Colin Newman

Colin Newman portrait

Colin Newman is probably most widely known as the frontman/tunesmith of the art/rock band Wire, who through arious incarnations in the 1970s, 1980s and 2000s have trashed as many genres as they have created, ranging from the austere future punk of their 1977 debut Pink Flag to the "intelligent, adventurous, 21st century rock n roll" of their most recent opus Object 47 (2008), passing through many colours of twisted pop, avant psychedelia and techno throb along the way. The list of bands Wire have influenced is long and diverse, and ranges from U2 to Elastica to Aphex Twin, from REM to Fisherspooner to Liars.

As well as his involvement with Wire, Colin has also worked on many other projects. He has made six solo albums, and produced, remixed or arranged music for The Virgin Prunes, Minimal Compact, French megastar Alain Bashung, Hawkwind, Dead Man Ray and Silo. In addition to this, since the early 1990s he has run the groundbreaking Swim label with Malka Spigel, who is also his wife. The pair have made many artistic collaborations, the best known of which is Immersion, although in fact any Swim-released work under either of their names is actually a collaboration. Swim has also released work by many other artists (often realised in Swim's studio), including: Lobe, Ronnie & Clyde, g-man, Silo, Symptoms, Akatombo, Toucaen, and, of course, Githead!

As well as running the Swim label, Colin also runs the pinkflag label (all Wire's recent releases have passed through the Swim studio and Colin's hands).

w: Colin Newman discography
w: Wire (pinkflag) website

Selected discography

Wire: Chairs Missing

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The insider's pick of the classic three 1970s Wire albums. Wire's lightning trajectory far from the orbit of punk encompassed dark angularity (Practice Makes Perfect) and glassy tranquillity (Marooned), with every colour in between. The definition of 'post punk'.

More on Wire.

Colin Newman: Commercial Suicide

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Probably due for a revival. A hugely over-ambitious attempt to marry synth-pop with the string quartet. A record that was as much out of its time as perhaps any record could be! It was also the first actual collaboration between myself and Malka.

Malka Spigel: My Pet Fish

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All swim-released Colin and Malka records are in fact collaborations, so this is just as much a 'Colin' record as it is a 'Malka' record. A hugely under-rated release waiting to be discovered by all those who fall in love with Malka's voice through hearing her vocal contributions to Githead.

More on My Pet Fish.