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For the last twenty years The Wire has fearlessly bypassed fashion in it's search to expose the most innovative, radical, and compelling music from every genre all across the world. As listeners have grown increasingly eclectic and adventurous in their tastes, The Wire has emerged as the most authoritative source on modern music.
In Undercurrents some of the best music writers of our time uncover the hidden wiring of the past century's most influential music. Ian Penman discusses how the microphone transformed the human voice and made phantom presences of great singers such as Billie Holiday, Robert Johnson, and Brian Wilson. Christoph Cox demonstrates how the pioneers of live electronic music, the West Coast ensemble Sonic Arts Union, redefined virtuosity for the electronic age. Philip Smith and Peter Shapiro examine Harry Smith's Smithsonian Anthology of American Folk Music, which led to a massive reappraisal of musical values that went far beyond the folk music revival.
Music explored in Undercurrents ranges through avant rock, jazz, hiphop, electronica, global music, and contemporary "classical."
|Introduction: The Hidden Wiring||3|
|Recording Angels: The Esoteric Origins of the Phonograph||15|
|On the Mic: How Amplification Changed the Voice for Good||25|
|The Jerrybuilt Future: The Sonic Arts Union, Once Group and Mev's Live Electronics||35|
|Worship the Glitch: Digital Music, Electronic Disturbance||45|
|The Eternal Drone: Good Vibrations, Ancient to Future||59|
|Slapping Pythagoras: The Battle for the Music of the Spheres||71|
|The Ragged Trousered Anthologist: The Secret Worlds of Harry Smith||81|
|The Solar Myth Approach: The Live Space Ritual: Sun Ra, Stockhausen, P-Funk, Hawkwind||99|
|Humans, are they Really Necessary?: Sound Art, Automata and Musical Sculpture||117|
|Automating the Beat: The Robotics of Rhythm||131|
|The Autobahn Goes on Forever: Kings of the Road: The Motorik Pulse of Kraftwerk and Neu!||141|
|Rock Concrete: Counterculture Plugs in to the Academy||153|
|Deck Wreckers: The Turntable as Instrument||163|
|Destroy All Music: The Futurists' Art of Noises||181|
|The Limits of Language: Textual Apocalypse: Merz, Lettrism, Sound Poetry||193|
|The Music of Chance: Musical Dice Men from John Cage to John Zorn||209|
|Smiling Faces Sometimes: Soul Music's Grinners Versus the Backstabbers||223|
|Frames of Freedom: Improvisation, Otherness and the Limits of Spontaneity||233|
|Generation Ecstasy: New York's Free Jazz Continuum||249|