Each chapter surveys the musical universe of a particular artist, group or genre by way of a contextualizing introduction and a thumbnail guide to the most essential recordings. A massive and eclectic range of music is celebrated and demystified, from rock mavericks such as Captain Beefheart and The Fall; the funk of James Brown and Fela Kuti; the future jazz of Sun Ra and Ornette Coleman; and the experimental compositions of John Cage and Morton Feldman. Genres surveyed and explained include P-funk, musique concrète, turntablism, Brazilian Tropicália, avant metal and dubstep.
The Wire Primers is a vital guide to contemporary sounds, providing an accessible entry point for any reader wanting to dig below the surface of mainstream music.
“The most essential music magazine of the contemporary era.” — Forced Exposure
“For 25 years, The Wire magazine has been celebrating the sound of cussed excentricity … A true English eccentric … it is the currator of a self-sufficient and non-aligned musical world.” — Daily Telegraph
Rob Young is an author and critic specializing in contemporary music. He has been on the staff of The Wire for fifteen years and is currently the magazine's roving editor-at-large.