Tag: Colin Newman

A Beginner’s Guide To MIKE THORNE

Photo by JR Host

Born in Sunderland, Mike Thorne began learning to play piano at the age of 11.  

The lessons sparked a passion for music that led to him buying a tape recorder so that he could record songs off the radio. He then studied composition at The Guildhall School of Music & Drama. But despite later graduating with a physics degree from Oxford University, the music industry was where he wanted to be. His first jobs included tape op, journalist and then A&R at EMI looking after THE SEX PISTOLS during their short tenure at the label in 1976.

This led to becoming a house record producer at EMI and his first assignment involved recording 120 saxophones playing ‘The White Cliffs Of Dover’. After recording several live albums including ‘Live at The Roxy’, Thorne got his break producing French rock band TÉLÉPHONE whose eponymous debut album went gold.

New Yorkers THE SHIRTS and the Peter Godwin fronted METRO were among those followed, but it was his work on the first three albums by WIRE – a band he spotted and signed to PINK FLOYD’s label Harvest – that drew the most critical acclaim. The records demonstrated Thorne’s willingness to experiment in the studio, stripping down structures while adding electronic elements where appropriate.

Recognising that electronics and computers were the future of pop music and that a reinvention was likely by responding to new possibilities, Thorne had the foresight to purchase the first version of the NED Synclavier in 1979. A polyphonic digital sampling system and music workstation which used FM synthesis, it was to become his production mainstay and arrived in time for Colin Newman of WIRE’s first solo release and Scottish new wave quartet BERLIN BLONDES’ only long player.

Thorne moved to New York to become a freelance producer, working mostly at Media Sound Studio. But it was while in London working on the soundtrack to a Julie Christie film ‘Memoirs Of A Survivor’ that Thorne was commissioned by Phonogram Records to produce their new signing B-MOVIE. The deal had been brokered by Some Bizzare, an umbrella organisation that was more stable than label and part of the 2-for-1 arrangement was for him to work with a Northern synth duo called SOFT CELL. The rest, as they say, is history…

‘Tainted Love’, a cover of a song written by Ed Cobb and recorded by Gloria Jones, went to No1 and was the biggest selling UK single of 1981. It also spent a staggering 43 weeks on the US Billboard Hot 100. During the recording of ‘Tainted Love’, Thorne conceived a new way of producing an extended dance mix… the 12” single would be arranged and recorded first, with the 7” single version edited from sections of the longer track. Phonogram boss Roger Ames felt the track was a little slow so it was varispeeded up slightly for release!

Meanwhile, SOFT CELL were to enter an imperial phase of five successive Top4 UK hit singles with Thorne at the production helm including ‘Bedsitter’, ‘Say Hello Wave Goodbye’, ‘Torch’ and ‘What’. However, with the overwhelming success of their debut long player ‘Non Stop Erotic Cabaret’, tensions brewed during the recording of SOFT CELL’s appropriately titled second album ‘The Art Of Falling Apart’ leading to Thorne parting ways with the duo.

In 1984, Thorne was to produce one of the most important albums of his career when he was teamed up with BRONSKI BEAT for ‘The Age Of Consent’. The trio soon fragmented after its release, but Thorne followed their lead singer Jimmy Somerville to his new project THE COMMUNARDS with Richard Coles to achieve yet another No1 in a HI-NRG cover of ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’; it was also the best-selling UK single of 1986.

Thorne’s ethos was always “to make music I liked with people I liked”. As well as working with more esoteric clients such as Marianne Faithful, Nina Hagen and Laurie Anderson, he was appreciated for his crossover potential in the mainstream with Daryl Hall & John Oates commissioning him to construct an Extended Club Mix of ‘Maneater’ in 1984 which included a breakdown clearly influenced by the middle section of the ‘Tainted Love’/ Where Did Our Love Go’ 12” segue.

Although Thorne ceased working as a hired hand from 1995, he continued as a producer for artists signed to his label imprint The Stereo Society while he issued his first his solo record ‘The Contessa’s Party’ in 2005 featuring special guests Kit Hain, Lene Lovich and Sarah Jane Morris.

