£20.49It was four years into the swim ~ label’s history before Bastard arrived. Like my previous albums, it was another collaboration – although this time only with my partner in life and crime, Malka Spigel.Visit product page →
There was a point in the ’90s when British music journalists basically didn’t get dance music and would refer to it as “faceless techno bollocks”. It was that very attribute that Malka and I felt most attracted to. In instrumental music, you could be anyone from anywhere. The only thing that mattered was how good your tunes were. In fact, for the first Immersion album, we pretended to be from Germany and were photographed in wigs and masks. This had the unexpected result of the album selling more copies in Germany than anywhere else!
With Bastard, it took a while to get to the concept, which was essentially this: What if we subverted the whole ‘bloke from Wire’thing and had a Colin Newman album without any actual songs on it? These days, this is not such a big thing, but it was hugelytransgressive at the time. The language of Bastard is house, techno, breakbeat, drum and bass, and doubtless post-rock. The only singing is a one-line Malka sample on ‘Turn’.
Not only did the album not play by the rules of what would these days be called musicby a ‘heritage’ artist, but it didn’t play by the rules of dance music either. Back then, dance music artists didn’t mix up styles as theydo today. This is one of the reasons the album’s called Bastard.
Upon release, Bastard was modestly successful in comparison to the label’s other releases, although widely misunderstood. Thetitle is intentionally multifaceted, referring to several ways in which the album is a misfit – a cuckoo in the nest. But it never meant ‘Colin Newman is a bastard’ – even if Malka’s toy finger gesture on the cover tempted fate on that!
Malka and I have done more work together on swim ~ – and, of course, there has been plenty of Wire activity after its second hiatus during the 1990s – but I never felt the need to do another solo album. I don’t crave attention and certainly don’t feel I lack ways to express myself. In many ways, it’s more creative to collaborate with others.
There is joy and beauty in collaboration. And collaborating with Malka has become so effortless that we almost don’t know whodoes what in the work we create. This has led us to throwing open our partnership via Nanocluster events and albums where webuild musical bridges and make partnerships that transcend the art. Maybe that’s the point? Surely, art should be about human connection and diversity of expression?
Colin Newman, Brighton, 2023 (edited from album sleeve notes)
Vinyl LP & CD 1
3. Slowfast (falling down the stairs with a drumkit)
6. Spaced In
8. The Orange House & the Blue House
5. The Narrativ (with Corrado Izzo)
6. Blank Canvas
7. Time Will Allow
9. Cut The Slack (2001)
10. Found & Bound (2001)
11. Unbroken (2001)
12. Flight Mode (2008)
Tracks 1–4 taken from 1995 EP Voice.
Tracks 5–8 originally appeared on swim team #1 and swim team #2.
Tracks 9–12 previously unreleased and exclusive to this edition.
£11.99The duo of Malka Spigel of Minimal Compact and Colin Newman of Wire, Immersion is a true collaboration, with no delineation between who plays what. Through the nineties Immer-sion released three acclaimed albums of expansive instrumental electronica. Now 17 years later they are back.Visit product page →
Available as a 9 Track CD and 2 separately released 10' vinyl Immersion's new album of seductive in-strumentals takes in a range of moods and energies. Though their sound is unmistakable, clearly the duo have evolved.
The pulsing and sliding analogue synths are still present but the most noticeable differences are the introduction of guitars into the mix and an increased sense of urgency to the compositions. This means it can-not be classified as ambient mu-sic.
Although it does have its contemplative moments - such as the gently un-folding Slow Light - the majority of the album is powered by a strong sense of motion.
Nanocluster is a tense, insistent composition. Like the score to some futuristic spy film, it demonstrates their skill at creating sound worlds alive with detail. The urgent forward propulsion of Organic Cities weaves in shades of prime era Tange-rine Dream.
The fact the album has been largely constructed using analogue instrumentation rather than digi-tal definitely gives it a warmth and depth which sets it apart.
1. Always The Sea
5. Living On An Island
6. Mechanical Creatures
8. Organic Cities
9. Slow Light
£8.49Minimal Compact's Malka Spigel and Wire's Colin Newman's minimal-techno-inspired Immersion, release their first new material under the Immersion name since the 90s.Visit product page →
A new five-track 10' limited to 500 copies called Analogue Creatures will see release in February on their Swim label .
The project between the two has been inactive since the release of 1999's Low Impact, with the new decade seeing Newman & Spigel refocus their attention to the song based structures of Newman's Wire, Spigel's solo works and their collaborative work as Githead alongside Robin Rimbaud/Scanner .
