wire: the solo projects

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
there are threads about colin newman's solo career and about the 80s wire material, but i can't find any discussion of dome etc. so, tell me about them...

toby (tsg20), Tuesday, 3 June 2003 11:51 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Dome (2 is all I have) and Bruce Gilbert's solo stuff is good, droning, fun music to get for a reasonable price. Very UNWire, though, so listen first probably.

Andrew Thames (Andrew Thames), Tuesday, 3 June 2003 12:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Newman's _A-Z_ is prob. the best of the batch; also really like Dome's _2_. Others are more...conceptual.

Douglas (Douglas), Tuesday, 3 June 2003 12:17 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Dome is inconsistent by design, but there's something - often many things - worth hearing on each of the four LPs and on the posthumous Yclept.

my favorite Wire offshoot is easily the Gilbert/Lewis Cupol work on 4AD, collected as 3R4. superb tribal-ambient tesselations that beat :zoviet*france:/Rapoon et al to the punch by many years. the later P'o Whilst Climbing Thieves Vie for Attention LP sounds like a lost Xpressway tape (read: xcellent!). also can't recommend Gilbert's collaborations with (then?)-better half AC Marias highly enough. S: the One of Our Girls Has Gone Missing LP for the definitive ambient-pop document, and be sure to mop up the several stray singles as well.

i'll endorse all the Colin Newman albums up through (maybe including) BaSTARd. A-Z and Not To are very close to the Wire of the Chairs Missing-154 period. aside from the Eno-esque instrumental miniatures of Provisionally Entitled..., the remainder are lush, occasionally overdone electro/orchestro-pop collaborations with Minimal Compact, thus solo in name only, but mature, different and quite alluring.

if you like noiseambience with conceptual underpinnings, a la MSBR or Aube, Gilbert's your man these days. head straight for his 12" of very early KHz experiments on Säkhö. his many Mute albs range from music for ballet (or watching paint peel) to strafings of murderous noise. most are just dull. if you're going to pick up one, make it Insiding or This Way (to the) Shivering Man. avoid the pointless Haring, a spoken-word misfire, at all costs.

i never got into the blocky beats of Lewis' H.A.L.O. and He Said, though he couches them in some intriguing textures. his solo albums tend to be rather gray and dour. missable.

summerslastsound (summerslastsound), Tuesday, 3 June 2003 13:03 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Also search Desmond Simmons' Alone On Penguin Island (1981).

Andy K (Andy K), Tuesday, 3 June 2003 13:07 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

yeh bruce gilbert's "music for fruit" is nice annoying antsy ambient keys & atmos, and "AB OVO" prefigures a lot of the mego / farmers manual stuff by a few years. it's good. also check the A C MARIAS album on mute if you haven't or never. gilbert & perhaps another's involvement. girl sings pop tunes. icily produced with samples / chorusy guitar.odd rhythms. good

bob snoom, Wednesday, 4 June 2003 07:54 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

two years pass...
I just found Dome 3&4 at Tower on sale for $11.99. I haven't been able to find 1&2 anywhere yet. 3 is pretty amazing. It's certainly a precedent to a lot of the experimental electronica and post-rock of the mid-90s like Main, Oval, Disco Inferno, etc. Recorded 1980-81, the only influences I can hear is Eno's ambient stuff, the instrumental cuts from Bowie's Low, and Eno/Byrne's My Life In The Bush of Ghosts, with its sampled rhythms and ghostly, floating processed voices (who was A.M.C.?). Maybe a little contemporary Cabaret Voltaire and Throbbing Gristle too.

4 was originally titled Will You Speak This Word (1983), and is almost as fascinating. "To Speak" is 18 minutes long, and might be their peak, with interesting contributions from Yaz's Vince Clarke. Strings and saxophones are electronically treated, serving an overall Middle Eastern sounding theme. It's stunning. You can hear Lewis' deep nosferatu-Peter Murphy vocals on a later cut, which somehow undermine's the flow. The remaining cuts are less involving, but wow, what an impressive set, considering the environment of the time -- most of the post-punkers and new wavers were dumbing down their music, trying to grab the golden carrot of MTV stardom.

Fastnbulbous, Saturday, 3 September 2005 18:33 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

The Cupol track on Natures Mortes - Still Lives is quite plodding, and the opening line really bothers me: "I salute the new day! It's natural to be nervous!" I think it's the absurd juxtaposition of the first line (which sounds like something Sting would sing) against the second one that pisses me off about it, not to mention how it's delivered.

