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THE WIRE ORCHESTRA – Futuristic Hymns & Broken Down Gospels Vol. 1 (CD, MT6 Records)

Posted: April 28th, 2007, by Simon Minter

Ten tracks of bizarre, semi-electronic strangeness from this mysterious outfit who sound like they’re improvising under the influence of a furious combination of amphetamines and hallucinogenics. Apparently this CD is the result of many hours of freeform experiment, subsequently chopped down – but not overdubbed or remixed – to form these ‘songs’.

Initially this makes me think of the band in Driller Killer – confrontationally strange, whacked-out punks hammering relentlessly away at some kind of groove, with yelped vocals echoing all over the resultant mess. The music is made with, in the main, a standard instrumentation of drums, bass and guitars, but augmented with electronic swoops and glitches, trumpet, turntable noise and a rich variety of effects.

By the fourth or fifth track, it becomes clear that The Wire Orchestra are mainly about rhythm – either in the form of syncopated drum patterns, vaguely funk-driven basslines or super-repetitive guitar lines. This makes me line them up along with bands like Silver Apples, Can, early Soft Machine or This Heat!: standard pop music dissected and repeated into a form that’s highly experimental yet strangely approachable.

Like Sunburned Hand Of The Man or Vibracathedral Orchestra in spirit more than in sound, The Wire Orchestra seem to happily exist within the moment of their own tunes. It’s not consistently successful or even – at times – musical, but there are many moments on this CD where things lock in to something primal – a fuzz bassline, or an alignment of instruments into pure rhythm. For these moments alone, I can happily listen to these tracks over and over.

MT6 Records

Simon Minter

Simon joined diskant after falling on his head from a great height. A diskant legend in his own lifetime Simon has risen up the ranks through a mixture of foolhardiness and wit. When not breaking musical barriers with top pop combo Sunnyvale Noise Sub-element or releasing records in preposterously exciting packaging he relaxes by looking like Steve Albini.


1 Response to THE WIRE ORCHESTRA – Futuristic Hymns & Broken Down Gospels Vol. 1 (CD, MT6 Records)

  1. pascalansell

    I wasn’t too keen myself. – check the dodgy vinyl beat to drumkit transfer. Love the unprofessional spots on record.