Album: Githead

Headgit, SWIM~
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The Independent Culture

For the past decade, Wire frontman Colin Newman has been developing the understated, neo-minimalist electronic music featured on Swim~, the label he operates with his partner Malka Spigel. So it's a surprise to hear his new venture, the splendidly named Githead, with guitars well to the fore. All the more surprising in that Newman and Spigel's partner in Githead is Robin Rimbaud, better known as the electronic composer Scanner. On the mini-debut album, Headgit all three are in unusually accessible, even funky mode, with Spigel's lumbering dub basslines on tracks like "To Have And To Hold" and "Profile" summoning echoes of the industrial dub grooves of PiL's Metal Box. Elsewhere, with Rimbaud and Newman's guitars plotting their own methodical patterns, on "Reset",the result has the same texture and simplicity, as Neu!'s majestic motorik exercise "E-Musik". Which, when you think about it, isn't all that far from territory Newman previously explored with Wire. Indeed, the lyrics chanted here have a similar gnomic quality as late-period Wire songs: "Profile one: an almost letter/ Profile two: a point erased/ Profile three: you did it better," and musings upon art, as in the fretful rhetoric of "Craft Is Dead": "Is it my style?/ Is it your style?/ Is it stupid?/ Does it matter?". Not one jot when the results are as engaging as this.