Colin Newman of Wire and Malka Spigel of Minimal Compact dive deep into instrumental music | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Colin Newman of Wire and Malka Spigel of Minimal Compact dive deep into instrumental music 

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click to enlarge Immersion

Immersion

Toby Mason

The drastic aesthetic differences between the members of Wire are part of what’s made the music of the British postpunk quartet so rich, but they’ve also made it necessary for each of them to step outside the group to explore anything that doesn’t fit into the gridlike results of their collective songwriting process. Guitarist Colin Newman confirmed his mastery at writing barbed pop songs with solo albums such as 1982’s Not To and 1986’s Commercial Suicide, and starting with the 1981 release of Provisionally Entitled the Singing Fish, he’s also been crafting instrumental music. During the 1990s and once again over the past couple years, his main outlet for this pursuit has been Immersion, his duo with his wife, ex-Minimal Compact bassist Malka Spigel. On Sleepless (Swim~) they start by playing melodic hooks that could easily work as the foundations for conventional songs. But instead of shaping these ingredients into structures, the pair uses them as launching points for pieces that swell with atmospheric analog synthesizer tones and glide on crisp grooves that split the difference between minimal techno and classic Krautrock. Tonight they’ll be joined by drummer Matt Shulz of Holy Fuck, who’ll remain onboard for the rest of their U.S. tour, but just what will happen onstage may be up for grabs: in a concert from late last year that’s up on YouTube, Spigel and Newman stick to keyboards and play an uninterrupted series of themes from their back catalog.   v

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