Despite achieving two best-selling UK singles of the year, Mike Thorne has often slipped under the radar in discussions about notable record producers who led the start of the digital era. Documenting a significant and trailblazing career, here are 20 tracks selected by ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK which act a Beginner’s Guide to Mike Thorne, listed in yearly and then alphabetical order by artist moniker with a restriction of one track per album project.

WIRE I Am The Fly (1978)

Although WIRE’s debut ‘Pink Flag’ was minimalist post-punk rock, their sophomore offering, ‘Chairs Missing,’ adopted more song structure, art rock approaches and synthesizer textures brought in by Thorne. One of WIRE’s signature tracks, ‘I Am The Fly’ had menace and provocation, prompting audiences at gigs to start lying down, waving their limbs in the air like dying flies! Musically, its influence can be heard from TUBEWAY ARMY’s ‘My Shadow In Vain’ to ELASTICA’s ‘Lined Up’.

Available on the WIRE album ‘Chairs Missing’ via Pink Flag


BERLIN BLONDES Framework (1980)

A meeting of synthesizers, art rock and obscure vocals, Glasgow’s BERLIN BLONDES exuded the detached European cool of David Bowie during his Mauerstadt exile and were unusual at the time for using a drum machine. The quartet only made one album produced by Thorne which was recorded at Gary Numan’s Rock City Studios, ‘Framework’ was syncopated futurist disco featuring crashing electronic beats and icy flashes of synth under the influence of SPARKS and MAGAZINE.

Available on the BERLIN BLONDES album ’The Complete Recordings 1980-81’ via Cherry Red Records


COLIN NEWMAN Order For Order (1980)

After three albums, WIRE split for the first time. Their lead vocalist Colin Newman released his first solo album, ‘A-Z’ in 1980, featuring songs created for the anticipated fourth WIRE album. It was produced by Thorne and could be considered a sonic companion to BERLIN BLONDES. ‘Order for Order’, explored the possibilities of new wave mainstream numbers and while some compared it to Gary Numan, it had more in common with MAGAZINE.

Available on the COLIN NEWMAN album ‘A–Z’ via Sentient Sonics


B-MOVIE Remembrance Day (1981)

Despite being alongside DEPECHE MODE, SOFT CELL, BLANCMANGE and THE THE on the now iconic ‘Some Bizarre Album’, B-MOVIE were unable to secure a hit with the poignant magnificence of the Thorne produced ‘Remembrance Day’. The struggle for success and internal tensions led to the band fragmenting by 1983. But the song gained cult status and in 2004, American band THE FAINT presented a fine interpolation in ‘Southern Belles In London Sing’ .

Available on the compilation album ‘Dawn Of Electronica’ (V/A) via Demon Music Group


KIT HAIN Spirits Walking Out (1981)

Kit Hain had an international hit ‘Dancing In The City’ with Julian Marshall in 1978 but after the duo split, Hain issued her debut solo album ‘Spirits Walking Out’ produced by Thorne. While ‘Danny’ was to be a minor single success, one of the album highlights was the synthesized cabaret noir of the dramatic title song. Hain was to have a role in the SOFT CELL story as it was her Roland CR78 Compurhythm which Thorne borrowed and used as the rhythmic backbone to ‘Tainted Love’.

Available on the KIT HAIN album ‘Spirits Walking Out’ via Renaissance Records


SOFT CELL Bedsitter – Early Morning Dance Side (1981)

With direction from Thorne, SOFT CELL often incorporated extra vocal sections into their 12” extended formats as on ‘Torch’, ‘Facility Girls’ and ‘Insecure Me’. So instead of purely instrumental breakdown extensions, ‘Bedsitter’ added a marvellous rap from Marc Almond where he asked “do you look a mess, do have a hangover?” before taking a little blusher. The literal kitchen sink drama to song concept saw tea leaves pushed down the drain as the night life started all over again.

