The Wire Tapper, Vol. 4 was offered to subscribers of the U.K. avant-garde magazine The Wire with issue number 186 in August 1999. Packed with 80 minutes of strange music, this serving was the heartiest, most daring of the series yet. It also shows the staff's growing interest in avant-garde electronica forms such as glitch (Signal's "Ondulop") and electro-acoustics (Clive Graham's "One End of the Time Pad"). The Wire's infatuation with the trio Powerfield continues, as does their love for labels Mille Plateaux and Paratactile (featured on all previous volumes). The jazzy outburst of the Vandermark 5 and the traditional African music of Chief Baonoko and His Budu Men sound a little lost amid the sea of electronics and lo-fi pop. Highlights include the strange automatons in Pierre Bastien's "Odovinil," the sheer madness of Klangstabil's "Pronto Luigi," entirely created with a Game Boy, and the unreleased live recording of ambient guitarist BJ Cole soloing over a track by Pan American. Other exclusive tracks include remixes of FX Randomiz's "Displatz" and SS + D's "Elements Of," plus an alternative version of "Alison Creaking" by Daniel Figgis.
AllMusic Review by François Couture