Colin Newman (& Malka Spigel) – BASTARD

WM03LP // WM03CD // WM03D – 26 January 2024

Re-release of the 1997 album BASTARD // Available on vinyl for the first time – and bio vinyl at that! // CD version includes a second CD with rare and unreleased tracks // Very limited special bundles available, including “Voice” & “Swimming In Sound T-shirt“ – when they are gone they are gone!


It was four years into the swim ~ label’s history before Bastard arrived. Like my previous albums, it was another collaboration – although this time only with my partner in life and crime, Malka Spigel.

There was a point in the ’90s when British music journalists basically didn’t get dance music and would refer to it as “faceless techno bollocks”. It was that very attribute that Malka and I felt most attracted to. In instrumental music, you could be anyone from anywhere. The only thing that mattered was how good your tunes were. In fact, for the first Immersion album, we pretended to be from Germany and were photographed in wigs and masks. This had the unexpected result of the album selling more copies in Germany than anywhere else!

With Bastard, it took a while to get to the concept, which was essentially this: What if we subverted the whole ‘bloke from Wire’ thing and had a Colin Newman album without any actual songs on it? These days, this is not such a big thing, but it was hugely transgressive at the time. The language of Bastard is house, techno, breakbeat, drum and bass, and doubtless post-rock. The only singing is a one-line Malka sample on ‘Turn’. Not only did the album not play by the rules of what would these days be called music by a ‘heritage’ artist, but it didn’t play by the rules of dance music either. Back then, dance music artists didn’t mix up styles as they do today. This is one of the reasons the album’s called Bastard.

Upon release, Bastard was modestly successful in comparison to the label’s other releases, although widely misunderstood. The title is intentionally multifaceted, referring to several ways in which the album is a misfit – a cuckoo in the nest. But it never meant ‘Colin Newman is a bastard’ – even if Malka’s toy finger gesture on the cover tempted fate on that!

Malka and I have done more work together on swim ~ – and, of course, there has been plenty of Wire activity after its second hiatus during the 1990s – but I never felt the need to do another solo album. I don’t crave attention and certainly don’t feel I lack ways to express myself. In many ways, it’s more creative to collaborate with others.

There is joy and beauty in collaboration. And collaborating with Malka has become so effortless that we almost don’t know who does what in the work we create. This has led us to throwing open our partnership via Nanocluster events and albums where we build musical bridges and make partnerships that transcend the art. Maybe that’s the point? Surely, art should be about human connection and diversity of expression?

Colin Newman, Brighton, 2023 (edited from the album sleeve notes)


LP & CD1
1 Sticky
2 May
3 Slowfast (falling down the stairs with a drumkit)
4 Without
5 g-deep
6 Spaced In
7 Spiked
8 The Orange House & the Blue House
9 Turn

1 Automation 
2 Faq
3 Voice
4 Output
5 The Narrativ (with Corrado Izzo)
6 Blank Canvas
7 Time Will Allow
8 Tsunami
9 Cut The Slack (2001)
10 Found & Bound (2001)
11 Unbroken (2001)
12 Flight Mode (2008)

CD2 Tracks 1–4 taken from 1995 EP Voice. Tracks 5–8 originally appeared on swim team #1 and swim team #2. Tracks 9–12 previously unreleased and exclusive to this edition.

Q&A with John Robb 

Colin will be doing a small number of Q&A sessions with John Robb in support of the album.

Nanocluster Vol. 2 – 2024

Immersion made two Nanocluster collaborations in 2023. Both resulted in performances and a body of recorded work. The first was in March, with Thor Harris at SXSW (Austin, TX). The second was in September, with Cubzoa (Jack Wolter) at the Rose Hill, in Brighton.


We are still working on finalising the productions but already know the release format will be the usual double 10in.  However, this time there will be one collaboration per disc as we have so much great material and it would be a pity not to use it.

Expect a release later in the year – and the possibility of live dates. There are already further collaborations in the pipeline so watch this space…

Immersion made several other collaborations in 2023. We remixed Savak & Lorelle Meets The Obsolete and collaborated on recorded music with Noble Rot & Red Axes – although we were sadly not credited on the last of those.

We also had tracks included on charity compilations: one on Woman Life Freedom, Music For Iran Vol.2, in support of grassroots resistance in Iran; and another on the upcoming Alive By The Seaside. That has a physical release on 26 January (the same day as the Bastard re-release!) in support of The Music Venue Trust and specifically their work in Brighton.


Swimming In Sound

Swimming In Sound is a weekly two-hour radio show curated and presented by Malka Spigel and Colin Newman. It’s broadcast live on Slack City Radio on DAB in Brighton, Manchester, Norwich and Portsmouth, and online via as well as through services such as TuneIn and Receiver.

The show first aired in July 2020. And because Slack City was born from, all previous episodes are available for catch-up and can be easily shared online.

On 20 December 2023, the show reached three-and-a-half years, with no skipped episodes or repeats. That’s 364 hours – over 15 days if you listened continually – and an awful lot of playing highly diverse music styles and chatting about the music choices. If you’d like to check the show out, the latest episode is always at For gluttons for punishment, every single episode (including a few shows that pre-date our weekly endeavour) exists online at If you'd like to know more, check out the Swimming In Sound FAQ.

During 2023, Slack City has welcomed many new shows. We'd like to commend shows by the following friends: Mark Peters - Frameworks // Lorelle Meets The Obsolete - El Derrumbe // Bob Holmes (from SUSS) - Ambient Country // Jack Harkins - Kitted Out // Ollie Thomas - Paradise Noir // Steve Barker - On The Wire // The Brian Turner Show //  Gil Luz - Giluzion // Liam Mustapha - Take a Breath // Dorothy Max Prior - Granny (Max) Takes a Trip // Pippa Toole - Welcome to Pipsville // Andrew Garnett - The Family Store Show . And if your taste veers towards the more experimental, try: Nick Roseblade - Signal To Noise // Adrift with Foz // Pete Wiggs & James Papademetrie - The Seance and of course our old friend and Githead co-conspirator Robin Rimbaud's Earspace! Coming soon: John Robb’s Old, New, Borrowed and Blue.


If you’d like a Bastard or Swimming In Sound T-shirt, click the links below. Please note these are also available in the Bastard bundles.

More news to come in 2024… Stay in touch!

Malka Facebook // Colin Facebook // Colin Instagram // Malka Instagram