Ian Riese-Moraine: Let this bastard out, and you'll get whiplash! (Eastern Mantr, Saturday, 3 September 2005 19:08 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Just found this on Netflix:

Wire: On the Box: 1979 (2004)
Revisit the genius of 1970s rock band Wire in this series that taps musical archives for amazing footage. In this case, the treasure is video footage from the group's appearance on Rockpalast in 1979, in which Wire lay down the beats for such tunes as "Practice Makes Perfect," "Two People in a Room," "I Feel Mysterious Today," "Once Is Enough," "A Question of Degree," "A Touching Display," "40 Versions," "Pink Flag" and more.

Fastnbulbous (Fastnbulbous), Sunday, 4 September 2005 17:28 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

more discussion of that here

grimly fiendish (grimlord), Sunday, 4 September 2005 17:34 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

A.M.C = A.C. Marias, who has worked on a lot of Gilbert/Lewis projects. She also did an album on Mute that was produced by G/L.

Michael F Gill (Michael F Gill), Sunday, 4 September 2005 18:12 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Somerslastsound covered it all nicely.

I'd just say that I like 'A-Z' at least as much as '154' and probably more than 'Chairs Missing'. I also have a soft spot for 'Commercial Suicide,' which is sort of post-post-punk-maturing-well in the same way as David Thomas' mid-80s output (which is fantastic). It's almost in canon/round form, sort of unusual for pop music.

'A-Z,' 'Dome 3' and 'Commercial Suicide' are tops for me.

I.M. (I.M.), Sunday, 4 September 2005 18:19 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

the track "feigned hearing" on Colin Newman's Commercial Suicide is a a newly discovered fave of mine.

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Sunday, 4 September 2005 18:22 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Also, some of Colin Newman's production work is fairly signature/trademark, esp. on some early Virgin Prunes, so you might dig that.

I.M. (I.M.), Sunday, 4 September 2005 18:24 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I also prefer A-Z to 154 overall. there's no one track like 'map ref' but it just pulls you through from beginning to end.

I like Dome 3 & Bruce Gilbert's 'The Shivering Man' very much for cut-up abstract instrumentals.

Also I like He Said's 'Hail' for fucked pop. I usually have to take Lewis' vocals just a bit at a time, but the music he came up with for this album is so strange, even the vocals work. Much, much better than the later He Said albums.

milton parker (Jon L), Sunday, 4 September 2005 23:13 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

i had the gilbert/lewis "ends with the sea" 4ad 45 but i didn't really think much of it (i sold it to ILx's own Sasha). i've always been interested in hearing bruce gilbert's "instant shed", anyone know what it's like?

jimmy glass (electricsound), Sunday, 4 September 2005 23:16 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I also prefer A-Z to 154 overall. there's no one track like 'map ref' but it just pulls you through from beginning to end.

Honestly, I find the track "Alone" to be on that "Map Ref" level of individual memorability.

I.M. (I.M.), Monday, 5 September 2005 00:44 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

did anyone hear githead?

what time (monia.l), Monday, 5 September 2005 00:49 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

i've heard two tracks and loved them. still haven't got round to buying the album (albums?) yet, mind.

grimly fiendish (grimlord), Monday, 5 September 2005 09:15 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Not too far off topic, I was once sent a mix CD with a track which sampled a number of different Wire tracks as well as a snippet of Colin Newman talking. It was the one track on the disc that the mixmaker had failed to identify. If anyone has any clue, I'd be grateful, as it's been irking me quietly for a number of years now.

Deluxe (Damian), Monday, 5 September 2005 10:37 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I have a 12" single which was an "interview"/"Dub" promo for "Commercial Suicide" I think. Are you sure they were Wire tracks?

mark grout (mark grout), Monday, 5 September 2005 10:44 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Very sure. I'll go upstairs and listen to it as soon as this Todd Rundgren album's done.

Deluxe (Damian), Monday, 5 September 2005 10:47 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Tracks sampled herein: something that sounds like an alternate version of "Strange", "Ambitious", "Men 2nd", "Practice Makes Perfect", some track on Behind The Curtain that I can't remember the name of, "106 Beats That", to name a few.

Deluxe (Damian), Monday, 5 September 2005 11:27 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

That "Interview"/"Dub" promo is currently appended to the reisseu of 'Commercial Suicide' on CD.

I.M. (I.M.), Monday, 5 September 2005 15:45 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Not mind we jolly jack tars, I'm in disgrace. The cat sat on the carpet, I just lay here like a lump. Bing bong.

A Viking of Some Note (Andrew Thames), Monday, 5 September 2005 15:51 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I have me the Githead album and ep. They are pretty good, although you can't hear much of Robin's influence. It's similiar to the sound of newer Wire, mixed with more of the laid back sound of "A Bell is A Cup."