Available on the SOFT CELL album ‘The Twelve Inch Singles’ via UMC


NINA HAGEN Tiatschi Tarot (1982)

Record in New York with Thorne, ‘NunSexMonkRock’ was the debut solo adventure by eccentric German singer Nina Hagen, as well as her first record with all her songs performed in English after disbanding her band after two acclaimed albums. While it was primarily a dissonant mix of punk, funk and reggae, ‘Taitschi-Tarot’ was a delightful oddball avant opera piece using piano and synths that covered the topics of Buddhism, reincarnation and yoga.

Available on the NINA HAGEN album ‘Nunsexmonkrock’ via Sony Music


SOFT CELL Torch – 12” version (1982)

Thorne and Marc Almond agreed that ‘Torch’ was their finest moment of recording together. Punctuated by John Gatchell’s flugelhorn, ‘Torch’ came in the middle of SOFT CELL’s imperial pop phase and the 12” version was a pièce de résistance, fuelled by Almond and Dave Ball partying on the New York club scene where they met Cindy Ecstasy. In an amusing spoken middle section, her nonchalant off-key vocal counterpointed Almond’s fabulously forlorn romanticism.

Available on the SOFT CELL boxed set ‘Keychains & Snowstorms’ via UMC


THE THE Uncertain Smile (1982)

Still Matt Johnson’s finest five minutes as THE THE, ‘Uncertain Smile’ on its single release featured a wonderfully rigid TR808 pattern, lovely layers of synths and a variety of woodwinds including flute and sax. Produced by Mike Thorne, this fuller sounding and more emotive take far outstripped the bland and overly-long ‘Soul Mining’ album cut, which had been re-recorded by Thorne associate Paul Hardiman and included the extended boogie-woogie piano of Jools Holland…

Available on the THE THE album ’45 RPM – The Singles’ via Epic Records


SEONA DANCING More To Lose (1983)

SEONA DANCING were the synthpop duo comprising of a young Ricky Gervais and his friend Bill McRae formed while they were students at University College London. With Gervais adopting a melodramatic Bowie-like persona as a doomed romantic, their first single ‘More To Lose’ produced by Mike Thorne was of its time. However, its incessant rhythms and tuneful keyboard inflections had appeal and the song became a surprise radio hit in The Philippines.

Available on the SEONA DANCING single ‘More To Lose’ via London Records


SOFT CELL The Art Of Falling Apart (1983)

Whereas Mike Thorne had been a happy collaborator on their debut album ‘Non Stop Erotic Cabaret’, during the making of the follow-up, he was viewed as a controller and spy for Phonogram. As former art school students, pop stardom did not suit SOFT CELL so there was no option but for Marc Almond and Dave Ball to self-destruct. The imploding disposition of ‘The Art Of Falling Apart’ title song couldn’t have soundtracked a mental breakdown any better.

Available on the album ‘The Art Of Falling Apart’ via Mercury Records


BRONSKI BEAT Smalltown Boy (1984)

When BRONSKI BEAT made their first ever TV appearance performing on BBC2’s ‘ORS’,  they were nothing short of startling, thanks to their look, their minimal synth sound and Somerville’s lonely earth shattering falsetto. The trio had sought to be more outspoken and political in their position as openly gay performers and the tale of the Mike Thorne produced ‘Smalltown Boy’ about a gay teenager fleeing his hometown made an important statement.

Available on the BRONSKI BEAT album ‘The Age Of Consent’ via London Records


THE COMMUNARDS Disenchanted (1986)

After leaving BRONSKI BEAT, Jimmy Somerville formed THE COMMUNARDS with future TV vicar Richard Coles and took Thorne with him to produce their self-titled debut. While more organic elements such as piano, brass and strings featured, there remained a HI-NRG electronic element. The brilliant ‘Disenchanted’ heavily recalled the sound of his previous band. Somerville never stuck around for long and his relationship with Coles was dissolved in 1987.

