Various Artists

The Wire Tapper, Vol. 6: Special Edition

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Volume six in the U.K. magazine The Wire's series of samplers was distributed to subscribers with the 200th issue (October 2000). For the occasion, it took the form of a two-CD set. Extra care has been put in obtaining exclusive material and showcasing the major artists the publication has championed in the recent past. The Fall, Pan Sonic, Otomo Yoshihide, David Grubbs, Nurse With Wound, and Coil are regularly mentioned in print and they all have a track here. The wide range of styles covered keeps the listener on his or her toes, not always a comfortable position (the sequence placing side by side Ron Blake's free jazz, Marclay and Yoshihide's noisy turntable art, and Sensational's hip-hop is one of many examples). The set contains exclusive alternate mixes and demos from Glass Cage, Nurse With Wound, Coil, and Current 93, plus all-exclusive tracks by Poire_Z, Ron Blake, Angus MacLise (a freak jam from 1969), Janek Schaefer, Bit Tonic and Si-cut.db, Tom Recchion, and H.I.M., who delivers a groovy live improv fans won't want to miss. Between the blues guitar of John Fahey and the laptop mayhem of General Magic, there is a little for every fan of creative music in this set. It is definitely the strongest Wire Tapper and the only one truly worth seeking from a collector's point of view.

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