Michael F Gill (Michael F Gill), Monday, 5 September 2005 19:39 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Back on to Gilbert and Lewis - you simply must hear the track "Blind Tim" from the "Whilst Climbing Thieves Vie for Attention" album: "It's too big, IT'S TOO BIG!!"

Raymond Douglas Dadaismus (Dada), Tuesday, 6 September 2005 08:38 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I have "In Esse" Bruce Gilbert.

mmm.

mark grout (mark grout), Tuesday, 6 September 2005 08:44 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Oh that album is complete bollocks, it must be said

Raymond Douglas Dadaismus (Dada), Tuesday, 6 September 2005 08:46 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

'Twould appear that the track I wished to know about was said bonus track from Commercial Suicide so ta to I.M. and Mr. Grout for that :).

Deluxe (Damian), Tuesday, 6 September 2005 09:03 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I watched On The Box this morning. The performance is pretty great, surprisingly good sound too. There's a longish interview where they talk about planning to release two albums that year. They talked as if they felt they had no limits creatively. Yet after the release of 154 when they broke up, they gave the reason of hitting a creative dead end. Material from the planned second album turned up on Newman's A-Z. Why didn't they just put it out as Wire and stay together? The only way I can make sense of it is that they were drained after the six weeks of recording 154 (not a particularly long time by most bands' standards, but long enough to get sick of each other), and with all of Mike Thorne's Eno-esque soundscapes, they knew it would be problematic recreating it live. So they figured what's the point of keeping the band together, when they can just record whatever they want as Dome and solo, etc.

Fastnbulbous (Fastnbulbous), Sunday, 11 September 2005 05:04 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
Brief revive to say that "Troisieme" off of A-Z is the most malevolent-sounding thing ever.

Telephonething (Telephonething), Tuesday, 9 January 2007 22:59 (eleven years ago) Permalink

also check the A C MARIAS album on mute

I had this looong time ago on vinyl. Truly excellent. I need to find this again.

Jay Vee's Return (Manon_69), Wednesday, 10 January 2007 03:50 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Safe... not enough.

808 the Bassking (Andrew Thames), Wednesday, 10 January 2007 03:54 (eleven years ago) Permalink

picked up Commercial Suicide for 5 dollars at Other Music the other day.

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Wednesday, 10 January 2007 04:25 (eleven years ago) Permalink

strangely i have not contributed to this thread. will listen to stuff and report back.

hstencil (hstencil), Wednesday, 10 January 2007 04:31 (eleven years ago) Permalink

What about He Said -- Lewis's 80s project? Brian Eno plays DMX on one song on the first album, Hail (1986). Three years later, the Take Care album (terrible cover, btw) moved into a real synth-pop direction. Nice cover of "Suzanne," though.

Duke Dubuque (Duke Dubuque), Wednesday, 10 January 2007 16:29 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Where is the love for Duet Emmo? "Or So It Seems" and "The First Person" are genius - admittedly the rest of the album isn't as good.

Tom D. (Dada), Wednesday, 10 January 2007 16:32 (eleven years ago) Permalink

... and of course the "Or So It Seems" 12"! I listened to a lot of He Said stuff recently, for the first time in ages, and didn't like it much.

Tom D. (Dada), Wednesday, 10 January 2007 16:33 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I'm really glad you reminded me of Duet Emmo. I really don't understand at all why I don't have that one yet. I love Dome. I love He Said. Almost anything with Graham Lewis makes me happy. I thought his H.A.L.O. stuff was boring though, as well as the "pre>HE" CD. I guess he put out other stuff after the H.A.L.O. but I didn't trust it so didn't investigate.

Colin Newman's solo stuff I'm kindof lukewarm about. I've bought and sold things and bought them again and failed to play them! I've still got the vinyl of "It Seems" but haven't played it since it came out. I never actually bought Commercial Suicide though, strangely enough.

I've also got some kind of Wire solo thing called P'o, but it's boring, as I imagine that MZUI thing probably is (talk about a staple of used record bins!).

Good Warlock of the West (Bimble...), Wednesday, 10 January 2007 20:54 (eleven years ago) Permalink

"It Seems" is pretty much what you'd expect the "Singer From Wire" to do ten years after the breakup...

Which is not to say he hasn't done 'unexpected' music, if you see what I mean.

A to Z and Commercial Suicide are both worth the effort.

mark grout (mark grout), Thursday, 11 January 2007 09:42 (eleven years ago) Permalink

i fourth or fifth the ac marias recommendation; there's a really beautiful song on that lp, driven by a bass line, her voice and little else, that just kills me.

