Back in the old days, Wire ruled the art school. While the other kids were still spitting on their friends and trying to perfect their Sid Vicious sneer, [a]Wire[/a] released three albums that defined the promise of new wave.
But they fell in with the wrong crowd. There’s a temptation to the avant-garde, and it’s one that destroys the promise of so many young students. A predilection for the drone, an enthusiasm for cutting-edge electronica – all this talent, wasted on the ever-elusive pursuit of the ‘new’.
It’s school reunion time, though. Now that [a]Wire[/a] have reformed, here’s our chance to see what Colin Newman‘s been up to for the last 20 years. This is a sampler for his record label, Swim, formed with fellow futurist Malka Spigel – and while we’ve reasonable doubts when faced with old men making The New Music, what’s here is actually rather good. Newman himself crops up occasionally – best, on the [a]Wire[/a]-esque spoken-word of ‘The Narrativ’ – but there are other artists that use [a]Wire[/a]’s inspiration in a more oblique way – the stuttering Teutonica of Ronnie And Clyde‘s ‘Mikki Maus’, the Plone-esque pitter-patter of Lobe‘s ‘Red Spaces’, or the overbearing hum of Silo‘s ‘Bulk’.
‘Swim Team #1’ retails for the price of a 12″ single. Bargain.