The second installment in the U.K. avant-garde music magazine The Wire's series of sampler CDs, The Wire Tapper, Vol. 2 illustrates the growing interest of the staff in more experimental music. Lo-fi pop and post-rock are still well-represented through Angela Jaeger & David Cunningham's "Wood and Glass," Sam Prekop's "Showrooms," Jad Fair & Yo La Tengo's "Minnesota Man Claims Monkey Bowled Perfect Game," or the Pastels' "Leaving This Island," but more abrasive tracks have also been included. Highlights are found in the trio Powerfield's ultra-noisy "Block" and Rhys Chatham's "Hard Edge," while Meridiem's "Interference," with Fred Frith and Bill Laswell, is perplexing at best. The worldbeat vein is represented by extracts from newly released albums by Tom Zé and Badawi, but rap and more techno-oriented music were ignored this time around. Some of this material, like the aforementioned Powerfield, Yo La Tengo, and Pastels tracks, plus the Labradford and Puppy contributions, are either completely unreleased cuts or exclusive mixes. This batch is more varied than Vol. 1, but at 62 minutes in length is surprisingly short for a sampler.
AllMusic Review by François Couture