Michael J McGonigal (mike mcgonigal), Thursday, 11 January 2007 09:50 (eleven years ago) Permalink

If it's "Just Talk", there's a video for that.

mark grout (mark grout), Thursday, 11 January 2007 10:02 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I haven't listened to all of Commercial Suicide yet, it's certainly less Wire like then A-Z, but it has at least one track that's up there with the best stuff any of them did, called Feigned Hearing, which is truly beautiful.

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Thursday, 11 January 2007 14:02 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I like It Seems! It's like some kind of chamber counterpoint thing, but made totally with sequencers. With vague lyrics.

Thank you thread for reminding me to play A.C. Marias again.

The Vintner's Lipogram (OleM), Thursday, 11 January 2007 18:01 (eleven years ago) Permalink

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYJdN-g1FDs

flavio pessoa (flavio pessoa), Thursday, 11 January 2007 18:06 (eleven years ago) Permalink

colin provides the vocals for a track on the forthcoming Tauchsieder album. (album also features vocals by Richard X, percussion by JD Twitch and a remix by Tom Ellard.)

hopefully out sometime in feb / march

frenchbloke (frenchbloke), Thursday, 11 January 2007 20:37 (eleven years ago) Permalink

thanks for the youtube link! that's awesome.

Michael J McGonigal (mike mcgonigal), Thursday, 11 January 2007 20:48 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Colin Newman's first solo record, A to Z, is essentially a Wire record minus Bruce Gilbert. That's fine with me. It always seemed like the parts of Wire that were a bit too "experimental," basically just shitty, were the tracks with cheesy bass lines and bad baritone vocals ... Bruce Gilbert. And Mike Thorne, producer of all albums where Wire rocked and quasi-band member, fills in Gilbert's shoes and produces the record.

Personally, I fucking love A to Z. It's a great record, and the second and the last song on side 1 are CLASSIC. Unfortunately, my vinyl copy has been scratched on that last song side 1. BUMMER.

Cameron Octigan (Cameron Octigan), Thursday, 11 January 2007 20:59 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Yes, the A.C. Marias video!!! AMAZING! I didn't even know there was an A.C. Marias album. I had a few 12"es and that was it.

xpost

Good Warlock of the West (Bimble...), Thursday, 11 January 2007 21:02 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Colin Newman's first solo record, A to Z, is essentially a Wire record minus Bruce Gilbert. That's fine with me. It always seemed like the parts of Wire that were a bit too "experimental," basically just shitty, were the tracks with cheesy bass lines and bad baritone vocals ... Bruce Gilbert. And Mike Thorne, producer of all albums where Wire rocked and quasi-band member, fills in Gilbert's shoes and produces the record.

uh except bruce gilbert wasn't their bassist and doesn't sing.

hstencil (hstencil), Thursday, 11 January 2007 21:05 (eleven years ago) Permalink

"uh except bruce gilbert wasn't their bassist and doesn't sing."

---> oops. i guess meant Graham Lewis. thanks for the correction, i appreciate it. haha. like i said, OOPS!

holy shit. i never thought AC Marias would come up anywhere in a million years. this was one of those purchases i made like 3 years ago just based on the fact that it was a Mute release.

and ...

i didn't notice the Bruce Gilbert involvement, but i suppose that i shouldn't be so hard on him post 154.

http://www.discogs.com/release/240365

Cameron Octigan (Cameron Octigan), Thursday, 11 January 2007 21:09 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Damn, I've got to check out A to Z. If there's even one song as good as anything on 154/Chair's Missing, it's worth it to me.

I only have the Provisionally Entitled the Singing Fish / Not To CD, and man oh man it's disappointing.

Zachary Scott (Zach S), Friday, 12 January 2007 00:30 (eleven years ago) Permalink

154 is quite overrated. A-Z is a step in the right direction -- no Graham Lewis vocals!

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Friday, 12 January 2007 01:21 (eleven years ago) Permalink

wtf are you people on about, the addition of lewis' vocals was just what wire needed at the time -- a little drama to balance out the icyness. 154 is NOT overrated; pink flag is in comparison to it. the baritone-supervillian steez on "i should have known better" and "a touching display" are some of the most classic moments in wire's career, not to mention all of punk/post-punk!!!!1

this is not at all to say that A-Z isn't incredibly great

millenarian (millenarian), Friday, 12 January 2007 02:33 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Lewis is fine as a harmony vocalist. I've said enough here.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Friday, 12 January 2007 03:09 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I'm going to strongly disagree here:

"Newman, with admirable pluck, reminded us that there was more Bertolt Brecht in Paul McCartney than even the most addled 1977-era Wire theorem could envision."

