The Wire is an independent print and online music magazine covering a wide range of global alternative, underground and experimental musics. The Wire celebrates and interrogates the most visionary and inspiring, subversive and radical, marginalised and undervalued musicians on the planet, past and present, in the realms of avant rock, electronic music, hiphop, new jazz, improvised music, modern composition, traditional musics and more. Passionate, intelligent and provocative, The Wire wages war on the mundane and the mediocre. Its office is based in London, but it serves an international readership.
The magazine was founded in 1982, primarily as a jazz and new music magazine, with a brief to "unravel the mysteries of music and musicians for those who look for fundamental answers about the nature of music...". Between 1984-2000 it was owned by Namara, a small independent London-based media company that also owned Quartet Books, The Women’s Press and The Literary Review. In December 2000 it was purchased in a worker's buy-out organised by the magazine's then six full time staff and has been run that way ever since.
The magazine is run by a team of full-time staff based in its London office, plus a large international roster of freelance writers and photographers, stationed at points across the globe.
The Wire exists in various other forms online and IRL. It hosts a weekly radio show on Resonance FM and talks at venues and festivals including Cafe Oto (London), Unsound (Krakow), CTM (Berlin) and Tusk (Newcastle), among others.
The Wire has also published a number of books: Invisible Jukebox (Quartet, 1997), Undercurrents: The Hidden Wiring Of Modern Music (Continuum, 2002), The Wire Primers (Verso, 2009), No Regrets: Writings On Scott Walker (Orion, 2012) and Epiphanies: Life-changing Encounters With Music (Strange Attractor, 2015), and we have worked with Strange Attractor on the collected comic strips of Savage Pencil: Trip Or Squeek's Big Amplifier (2012). The Wire also runs an online bookshop, which sells books by many contributors, among others. (2022)