The duo decided to revive Immersion after a synth-based shopping trip in New York at the end of Wire's US tour earlier this year, eventually giving way to this new release from the pairing. 'It's all about analogue synthesisers and layering,' says Newman of the new release as well as Immersion's general focus. 'You begin with on part and then play on top of it, pass after pass, building up a track with loops of synthesiser and making an arrangement out of it. It's very organic: there's not a real sense of direction, it's just the shape it comes out. There was no guitar ever on early Immersion ' it was all synth.
That was how we started, but I had a strong feeling this time that we couldn't just repeat the same Immersion that we did a long time ago. I felt it should make a step forward and do something it hadn't done before, which is what it did with the guitars.'
1. Always The Sea
3. Organic Cities
5. Slow Light
£8.99Visit product page →
The duo of Malka Spigel of Minimal Compact and Colin Newman of Wire, Immersion is a true collaboration, with no delineation between who plays what.
Through the nineties Immer-sion released three acclaimed albums of expansive instrumental electronica.
4. Living On An Island
£18.99Immersion are Malka Spigel and Colin Newman. Although best known for their work with, respectively, Minimal Compact and Wire, the duo's work as Immersion provides an outlet for their ongoing fascination in crafting enthralling, unique musical soundscapes.Visit product page →
'Sleepless' is Immersion's latest album, a suite of ten distinctive, unpredictable instrumentals that effortlessly encapsulate a range of emotions and energies. It follows 2016's Analogue Creatures Living on An Island, which saw the duo return to the studio after a lengthy hiatus.
On release, the album received unanimous praise from reviewers:
'A collection of seductive instrumentals that's as sensual as it is hypnotic' (Drowned in Sound)
'Achieves a kind of hypnotic power' (Mojo)
'Full of infinite wonder.' (The Quietus)
Sleepless is at once a logical development from Analogue Creatures and a huge leap forwards. Although the influence of German krautrock pioneers like Tangerine Dream and Popol Vuh is still detectable, Immersion have evolved their own far more personal sound.
Their amalgam of fascinating textures and limpid melodies gives their compositions an irresistible appeal. While warmly percolating analogue synths remain at the heart of Immersion's sound, Sleepless finds their sonic palette broadened to encompass guitars, drums and bass.
There's a guest appearance from Matt Schulz of Holy Fuck, too, and a collaboration with Gil Luz and Asi Weitz of EBM band Hexenschuss.
For a duo who once titled an album Low Impact, this is most definitely Immersion in high-impact mode.
2. Off Grid
7. The Humming Sea
8. Manic Toys
9. Seeing Is Believing
Release Date: 13/07/2018
£21.99Creation is Perfect: an album of new versions of classic tracks by a classic band – and yet so much more besides…Formed in Amsterdam in 1980, Minimal Compact were part of the original post-punk explosion. The band developed a unique mix of propulsive rhythms, spacious bass lines, rich keyboard textures, mesmeric guitar lines, and vocal melodies with a Middle-Eastern inflection.Visit product page →
They sounded like nothing that had gone before. The band gained a reputation for energetic, unpredictable, intense shows . Now they have reconvened, together with producer and long-time collaborator Colin Newman (Wire), to finally capture their music in its true brilliance.
Several of the band’s signature songs have been re-recorded using a mix of live recordings and studio tooled performances. The result is an album that radiates vitality and sheer class.
Highlights include live favourite ‘Statik Dancin’’ with its barbed hooks and irresistible groove. The bright, tender optimism of ‘My Will’ is especially moving, with Spigel’s vocal at the fore. Then there is ‘Take Me Away’, with its tightly coiled hypnotic guitar lines edging towards mania. The album climaxes with a brand new song, ‘Holy Roller’.
Creation is Perfect is an album of power and depth that demands repeated plays. Crackling with energy and immediacy, this is the sound of a band reaching a new level of creativity.
Book edition - 80 page hard bound 10” x 8” (25.4cm x 20.30cm) book produced in a numbered edition containing the story of the beginnings of Minimal Compact (written by Jack Baron), the story of the Creation is Perfect album (written by Colin Newman), extended credits and lots of mainly never seen before pictures plus of course a CD of the album.
1. Statik Dancin’
2. Take Me Away
4. Raging Souls
5. Not Knowing
6. My Will
7. The Well
8. Holy Roller
Release Date: 18/10/2019