has unearthed during its ongoing archiving activities. Both these and WMO CD's are available from WMO or from any self-respecting emporium. Any orders for the These reissues will be sent out as soon as we receive stocks.


As reported in Bulletin three, WMO is to take over the release of the Wire tribute CD, Whore, with distribution in the UK by Vital and in the US by Ccaroline. A comprehensive list of artists and titles will be given as soon as possible. The release is set for February 1996.


All four were recently interviewed for Select magazine in, yet another, Where Are They Now? piece. Not much new for the subscribers of WMO! As well as being placed in their top 10 of britpop icons (oo-er!), Colin also gave a sound bite to the July 22nd Melody Maker about the current britpop scene: revivalism is cabaret. Spot on, Colin! (but what's this with Eerasure?). Colin, Graham and Bruce's (aka Wir) new 12" single, The First Letter b/w Footsi-Footsi is due shortly from Touch. Specially remixed by The Hafler Trio in their own inimitable manner, Touch also inform us that there are no plans at present to issue it on CD.

Colin has recently been approached by BBC Radio One to write and present a program on his music with Wire and onwards etc. Still at the planning stage we shall provide further news as and when we receive it. Or just keep your ears peeled.


Bruce's recording activities are at full pelt at the moment with at least 6 projects in various stages of completion or preparation. Orr, the three-way album with Robert Hampson (Main) and Paul Kendall, is awaiting release on Paul's Parallel Sseries label through Mute. And as a primer, the October edition of The Wire will include a free 17 track CD of Mute artists which will include one track from this album and one from Paul's forthcoming Piquet CD.

Bruce's Ab Ovo—his first solo album in four years—is awaiting its turn for release on Mute. Also imminent is a 7" single on the Seattle-based Sub-Pop label called Instant Shed Vol. 1. The two sides are Bi-Yo-Yo b/w Byo(Sachet).

Bruce has also raided his personal archive for a CD with the Finnish Sahko label. Drawn from oscillator experiments with Ron West whilst Bruce was an audio-visual technician and Ron a student at Watford Art College in 1974, the CD entitled Frequency Variation should be released shortly.

Bruce's proposed spoken word CD for WMO, The Haring, is slowly taking shape. It has been agreed that Children, originally released by Touch Tapes in 1983, will appear on it with the remainder of the material being completely new. Two editions of the CD will be released: a limited edition in special packaging only available through WMO and a more generally available version. A spring 1996 release is scheduled. Do not send any orders or reservations for this or any other future WMO releases until they appear in the merchandise list. Thank you! All of the releases will be available from WMO and of course we will let you know when they arrive in stock!

In Newsletter six, we will have the third of our exclusive interviews with Bruce hopefully having quite a bit to talk about!


Bruce's beekeeping goes into overload in September/October with Disobey holding a series of events. The Manchester Hacienda plays host to the club on 13th September with Martin Rrev (Suicide) and Chris Wwatson (ex Cabaret Voltaire) joining forces. Dutch/UK group Furt provide further live entertainment. The same line-up moves to the regular London venue, Upstairs at the Garage, on the 14th September.

Two further Disobey nights-out take place again at the Hacienda on 27th September and on 29th September at London ULU. Both nights feature Boyd Rice and Panasonic with Manchester having CP Lee on the bill and London BJ Cole. Bruce will also be making one of his rare shed performances at the London gig.

And if he isn't busy enough, Bruce travels to Vienna in October to take part in a three week festival of performances, Phonotaktik*95. The whole festival runs from 6th October to 25th October, with Bruce DJ-ing at Disobey night on 14th October at Wed Oder Donauturm. Other artists on that night are Chris Carter (ex- Throbbing Gristle, Chris & Cosey), Panasonic and Cylob. Not content with DJ-ing, Bruce also has an audio-visual installation held at Babenberger Passage between 19th through 25th October. For further details on the festival phone +43 1 5979978.

Mesmeric places

Bruce and Graham have both contributed original pieces to a 2CD compilation to be released in October through Ash International. Entitled Mesmer Variations the compilation is dedicated to Franz Anton Mesmer, the discoverer of hypnotism. WMO will be holding stocks of this item.

The WMO release of the Lewis/Gilbert & Mills Pacific/Specific (in a different place) is scheduled for November. This CD contains previously unissued material with the three tracks from the 1980 Lewis/Gilbert Peel session and the Lewis/Gilbert/Mills MZUI:Australia broadcast from 1982. The sleeve notes will also include the transcript of the interview carried out between the trio and Radio JJJ Sydney following the broadcast of their piece.


WMO and Edvard Graham Lewis have compiled a five track CD album drawn from our recent trawl through his archives. Entitled pre->He, it will contain He Said 'Argh...' originally released in 1983 on Touch Tapes. The other four tracks are the previously unreleased Dolass Violphin, Lying In State (the soundtrack for the Lewis/Gilbert/Mills Mu:Ze:Um Traces installation at the Museum Of Modern Art, Oxford, 1983), Front, Back, Profile and Fresh Life (an early version of Pump). As with Bruce's CD, a spring 1996 release is planned.


Forthcoming CD releases for the autumn will be: Cusp (Mark Gage)—Space & Time/Liquids & Metals (WM8), Colin Newman's new album (WM3) and g-man (WM9). All other releases previously reported are scheduled for 1996.