Available on THE COMMUNARDS album ‘Communards’ via London Records



HOLLYWOOD BEYOND was the vehicle of flamboyant singer-songwriter Mark Rogers and he went Top10 with the Stephen Hague produced ‘What’s The Colour Of Money?’ in 1986. Mike Thorne was brought in to produce one track, ‘Save Me’, for the parent album ‘If’. Released as a single, it was an attempt to make a funkier version of BRONSKI BEAT and THE COMMUNARDS but Rogers lacked the vocal richness of Jimmy Somerville to pull it off.

Available on the HOLLYWOOD BEYOND album ‘If’ via Warner Music


LAURIE ANDERSON The Day The Devil (1989)

Laurie Anderson’s fourth studio album ‘Strange Angels’ saw her attempt to move away from performance art into a more musical territory. Taking singing lessons and developing into a soprano, there was less of the spoken word that characterised her surprise No2 UK hit ‘O Superman’ and its parent album ‘Big Science’. Thorne produced four tracks on the album including ‘The Day the Devil’, a gothic art mini-opera with sinister diabolic overtones.

Available on the LAURIE ANDERSON album ‘Strange Angels’ via Warner Music


CHINA CRISIS Red Letter Day (1989)

While CHINA CRISIS had recorded their fifth album ‘Diary Of A Hollow Horse’ with STEELY DAN’s Walter Becker, Virgin Records had felt there were no potential hit singles. So the band were despatched to re-record three songs including ‘Red Letter Day’. Using a sharp piano figure reminiscent of Rupert Holmes’ one hit wonder ‘Escape (The Pina Colada Song)’ with more counterpoints, synths and vocal harmonies, the track was issued as the album’s second single but no hit was forthcoming.

Available on the CHINA CRISIS album ‘Diary Of A Hollow Horse’ via Virgin Records


BRONSKI BEAT I’m Gonna Run Away From You (1990)

Mike Thorne reunited with Steve Bronski and Larry Steinbachek when BRONSKI BEAT were rebooted in a new deal with Zomba Records subsidiary Zed Beat featuring a new vocalist Jonathan Hellyer who possessed a falsetto similar to Jimmy Somerville. The first track released was a frantic dance cover of ‘I’m Gonna Run Away From You’, a Northern Soul song made famous by Tami Lynn. Sadly, Larry Steinbachek passed away in 2017 and Steve Bronski in 2022.

Originally released as a single by Zed Beat, currently unavailable.


INFORMATION SOCIETY Peace & Love, Inc (1992)

From Minneapolis, INFORMATION SOCIETY had their breakthrough ‘What’s On Your Mind (Pure Energy)’ in 1988. From the album of the same name on which Thorne produced 4 tracks, ‘Peace & Love, Inc’ was spikey and energetic social commentary with heavy rave influences with 808 STATE samples thrown in. Incidentally another album track ‘To Be Free’ was produced by Karl Bartos under his post-KRAFTWERK guise as ELEKTRIC MUSIC.

Available on the INFORMATION SOCIETY album ‘Peace & Love, Inc’ via Tommy Boy Records


PETER MURPHY Our Secret Garden (1992)

BAUHAUS front man Peter Murphy sought to capture the live feel of a band, having sampled musicians on his two previous works. But recording had not been straightforward and it was the longest time Thorne had worked on an album. the spacious and exotic ‘Our Secret Garden’ saw keyboards played by Murphy himself alongside the producer’s Synclavier. The ‘Holy Smoke’ album also reunited Thorne with B-MOVIE’s Paul Statham who was now acting as Murphy’s wingman.

Available on the PETER MURPHY album ‘Holy Smoke’ via Beggars Banquet Records


MARC ALMOND We Need Jealousy (1996)

During Thorne’s reunion with Marc Almond in 1993, the singer was dismayed that the producer was still using his Synclavier. A change in record labels led to Thorne’s productions being remixed by THE BEATMASTERS and BIZARRE INC. Mixed by Gregg Jackman, ‘We Need Jealousy’ featured some great bassline programming augmented by ‘Motorbiking’ guitar by Chris Spedding. The experience drained Thorne, who withdrew from working as a hired hand.

