The Wire, the UK magazine that covers “new music”, meaning avant-garde stuff of various colors, is fairly hit-or-miss for prog fans. The magazine is fairly condescending to anything resembling conventional prog, and most of its coverage will appeal only to avant-prog and RIO types. That said, for those people, the latest issue is a gem. There’s a pretty good feature-length article on Art Bears - as well as one on György Ligeti - that makes the issue worth its price.
The Art Bears article, as well as the review of The Art Box in the Soundcheck section, make the case that Winter Songs is the group’s crowing achievement, a sentiment that doesn’t seem to be shared by most RIO folks. The article is particularly notable, though, in that it includes sentiments from Dagmar Krause, whose voice was conspicuously absent from the booklet to The Art Box. Also interesting are Chris Cutler’s thoughts on Krause:
“‘I don’t write simple or obvious words,’ he admits, ‘they are not easy to sing. Dagmar had the amazing ability to make them make sense, to make them sound obvious. She sings from the inside and her accent helps to lift words out of their slots and give them a slightly resonant displacement. No one else could have done what Dagmar did on those LPs. I’m still amazed by her.’”
Also of interest to prog types in this issue are reviews of new albums from Einstürzende Neubauten, Absolute Zero, and the Satoko Fujii Quartet (Fujii’s band with Tatsuya Yoshida), as well as the Amon Düül II live DVD, Plays Phallus Dei.