Swim are also to journey to Vienna on 20th October as part of the festival reported earlier to provide entertainment on a boat down the river. Swimming the danube will start from Stadionbad Oder Schonbrunn with live music from Immersion, Pablo's Eye, G-Man, Lobe and DJ sets from Cusp and Morpheus (Samy Birnbach). Please phone the number above for details.

Swimming against the current

The following review of Colin Newman's voice ep on Swim (VWM3) has been submitted by email subscriber Desmond Hill:

"Unassuming and low key for the last 18 months the charms of Swim have rippled anonymously into the datastream. Tentatively adopted and cautiously championed by balearic extremists, this non-techno label is steadily reaching more and more people. Their releases are incomprehensibly strong, with music crossing the broadest possible spectrum, inspired by a refusal to adhere to any retro sensitivities. Diverse and completely confusing, their records can be identified by Jon Wwozencroft's extraordinary elemental artwork, included on both the covers and the labels.

The 12" ep opens with Automation, a track identified with a plethora of ideas, adapting multiple audio sources into a form which stalks the marginal shadow lands beyond the narrow confines of ordinary genres. A voice, expounding oral poetics, elucidates the paradox of modern life; winding casually, the song submerges beneath the sound. The beguiling Faq soon follows. From a simple structure, beautiful tones fluctuate in parallel to an undercurrent of diverse drum patterns. Low burning, bass bouncing and feedback fueled, Voice features noises culled from the voyeuristic repository of Robin Rimbaud (aka Scanner). With live drumming provided by Daniel Dimitrovsky (Plastic Venus) the track carries distant diy echoes of first generation punk, Jah Wobble or Wire themselves. Output incorporates splinters of sound, fragmentary conversations, plaintive human cries, distant chants, displaced mechanisms and analogue voices, then wraps them into a creatively delicate melodious disharmony. Reward your ears—learn to Swim."


Well, quite a busy few months ahead. The next Bulletin will be hopefully on time in late October/ early November and Newsletter six will appear in December. Any develops with the plethora of releases mentioned will be sent out as and when they appear. Please send us your comments!

Thanks to Simon, Desmond, peter for the bj-10e and the usual crew.

This newsletter first published in 1995.

Bulletin: November 1995

Wir reform shock!

Wir reformed for two days in early September to do a re-mix for Erasure's next single, Fingers & Thumbs (CD Mute 178), to be released on 27th November. The original intention for the Wir version, figures in crumbs, was for Andy Bell to sing over it, but in the end some of the original vocal track was used.

The next pieces

In case your holiday list is short, remember to add the following: available in early December is the Lewis/Gilbert & Mills Pacific/Specific (in a different place) WMO 3CD. This release contains the Lewis/Gilbert 1980 Peel session and the MZUI:Australia broadcast with Russell Mills. The Wir/Halfer Trio—The First Last Letter remix 12" has been released by Touch UK.

Also in stock is Bruce's 7" single for the Seattle-based Sub Pop label, Instant Shed Vol 1: Bi-Yo-Yo b/w Byo (Sachet). Also in stock and in very limited supplies from Ash International is the various artists Mesmer Variations which features new (individual) tracks by Bruce Gilbert and Edvard Graham Lewis, amongst many other artists. Please inquire about pricing and availability before ordering on this!


Hot on the heels of Bruce's shed performance on 29th September came a rather speedily arranged site specific installation entitled Bridog held in the back room Upstairs at the Garage on 5th October whilst Panasonic performed in the main room. More details in Newsletter six.

The three-way guitar project with Susan stenger and Robert Poss (Band of Susans) got under way on October 11th and 12th when Gilbertpossstenger played live at two Disobeys in Manchester and London respectively.

A further shed performance will be made by Bruce in the near future supporting Carcass. A review of this surprise coupling will also be given in Newsletter six.

Bruce is also Beekeeping as a guest of Twilight World on 28th October. This month long radio show is being hosted by University Radio Notthingham throughout October. All shows are broadcast between 2:00 am and 4:00 am on Saturday mornings.


Graham's own DJing career took off on the 24th September at the Art Hotel, Stockholm as part of a 3 day arts and music festival. Meanwhile all H.A.L.O releases have been licensed to Hyperium/Hypnobeat in Germany.


The Cusp Space/Time & Liquids/Metals CD was released on October 23rd. Our Swim reviewer from Newsletter five, Desmond Hill, has reviewed the CD in the October edition of Future Music. Following our Swimterview in Newsletter five, The Empty Quarter magazine have their own interview with Colin and Malka, which although slightly larger, covers much the same ground. Write to: MFTEQ, PO Box 87, Ilford, Essex, 1G1 3HJ. Colin's six minute plotted history of Wire appeared on the BBC Radio One Soundbyte programme on 28th September.

Reissue news

Our second release, the Lewis/Gilbert & Mills—Pacific/Specific (in a different place) CD will be shipping in early December.

Whilst These records will go through their move to new premises as well as obtaining the master tapes for MZUI we advise that no further orders are sent for P'o or Michael O'Shea until we receive more definitive news from these. Any orders already sent will of course be honored when stocks finally arrive. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us!

This bulletin first published in 1995.