Available on the MARC ALMOND album ‘Fantastic Star’ via Mercury Records


For personal commentary by Mike Thorne, archive articles and information on releases by The Stereo Society, please visit https://stereosociety.com/

Text by Chi Ming Lai with thanks to Simon Helm
20th February 2023


Colin Newman is best known as the front man for WIRE, the genre-crossing band that put the po in post-punk.

His solo work has been covered by THIS MORTAL COIL and was key to the soundtrack of ‘Silence of the Lambs’.

Besides WIRE projects, Newman has produced VIRGIN PRUNES, PARADE GROUND and MINIMAL COMPACT – the last of which led to a long-term relationship with bassist Malka Spigel. Together with Spigel, Newman sometimes produces material as IMMERSION, an act with strong electronic sensibilities.

After a long break, the duo have recently taken up that guise in greater earnest. They have released a new album and set up a string of performances on both sides of the Atlantic that should excite fans of their 1990s electronic work and find a wider audience. ‘Sleepless’, the follow-up to 2016’s ‘Analogue Creatures Living On An Island’, is at turns funky and futuristic.

The psychedelic patina that has characterised recent WIRE releases can be found in the dream-like airiness of the lead track, ‘Microclimate’. Deep grooves and atmospheric synth lines feature heavily, leaving supernatural impressions.

Colin Newman recently spoke about IMMERSION’s activity and WIRE’s plans.

Krautrock is a clear influence in the new material. What did that movement mean to you both, and what brought it into the foreground for the album?

Like any other musical venture, IMMERSION is at least partly a product of when it started, which was initially in the early 90s. It’s always been both electronic and instrumental, but would in those days have been viewed through the lens of techno; then later breakbeat and drum and bass – minimal, ambient or abstract.

There was a long period, during the last decade and the first half of this decade, when we didn’t work on IMMERSION. Since 2004, we made four albums and an EP as part of GITHEAD and a solo album and EP by Malka. Krautrock (a term developed by Virgin’s marketing department to sell a FAUST album) has always been there, since the early 70s. By turns hip and deeply unfashionable (depends on who) – and of course we’ve heard plenty!

During the last couple of years, IMMERSION get seen through the lens of Krautrock. It’s quite hard to define electronic music according to style anymore, so we guess it’s as valid a descriptor as any. It’s one of those terms that if you break it down is as meaningless as any other!

FAUST don’t have that much in common with NEU! and CLUSTER aren’t much like CAN or TANGERINE DREAM – or KRAFTWERK, come to that – and latter-day Kraut-rockers like TO ROCOCO ROT don’t have much in common with any of the others – apart from the fact that they are all German. Interestingly, GITHEAD have often been described as Krautrock!

However, one common thread that seems to be emerging from what people say about the new album, ‘Sleepless’, is that it is somehow fresh. Some have gone so far as to say it sounds like a debut album! We take that as a big compliment.

Music, if it is to have any relevance, must be about the present moment. We are not thinking at all about history when we are making new IMMERSION music – it’s best to not think about much at all, just do! Perhaps the fact that Immersion is now also very much a live entity has influenced our direction?

IMMERSION is a project born of your relationship with Malka. Are there compromises you have to make that you wouldn’t have entertained in WIRE?

Malka and I work very naturally and easily with each other. I’m not aware of making any compromises – quite the opposite, in fact! Don’t forget, Malka and I have been making music together since the mid-80s. We have developed our own distinct working methods.

More recently, within WIRE there has been less involvement with electronics, so has it been exciting to be using synths within IMMERSION?

Well, there are quite a lot of synths on recent WIRE records. There have been keyboard-based sounds pretty much since the beginning, distorted electric piano on some tracks of ‘Pink Flag’ for example.

However, it is important with WIRE that everyone gets included in the recording process, so taking a more obvious electronic route would leave out Rob and not really be WIRE (especially as his drumming is a defining aspect of WIRE’s sound).

When Malka and I work on music, obviously, we don’t have that limitation (if it can be seen as such) and can work in ways that come naturally.

