Delivered to subscribers of the U.K. avant-garde magazine The Wire with issue number 182 (April 1999), The Wire Tapper, Vol. 3 illustrates the contents of the publication, but mostly its gradual radicalization in terms of musical esthetics. This time around, world, techno, and rap-derived music (even non-commercial types) make only for a minor part of this CD's generous 80 minutes. Fifteen of the 16 tracks were taken from available (or then soon-to-be available) releases, with the exception being a live collaboration between Rhys Chatham, Gary Smith, Pat Thomas, and Apache 61 -- earlier installments in the series had already established an infatuation between the magazine and the Chatham/Smith/Thomas trio. This volume introduced the use of excerpts, which allowed for more experimental music, like Robert Ashley's Your Money My Life Goodbye and Paul Panhuysen's Partitas for Long Strings. Other experimental artists like Supersilent and the trio Thurston Moore/Evan Parker/Walter Prati were counter-balanced by the electronica of We, the deafening noise rock of High Rise, and the mystical voice of Sheila Chandra. All in all, this third volume took the listener on quite a ride.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture