Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Wire

Last night I went through all my backcopies of The Wire. We’re on a bit of a mission to throw out stuff we don’t absolutely need in the run-up to the big move. My collection goes back to 1995 so that’s around 180 copies to sort through. Somewhat incredibly I'd brought them all with me to Bangkok. Of course I can’t just throw them away; I’ve got to cut out the essential, defining articles for re-reading later (but when?), plus all the reviews I've written - although there were less of these than I thought.

Funnily enough, the only full-length feature I ever wrote was a complete one-off on Urban Sax way back in 1983, a year after the magazine was launched and while I was still at univ. Coincidentally, it was the same year that I met the current editor, Chris Bohn, at a party in Notting Hill. At the time he was writing for NME and had just interviewed Let's Dance-era David Bowie (I remember being very impressed by that). After that we'd bump into each other at various gigs throughout the 80s when I was freelancing for Sounds. So we've known each other off and on for 27 years - a high point being a double-concert we co-organized in Tokyo and Osaka featuring Talvin Singh, Philip Jeck, Paul Schutze & Simon Hopkins from UK and Eye Yamatska and Chari Chari from Japan (Talvin's strange behaviour excepted).

Anyway, back to the back-issues. It was interesting revisiting the second half of the 90s. I still listen to a lot of the stuff covered then, compared with the last five years which I’m less interested in. Just received the new issue: good articles on Konono No.1, Edgard Varese and Joanna Newsom (interrogated by the Invisible Jukebox, which I'm glad to say is still going). But most of the rest I’ve never heard of and I doubt I’ll play the free CD. Of course it’s me that’s changed not the magazine. It's still cutting-edge (I think I've blunted), attracts good writers and ploughs its own furrow.

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