The main difference, if you want to find one, between WIRE and the work that Malka and I do, is that Wire has always been based on songwriting (mainly mine), whereas Malka and I develop material together. They are two very different processes.

We don’t really see IMMERSION as being about synthesisers per se, with the exception of the Korg MS-10, which has been present in IMMERSION’s work since the beginning.

It’s a simple mono-synth with a very distinctive colour. Malka has had one since the early 80s, and she still manages to get interesting results from it. It’s kind of a combination of a lead vocal and a secret weapon!

Has there been any new hardware that has proved particularly inspirational?

In terms of new hardware, we aren’t analogue obsessives and haven’t thrown ourselves into the Euro-rack world. For us, it’s more about the results than how you get there. I think probably the most useful bit of hardware we got for this album was the Kenton USB to CV converter which had enabled us to sequence the MS-10 allowing Malka to perform on the filters etc. in real time without having to play the part at the same time.

Two obvious results from that are the lead part on the title track ‘Sleepless’ which starts as almost a woodwind sound and evolves into something obviously synthetic and the main synth in ‘Propulsoid’ which is actually two separate passes! Having said that we do sometimes buy synths. The last one we bought was the MS-20 re-release. I’m sure it’ll feature on the next album!

There was a point in WIRE’s development where you felt confident enough as a producer to take a bigger role in the studio. Did it change the dynamic of the band to have you on both sides of the mixing board?

There are two important points here. One is that, in WIRE, I produce the music but not the people. I’m not “in charge” in the studio. I provide a service to get a result from recordings we have made together. Also, I run the record company, so I am very aware of deadlines and things that need to be done to achieve the results the band wants – which is why I’ve spent a lot of this year so far working in the 70s re-releases.

The two roles are, from my POV, very much connected. For me, it’s about developing strategies that work in a practical sense and enable the band to be creative.

If WIRE were to go into a studio with a conventional producer to be released on some other label, I doubt whether there would be much being made out of it. It’s not about the money; but frankly, if a band isn’t really earning much from its records, then in the end there becomes less reason to do them.

The dynamic is changing all the time – it’s not always easy and there are strong personalities involved. It’s in the nature of the project!

While WIRE is a unit, there have always been collaborators from other disciplines on the scene – Russell Mills or Graham Duff, for instance. Is it fair to speak of a WIRE extended family? What role do they play?

Yes, very much. We’ve even used that term in the past. It’s actually quite a big family! I personally like to work with people over a long period of time. Pinkflag (Wire’s label) doesn’t have any direct employees; but, like swim~ (Malka’s and my label), we take people for specific tasks.

I feel like, if I list one or two people, I should list everyone, as they are all important! I’m not sure your readers want to read a big list of everyone we work with!

WIRE played on the same bill as DEPECHE MODE at the Pasadena Rose Bowl in 1988. What are your recollections of the show? Would you play with them again?

It was a strange event. We were on tour in the USA anyway, and the invitation to be part of the event probably had more to do with the Mute / Daniel Miller connection than any other.

We were getting a fair bit of US MTV in those days (as were DEPECHE MODE, of course!) so I don’t think anyone thought the billing weird. For us, it was a somewhat surreal event.

We were, I think, the openers, so people were only just beginning to come in. It was like a big sports stadium with the stage at one end; so, although there were probably a few thousand people there, they were mainly very far away. What we could see were the guest seats right in front of the stage, in which were sitting Daniel, Jon Savage and various people who worked on our US releases at the time. So, it was a weird combination of a very distant general audience but up close people who we mainly knew!

The Rose Bowl was an afternoon show for us. That evening we played a club show of our own in LA.

Obviously, the circumstances have changed considerably since those days. We don’t really do a lot of supports. I’m sure we could somehow end up on a festival together at some point.

Can we expect more DRILL: FESTIVALs? Which artists would you like to add to the bills?

I would personally love to do more DRILL: FESTIVALs; although, to be honest, they are a lot of work.

There’s nothing in the pipeline right now; however, WIRE’s next period of serious activity will not be until early 2020, when the next album will come out. Not much has been decided yet for how that year unfolds, apart from a plan to start recording the next album later this year.

