pre>HE cover
Recorded
Released

Wire’s Graham Lewis went solo in the mid-1980s, releasing two albums and four singles as He Said, all concurrent to Wire’s second phase (they reformed in 1985). While pre>HE didn’t appear until 1996, it collects formative solo recordings made by Lewis in 1983. As such, they parallel his explorations with Bruce Gilbert – in Dome. Duet Emmo, P’o, etc. – and reflects the tense, rugged experimentation in much of that music. “Dolass Violphin” grinds a gruff loop into the ground over nineteen minutes; the minutiae becomes all-encompassing as surprisingly gentle touches allow the seeming-repetitive noise to morph into different shapes. “Lying In State” takes a similar practice/process as submerges it in a water tank; “He Said ‘Argh…’” and “Fresh Life” inch closer to the electronic rhythms of Lewis’s He Said material, but in this developmental phase, they’re thrillingly taut and tough.

Jon Dale

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