COLIN NEWMAN ~

Colin was a founder member of the legendary "art" combo Wire. Wire was formed in 1976 in the midst of the first flush of punk's youth but immediately diverged from the "pogo" standard thrash with a combination of a sparse aesthetic, obtuse lyrics and a much vaunted (but never charted!) "pop sensibility". Through the Seventies they built a formidible reputation based on a rapid evolution of style until one band could no longer contain the prodigious output of it's members and Wire went into one of it's periodic hibernations.


Pink Flag

Wire

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During the early 80's Newman recorded solo albums, became a record producer, working with amongst others the notorious Irish band The Virgin Prunes*, and then quit the music business for a 14 month sojurn on the Indian Subcontinent. On his return Wire recommenced activity running in paralell with both more solo albums and more record production, this time including seminal Israeli band Minimal Compact**. Wire's 80's output eclipsed it's 70's output both in quantity and sales with it's new electronic styles finding favour amongst a new (mainly American) generation weaned on Brit synthpop.


*If I Die, I Die

**Raging Souls

It Seems

The 90's found an increasingly electronic Wire losing their drummer and becoming Wir with Newman himself, settled in Brussels since the mid 80's and married to Minimal bassist Malka Spigel, yet again re-inventing himself in the context of the proto-trip hop outfit Oracle with Malka and Freezone man DJ Morpheus. On Newman & Spigel's return to the UK their record company Swim  was founded, giving not only the chance for "home" projects including the sparse organic-electronic abstractions of Immersion but also as a platform for burgeoning new talent like Leeds' g-man, powered by ex-LFO man Gez Varley, London's Ronnie & Clyde, Edinburgh's Lobe, Tokyo's dol-lop and Brussels' Pablo's Eye. Meanwhile the now resting Wire were having their 70's iconic form revived by the Britpop generation in chart hits by Elastica & Menswear. Newman's most recent solo album is called Bastard and is not Britpop...


Tree

Immersion

Rosh Ballata

Malka's second solo release the minialbum "Hide" finally released in 1997 was not to come about for some years due to concentration on the Swim label and the electronic collaboration with Colin,  Immersion. The minialbum featured 3 new songs as well as a cover version of Minimal Compact's "Returning Wheel" and remixes by g-man , Immersion & Incarnate. 1997 also saw the release of the album "Bastard" a collaboration this time featuring Colin's name.


Hide

Bastard

Malka's third swim release "My Pet Fish" marked a new phase for the pair as they embarked on a new phase of song based work expanding on the direction implied with "Bastard". Released in Autumn '98 it spawned the backbone for the duo's first live dates for ten years which in turn led to the mail order only "live" album. Live dates in Israel and Germany followed in the first half of 1999. North America beckons. Meanwhile Newman also co-produced the deeply cool Silo album Instar.


My Pet Fish

Live

Trivia!
Notable people who have covered Wire Songs include U2, My Bloody Valentine, REM, Lush, Big Black, Carter USM, Therapy?, Flying Saucer Attack, Minor Threat, The Orb, Henry Rollins, Laika, Bark Psychosis, Godflesh, Scanner, Lee Ranaldo, Colin & Malka ...

Some things you may not know about Mr. Newman
Although Newman was the lead vocalist in Wire he was NOT the main lyricist but rather the main tunesmith. He had a song "Alone" included in Silence of the Lambs. He is notorious in France for, amongst other things, a collaboration with French punk mega-star Alain Bashung. Brian Eno & Peter Schmidt were lecturers at his art school. Immersion were included in a group show at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin along with Atom Egoyan, Sam Taylor-Wood and Sigalit Landau. This Mortal Coil covered two of his songs. A large percentage of the exhibits in the hugely succesful Destroy  exhibition of UK punk graphics at the Royal Festival Hall (now on world tour) came from his personal collection. He has also remixed Hawkwind and Gentle Giant amongst others.


Colin Newman Discography



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