There are definitely places we have not held any DRILL: FESTIVALs in yet; and it will be, as ever, a case of finding the right partners for the events. My focus is usually on the practicalities, and my personal taste is pretty wide; so I would tend to the view that, once we have city and dates, we need to find out who is available given that we can’t afford to be in the position of having to fly anyone in for the shows.

Pinkflag and swim~ have been indie innovators. Is swim~ still going? How has the shift to streaming impacted you?

Swim ~ is still going. We don’t release stuff every year but ‘Sleepless’ is very much on swim~, as was its predecessor ‘Analogue Creatures Living On An Island’, as well as everything Malka and I have been jointly involved in since 1993!

Both Pinkflag and swim~ have always been pretty hands on, and the backbone has always been the studio / label combination. True, we do record in other studios for both labels, but everything is always finished in-house. This does reduce the costs, but it’s in allying that with the means to release that they become more singular ventures.

I’m guessing it takes a certain mindset to work like that or else everyone would be doing it! Ultimately, you have to believe in yourself enough to invest in yourself.

As creative artists, I don’t think we should allow ourselves the luxury about being snobbish about format. We are making music to be heard by other people, so we should not be somehow insisting or even hinting that anyone who streams your music on their phone is somehow lesser than someone listening to vinyl. Some people want to own items and others just want to listen to tunes. What is important to all artists is that there is an income stream from however the music comes out.

As labels, we should be making physical releases attractive…by the way, both WIRE and IMMERSION sell more on CD than vinyl, still!

With WIRE, the increased audience does allow for innovative formats (like Special Edition books). I’m still looking for a way to make a Special Edition for a swim~ release.

What’s next for IMMERSION – or anything else within the WIRE camp?

We are just about to embark upon a North American tour. This is quite a big deal for us. Although we have been doing gigs sporadically over the past couple of years, this is the first actual tour. One month coast-to-coast!

Matt Schulz from HOLY F*CK will play with us on about half the dates. He’s someone we have played live with before. Interest in IMMERSION does seem to be increasing, so maybe we will tour more often – maybe in the UK, too.

In parallel with the gigging, we also have our own occasional Brighton-based event called Nanocluster. Apart from an opener, the evening consists of three sets: one by IMMERSION; one by our guest(s); and a third by a collaboration between Immersion and our guest(s).

Although each artist has a different working method, we try, over the days before the event, to develop a set of material that is both original and specific to the collaboration – recording in our studio as we rehearse. There will eventually be a Nanocluster album.

Previous events have been with TARWATER and Laetitia Sadier. This is something we may repeat in other places, There has been talk of London with Laetitia and Berlin with TARWATER.

For WIRE, obviously the re-releases are the big news for this year; and, as I’ve already said, we are moving towards a new album for 2020.

ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK gives its grateful thanks to Colin Newman

Special thanks to Frankie Davison at Stereo Sanctity

‘Sleepless’ is released by swim~ on CD, vinyl LP and digital formats direct from https://swim.greedbag.com/buy/sleepless-76/

The ‘Sleepless’ album launch takes place at Rough Trade East in London on Saturday 16th June 2018 – free entry with IMMERSION on stage at 6.30pm

IMMERSION 2018 US tour dates include:

Los Angeles Bootleg Theatre, LA, California (23rd June), San Francisco Cafe Du Nord* (24th June), Portland Doug Fir Lounge (26th June), Seattle Barboza (27th June), Salt Lake City Kilby Court (29th June), Denver Larimer Lounge (1st July), Kansas City Record Bar (3rd July ), Minneapolis 7th St. Entry (5th July), Chicago Schubas* (6th July), Detroit Third Man Records Cass Corridor* (7th July), Toronto The Drake* (9th July) , Montreal La Vitriola* (11th July), Aliston Great Scott* (13th July), Brooklyn Rough Trade NYC (14th July)

*with Matt Schulz on drums





Text and Interview by Simon Helm
15th June 2018