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  1.  
    This plays more like a leftovers collection than an album proper but it still has some great tunes. "Internal Exile" is still my favorite with "Forward Position" as a close second. I can't help but feel like Wire + 3 or 4 of the best songs on here would have made for an incredible Wire album but I understand their rationale for breaking up the two releases.

    "Still" is definitely the weakest Wire song since O47. The whole thing feels a bit too obvious melodically to be a Wire song. Should have left that one on the cutting floor.
  2.  
    It's good to have a critical perspective on Wire's output, but I couldn't disagree more with the last few comments.
    Every track on Nocturnal Koreans could easily grace any previous Wire release.

    Here's just a few thought which I think make NK great:

    Colin's production aesthetic – it's still clearly Wire, but also very contemporary.
    The additional sonic textures on NK make the tracks sound more varied than the 'first-choice' picks on last year's Wire album.
    Matt's trumpet refrain on Internal Exile, sublime;
    The 'Glide Like Butterflies' line on Dead Weight;
    Graham's vocal on Fishes Bones and the fact the drums and bass come in halfway through the song
    The nods to the past (intentional or not) of 'Rumba' and 'Trash and Treasure'
    The synth and effects on Numbered, which makes it sound like two separate songs

    In short, I honestly think Wire are at the peak of the powers right now.
  3.  
    Well after 1st full hearing what can i say.................Fishes Bones is damned good! That just about summarises me & Wire lp's since Object 47 (not revered much on here i know) - i really, really like just one track. The rest sound homogenised & over-produced! Whatever happened to that edgy band we once knew & loved?!?!?!?!?!

    Oh well, I'll still see them live cos i know they'll nail the new stuff & it always sounds better live &, of course, next years anniversary lp!
  4.  
    If Send was the sound of a band reaching the end point of a particular aesthetic path I feel the same way about Wire/NK. I think they have really honed in and kind of mastered that shoegazy/breezy pop aesthetic and it is hard to imagine taking that sound even further. Nocturnal Koreans has hints of a new sound with the guitar textures and horns of "Internal Exile" but probably the most exciting development is the motorik/krautrock influenced end portion of "Numbered". I think both examples showcase that Matt has a lot to bring to the table that fits in very well with the Wire aesthetic. I will be interested to hear where the band will go next. "Diamonds & Cups" feels potentially like the start of something new with textures that haven't been on the last handful of Wire releases.
  5.  
  6.  
    Another solid collection of late work Wire. For me the only weak link is Forward Position which is a bit too laid back. If I'm going
    to listen to dark, trippy shit I like it really dark and trippy. It's well done and pleasant enough but I could see Wire sinking their teeth into more electronic sounds and heavy background noises. I quite like the Dadaesque, almost Animal Collective sound of Fishes Bones ( actually I believe AC has a song called Bone Fish) but lyrically it's possibly a bit rhymey. minor point. Numbered is quite good, Pilgrim, nice and droney, and I love the way Still stomps along- for some reason it conjured up Prarie Rose by Roxy Music. As for Internal Exile I could see that going into a 10 minute jam at the end. It's that good.
  7.  
    • CommentAuthorjw says...
    • (CommentTimeApr 28th 2016)
     
    This Pitchfork review is uncanny and good.

    There's been reviews in the Gaurdian, The Independent, but also Evening Standard and Metro.

    Not bad for a mini-album, a bedroom light and a bright sign for the future xx
  8.  
    I knew before I even clicked that link it'd get a 7 on Pitchfork.

    Two things in that review that remain evident. First, people still get the lyrics wrong a lot. Secondly, people still make the assumption (oddly, given Wire's history) that whoever's singing made the observations. (As most people here will know, Graham writes the majority of the lyrics, not Colin.)
  9.  
  10.  
    @Freakbag - it's a Mini LP - they usually are quite short.
  11.  
    After only one pass last night first impression is that NK is a worthy addition to the Wire canon.
    Some tracks stood out more than others (don't ask me titles just yet) so another spin of the disc is in order tonight, and who knows maybe another too.
    Not being privy to the internal workings of Wire these days I wonder if the way Wire sound now is Colin's idea of what they should sound like or if Graham etc throw them back and say yay or nay, do it again. I am sure there is a very high quality control before it reaches our ears.
    This is no criticism of NK. Sounds great to my ears after one pass.
  12.  
    Needless to say the Discogs entries for NK have gone up. When entering the credit "Beatbox" (as listed under Colin for the song Nocturnal Koreans), their system automatically comes up with "Human Beatbox" unless you change it by hand (so to speak). I just changed two credits that list "Human Beatbox" to "Electronic Drums [Beatbox]", since I suspect the credit is in reference to the electronic percussion on NK, not any oral antics on Colin's part.

    Unless of course that's exactly what was meant, in which case I should humbly change my edits back to "Human Beatbox".

    Anyone have any idea on this?
    • CommentAuthorjw says...
    • (CommentTimeMay 4th 2016)
     
    I would suspect it's because Robert uses his hands. On surfaces not necessarily a drum kit. It's not electronic.
  13.  
    I'm not sure I understand. This isn't one of Robert's credits. Under Colin's credits on NK it lists "Beatbox (1)", referring to track 1. The question is if this credit refers to a drum machine or similar electronic kit, or beatboxing - as in, percussion created with the human voice. For the former I'd point to the percussion during "Nocturnal Koreans are roaming the halls...", but for the latter I'm having a hard time finding human beatboxing in this song unless it's really blended in there. That, or the "um-um-um"s and "her-her-her"s are being called beatboxing - which is a stretch for the term, but if that's what that means, OK.
  14.  
    @RS- mini/maxi, long/short. Those are all relative terms, aren't they? Be that as it may I was agreeing with the sentiment expressed in the review that I posted as in it's a pity it's not a bit longer. Quel dommage as they say in France.

    @Kevin- Oh I think this is very much a Colin Newman production. He's listed as Mixer/ Producer/ Composer on almost all the songs and lyricist on 2 more. Collectively it's a Wire thing, but this one has CN written all over it.

    @stevethehouse- Quite right. I think they have mastered their sound but not sure they're at the end point here. To me it doesn't sound overproduced or homogenized and I think there's a lot more territory to explore even if the next one veers of in a slightly different direction ( which is to be expected). Maybe you'll warm up to Still. That's definitely no throw away.

    For me NK represents what refined pop music can/ should sound like. If you listen to, say, some weird outsider stuff like Toy by David Bowie or Opel by Syd Barrett, and then for contrast put on something extreme and brutal like Ex-Military by the Death Grips NK sounds
    subtle, nuanced, and dare I say sensual. It's the total package of Wire lyrics, music, and vocals that's slightly out of the box even by Wire's standards.
  15.  
    "For me NK represents what refined pop music can/ should sound like."

    Yes, that's an insightful comment and applies also to last year's LP. To me it sounds like pop music made by and for adults, without being effete or sounding like NPR fare, with some fuzzy and psychedelic elements for good measure.

    I have been a little slow with this new one but I listened to it yesterday and it sounds really good to me, we'll have to see how far it grows...
  16.  
    The opening line of Dead Weight Colin sings
    ...ends in a thousand tears.
    Not ....ends in a thousand years

    And on Numbered lyrics read:
    The days are still pressing
    And regressing everything in time

    But sounds like the days are suppressing

    Any clarification?
  17.  
    From what I have noticed in general, it would not be unprecedented for what's sung to depart from the provided text...
  18.  
    "sweet"……"warm"…...."pretty"……….glowing review from Spin:

    http://www.spin.com/2016/05/review-wire-nocturnal-koreans/