| Wire |
Since their formation in London in 1976, the four members of Wire have maintained and advanced a musical project which treats the creative potential of a rock band as a fluid, amorphous medium. As removed from self-conscious intellectualism as they are from the inherent conservatism of much rock music, Wire employ their unique, endlessly restless and risk-taking creativity to question every aspect of songwriting, recording and performance. They delight and disturb in equal measure, troubleshooting the circuitry of perfect pop, or patrolling the limits of focused experimentalism. In terms of working together as Wire, the group's members disbanded in 1980, reformed in 1985, disbanded in 1992 and reformed for the second time in 2000. Such sabbaticals from their career as Wire have served to sharpen the group's edge and focus, updating the tactics with which they pursue this shared project.
Wire came to prominence through the cultural revolution of punk in the UK, the effects of which were felt throughout the latter half of the 1970s. Immediately fluent in the language of contrariness and paradox, Wire's very name was both industrial and poetic, blank and eerie. As evidenced by their two tracks on the compilation released in August 1977, The Roxy London WC2 Jan–Apr 77 (the brooding Lowdown and the instantly iconic, neurasthenic mini-drama 12XU) the group made a musical virtue of tension and a lyrical strength of ambiguity.
More than any other group from that period, Wire embraced the purpose of punk as a minting of otherness and newness—as a response to the notion of modernity itself reaching critical mass. From a seamless fusion of contradictions (fast and slow, funny and menacing, soft and loud, gentle and angry, clever and dumb) the group created a singularity of sound and attitude which was utterly distinctive, precision channelled as though to concentrate its energy through highly sophisticated modes of constriction. - (Read more)