Originally released in 2003, here it is again, but this time with a bonus CD (the first disc is the original album). As all the material could have all fit on one CD, spreading it out over two discs was kind of pointless; however, it costs about the same as a single CD and takes up about as much space, so it is a minor point.
The second disc contains material from the first two Read & Burn EPs that did not make it to the Send album. That is followed by four outtakes and two tracks that comprised the remixed, and the now rare 12XU 7" release, which came early in the 2000 incarnation of Wire. For those who already have the Read & Burn EPs as well as the original Send album, these six tracks are meat of the matter.
Artificial Gravity leads the pack of "new" tracks. Definitely Send material and kind of surprised it didn't get released somewhere with the original incarnations. Liner notes state they couldn't take its loop-like qualities any further than what it is. The DJ track is more outstanding material, which, before reading the liner notes, sounded (guitarist) Bruce Gilbert-inspired, but turns out to be a (vocalist) Colin Newman thing. Rounding out the new tracks are alternate versions Our Time and Desert Diving, which may have been more appropriate on some future Object 47 Ultimate release. Still, these are excellent tracks, even though unfortunately, Bruce Gilbert does not appear to be present on these. He left Wire before Read & Burn 03 was recorded.
The two 12XU remixes are very short (90 seconds and 100 seconds, respectively), but are a lot of fun to listen to. While not plainly stated within the liner notes provided, I read on Wire's web site at the time of its original release as a limited edition 7" vinyl, Colin Newman was mainly responsible for the remix magic.
Is it worth buying Send again? For the new comers to Wire and the Wire completist, the answer is a resounding yes. The former will find what is perhaps the best album ever recorded (after all these years, it remains my personal favorite), while the latter will consider the approximate 25 minutes of "new" material essential. Those in between should probably balance their liking of these musicians with the amount of material previously released they already own (Send, Read & Burn 01 and Read & Burn 02) and take it from there.
After being apart for 15 years, Wire reformed in 2000 and released this Send material in spurts, first the EPs, then Send, and finally Send Redux, an LP or download only re-release of Send with all of the EP and album tracks edited down to their essential elements. The brevity and intensity of the 16 tracks that make up Send Redux reminds one of Wire's first album Pink Flag. At first, Send Redux may seem redundant, but one listen obviates the fact that it isn't. To be truly Send Ultimate however, Send Redux should have been included in this currently reviewed set as there was room for it, my only real complaint about this new issue.
With regards to the original Send album itself for those not familiar with it:
On first listening, one is struck by how much Send tracks pick up where Wire's first album (Pink Flag) left off... greased lightening material that make you wonder if drummer Robert Grey's arms would fall off keeping up with (or setting) the pace. But there's more here... far more.
Unlike the first album (a debut masterpiece), there is a new maturity... and understanding as to how to put together a "new" Pink Flag, only better. Wire has managed to infuse more energy into this work than anything that has gone before. And, the more you listen, the more you realize that these tracks are finely crafted... clever beginnings, incredible segues and succinct endings. Imagine that... more intense than ever before, yet also a mature and well thought out album.