Boomkat Product Review:
The fourth Dome reissue sees Wire’s Bruce Gilbert and Graham Lewis solidify the styles of their first 3 x LPs into a mutant form of folk, jazz, no wave and avant-songcraft that ranks among the ‘80s most important experimental recordings.
Again recording with Eric Radcliffe and an early Fairlight-weilding Vince Clarke (THE ’80S) at Blackwing Studios in London - only this time released by Norway’s Uniton label - 1982’s album ‘4’ is just as singular as their first trio, but feels less disjointed, as though they took a few steps back and let the last few years experiments marinate in the mind before returning to their studio-as-instrument.
A big highlight of their catalogue, ’To Speak’ goes first with extended folk fiddle drones and jazzy sax blurts that saddle up around 10 mins in and trek off somewhere between the VU, Peter Zummo and Current 93, while the palate cleansing battery of ‘To walk, To Run’ and unsettling skronk of ‘To Duck, To Dive’ almost sound like abstractions of Scott Walker. ‘This’ is perhaps the trippiest piece here, with Clarke’s Fairlight used to sample and morph Gilbert’s vocals and lay some of the earliest techno roots, while ‘Seven Year’ trades in loopy noise repetition that resonates with earliest Steve Hitchcock records, and ‘Atlas’ could be considered an eldritch echo of The Residents, or a nightmarish Talking Heads piece.
What a run of albums.