Various Artists

The Wire Tapper, Vol. 7 [Wire Magazine]

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The seventh installment in the U.K. music magazine The Wire's series of free CDs was distributed to subscribers with issue number 207 (May 2001). Less daring than some of the previous volumes, it comes back to slightly out-of-mainstream electronica. Hip-hop and world music are minorily represented, while free improv has been shoved through the exit door. The "sound" of this volume is best epitomized by the likes of Four Tet, Pulseprogramming, Nolte, and Eardrum. The contributions of more experimental electronic artists like Illusion of Safety and Steinbrnchel go by like short mistakes in the play list. The Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra's "Uprising" pumps some much-needed human energy into the mix, but also feels out of place. The post-rock of Mice Parade, Julie Tippetts' collaboration with Max Nagl and Edward Gorey ("The Disrespectful Summons," a beautiful song), and Lasse Marhaug's Hazard-derived glitch electronica puts icing on this otherwise bland cake. Worth of note for the collectors: the Daniel Figgis contribution is an exclusive segue of three rough mixes from a yet unreleased (in May 2001) recording; the Eardrum track is also unavailable otherwise. Furthermore, the Pulseprogramming and Kim Hiorthoy tracks come from rare 7" and 12" releases.

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