I dunno. This just rubs me the wrong way. Eh.

Cameron Octigan (Cameron Octigan), Friday, 12 January 2007 03:44 (eleven years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

I love Colin's 80s solo albums, the two He Said and AC Marius albums but have always been lukewarm to some of the other stuff. On my list of projects is to compile a best of from Dome, Lewis/Gilbert, solo Gilbert, P'o, Duet Emmo, Demond Simmons, Cupol and a few other names I can't remember.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Wednesday, 23 September 2009 17:22 (nine years ago) Permalink

Rolling Upon My Day by Dome is excellent.

kornrulez6969, Wednesday, 23 September 2009 18:01 (nine years ago) Permalink

On my list of projects is to compile a best of from Dome, Lewis/Gilbert, solo Gilbert, P'o, Duet Emmo, Demond Simmons, Cupol and a few other names I can't remember.

Man, I just did one! Great minds and all that...

Aw naw, no' Annoni oan an' aw noo (Tom D.), Thursday, 24 September 2009 10:07 (nine years ago) Permalink

Please post your tracklisting!

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Thursday, 24 September 2009 11:07 (nine years ago) Permalink

Only Lewis+Gilbert and kept down to CD-R length:

1. Rolling Upon My Day
2. Cruel When Complete
3. Like This For Ages
4. The Red Tent I
5. Ritual View
6. Anchors
7. AR-GU
8. BA-DR
9. To Speak
10. Vanite
11. Blind Tim
12. Or So It Seems
13. The First Person
14. Reading Prof. B.

Aw naw, no' Annoni oan an' aw noo (Tom D.), Thursday, 24 September 2009 11:20 (nine years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Also search Desmond Simmons' Alone On Penguin Island (1981).

― Andy K (Andy K), Tuesday, June 3, 2003 9:07 AM (7 years ago) Bookmark

http://digital.thinkindie.com/search/release.php?release_id=151039&ref=26

Andy K, Wednesday, 3 November 2010 13:01 (eight years ago) Permalink

six months pass...

I finally got around to compiling my own set of Gilbert & Lewis material. I went through everything until the mid-90s then lost interest. Here's my playlist:

Anchors (Lewis Gilbert & Mills - Pacific Specific)
Cruel When Complete (Dome - 12)
Long Lost Life (Dome - 12)
Ritual View (Dome - 12)
Jasz (Dome - 34)
Dasz (Dome - 34)
Ends With The Sea (Gilbert And Lewis - 8 Time)
Or So It Seems (Duet Emmo - Or So It Seems)
The First Person (Duet Emmo - Or So It Seems)
Time And Time (P'o - Whilst Climbing Thieves Vie For Attention)
Vanite (P'o - Whilst Climbing Thieves Vie For Attention)
Only One I (P'o - Whilst Climbing Thieves Vie For Attention)
Blind Tim (P'o - Whilst Climbing Thieves Vie For Attention)
Crystal Streams (P'o - Whilst Climbing Thieves Vie For Attention)
Angel Food (Bruce Gilbert - The Shivering Man)
Eline Cout II (Bruce Gilbert - The Shivering Man)
Epitaph For Henran Brenlar (Bruce Gilbert - The Shivering Man)
Because We Must (Version 1) (Dome - Yclept)

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Friday, 13 May 2011 14:07 (seven years ago) Permalink

three years pass...

Graham Lewis's new albums are out: "All Over" (song-based vocal work from the past 10 years) and "All Under" (4 long soundtrack pieces, one with spoken word and the last more song based) and are excellent!

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Monday, 7 July 2014 18:04 (four years ago) Permalink

three years pass...

Never heard He Said Omala until recently. "Catch Supposes" is this ambient kraut-techno beast with Graham's soft voice on top. I swear, Wire side projects are the gift that keeps on giving.

http://youtu.be/Vlv-cN1lU08

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Thursday, 5 October 2017 14:04 (one year ago) Permalink

five months pass...

Angela Conway & Bruce Gilbert, probably better than Wire were at the time, great video...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAcxQzl15LI

Buff Jeckley (Tom D.), Monday, 12 March 2018 23:20 (nine months ago) Permalink

the AC Marias album is such an underappreciated gem, although i would gladly lop the canned heat cover off my CD version

(imagine if CD bonus tracks were watermarked so you could tell your CD player to ignore the fuck out of them)

the drop / so single is even better if less breezy

umsworth (emsworth), Monday, 12 March 2018 23:40 (nine months ago) Permalink


You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.