Tone 8 – WIR “Wirvien”

CD – 2 tracks

Track list:

1. The First Letter (16:21)
2. Sexy And Rich (Janet) (8:35)


VITAL (Netherlands):

I have never been particulary fond of Wire, despite many people saying how experimental they were. For me it remained rock music. But over the years I started to view rock music somewhat differentely, as a possible format for experimental or drone music. This particular CD with 2 tracks, was commissioned by the Austrian radio and starts out with a loop and humming voices and droning guitars. Then beeps and reciting voices add to the haunting atmosphere. Somewhere the drums drop in, and the rockformat is there: voices become vocals, guitar play melodies and the drums tick away a rhythm. Still not a bad piece. The second piece starts out likewise as the first (maybe it’s a remix? You never know after all) and develops in the same manner. Again not a bad piece at all. However, after interesting long intros, still too much on the rock side of things. [FdW]

Thirsty Fish (Germany):

Durch und durch Industrial. Der erste Track startet mit verführerisch leisen Sample-Spielereien und läßt wenige Minuten später die E-Gitarren im Stil psychogener Punk-Produktionen losbrechen. Erinnert mich sehr an meine Lieblingsplatte von Anti-Sect, wenngleich dazwischen noch qualitative Welten liegen. Knappes 🙂 Der zweite Track Sexy and rich solle nicht zur Diskussion stehen, wenn man Sisters of Mercy oder gar noch ältere Sonnenbrillen bei Nacht trägt. Klares 🙂 [pg]


“Wire changed its name to WIR when drummer Robert Gotobed left the band in 1990, a gutsy move, but one which is in line with these original punks’ attitude. The 15-minute “The First Letter”, which was written after the band had recorded a full-group’s electronic odyssey with a long ambient intro that abruptly kicks into a crashing rhythmic grind. The sonorous eight-and-a-half-minute lullaby “Sexy And Rich” builds gradually, with the always sensual enunciations of bassman Graham Lewis lyrically attacking mankind’s obsession with youthfulness. After 15 years on the musical scene, the three remaining members called it quits after recording this material in 1993, so this is likely to be the last release of new material by a seminal band that has had an inestimable influence on modern underground music.” [Tad Hendrickson]

New Powers/Exclaim (Canada):

“One last bit of noise from Wir(e) who seem to signal all of their retirements with an obscure radio session. Vien contains two tracks recorded for Austrian state radio while they visited Vienna to play their last concert together in February 1993.The 16 minute “First Letter” did not appear on the album of that name, but has been previewed by a version deconstructed by The Hafler Trio. This scathing tune ‘drills’-along to relentless drums as guitars are thrashed and Colin Newman sings. It’s as if “Reuters” has been updated to doctor the horrible news of the apathy of Europe in the face of the Bosnian civil war. While from Graham Lewis comes a more personal tale of money and shallow relationships called “Sexy & Rich”. This tune is more atmospheric than rockist, a seductive mantra that grows as a distinctly Wire-ish rhythm guitar provides momentum. Like their 1979 Peel Session, Vien reminds you of just how good these guys wer(e).” [Chris Twomey]

=Ellipse+ (France):

“Tout vient point pour qui sait attendre. On pensait ne plus rien entendre de neuf de la part de WIRE (WIR en fait, depuis le départ du batteur Robert Gotobed). Entre les exhumations de vieilles démos, les compilations de morceaux plus ou moins inédits et les disques solos de Colin Newman ou Bruce Gilbert, WIR semblait franchement assoupi. Et bien non, ce maxi (deux longs titres) nous le prouve, mÍme s’il semble bien que ce soit la toute derniére pierre de l’édifice WIR. Deux morceaux donc, enregistrés en trois jours en février 1993 pour une radio autrichienne, et qui montrent une fois encore, le talent unique de WIR pour créer des ambiances particulières. “the first letter”, long de 14 minutes, démarre trés calmement et trés expérimentalement, avant d’exploser magistralement, dans la grande habitude du groupe. “sexy and rich (janet)” semble plus traditionnel mais toujours aussi réussi. Savourons donc ces derniers morceaux de WIR.”