Composer: Bruce Gilbert .
Recording information: Worldwide International London.
Wire guitarist Bruce Gilbert has commented that he's more interested in sounds than in music or songs per se. Consequently, it's not surprising that his experimental endeavors should have garnered interest from artists working in other media who recognize the potential of his recordings as a component of their own creative activities. His first two solo albums, This Way (1984) and The Shivering Man (1987), featured material commissioned for performances by Scottish dancer/choreographer Michael Clark. Insiding consists of two long pieces conceived and written for dance projects by Ashley Page. Gilbert recorded the title track of this album for Page's Savage Water, which was televised in 1989 by England's Channel Four. This sonically diverse, 19-minute composition recalls Gilbert's collaborations with Wire bassist Graham Lewis under the Dome moniker. Like much of that work, this comprises an aural collage of sparse atmospheric passages, looped beats, harsh electronic eruptions, and industrial rumblings. Despite the fragmented arrangement, however, there are moments of cohesion, particularly as the track builds toward its crunching, mechanical climax and the ghost of the paradigmatic Wire rhythm known as "dugga" makes a fleeting appearance. The other track, the 26-minute "Bloodlines," was commissioned by the Royal Ballet for an Page production in 1990. Like "Insiding," it's a heterogeneous piece that incorporates abrasive electronic textures, metallic noise, fleeting ambient punctuation, and rhythmic patterns that occasionally lock into tight, heavy grooves. Nevertheless, "Bloodlines" differs from "Insiding" in its occasional pockets of minimal melody and its more pervasive air of disquiet, which eventually peaks in an austere, hypnotic section enhanced with unsettling vocal loops. Although the two tracks on this release undoubtedly worked best in the context of the dance performances for which they were originally written, they are still convincing as recordings in their own right. ~ Wilson Neate