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In a series of essays, "Undercurrents" identifies the key concepts and underlying themes that have been hardwired into the modern era's most radical musics, ever since Thomas Edison invented the record player. The phonograph, electronics, chance operations, Futurism, Surrealism, the civil rights movement, noise, alternative tuning systems and market forces have all redrawn the map of contemporary sound. This title tracks these seismic shifts across a wide range of music including modern composition, free jazz, experimental rock and pop, industrial, ethnic music, Techno and electronica, and looks at the extraordinary innovations and invented instruments that have passed into obscurity. Many of these essays first appeared as a series in "The Wire", which since 1982 has bypassed the music mainstream in search of the most innovative, uncompromising and compelling sounds from all genres across the world. As music listeners have grown increasingly eclectic and adventurous in their tastes, "The "Wire' has emerged as an authoritative source on modern music. This volume contains new material as well as revised and updated versions of many of the original articles.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; Introduction Part I: Electrification 1. Recording Angels, by Erik Davis 2. On the MIC, by Ian Penman 3. The Jerrybuilt Future, by Christopher Cox 4. Worship the Glitch, by Rob Young Part II: Occultism 5. The Eternal Drone, by Marcus Boon 6. Slapping Pythagoras, by Rob Young 7. The Ragged Trousered Anthologists, by Peter Shapiro and Philip Smith 8. The Solar Myth Approach, by Ken Hollings Part III: Mechanism 9. Humans, Are They Really Necessary?, by David Toop 10. Automating the Beat, by Peter Shapiro 11. The Autobahn Goes on Forever, by Biba Kopf 12. Rock Concrete, by Edwin Pouncey 13. Deck Wreckers, by Peter Shapiro Part IV: Freedom 14. Destroy All Music, by Mark Sinker 15. The Limits of Language, by Julian Cowley 16. The Music of Chance, by Andy Hamilton 17. Smiling Faces Sometimes, by Peter Shapiro 18. Frames of Freedom, by David Toop 19. Generation Ecstasy, by Tom Roe

About the Author

Marcus Boon lives in Toronto and writes and teaches literature. Julian Cowley lives in Herefordshire and has published widely on music and literature. He is a regular contributor to 'The Wire'. Christopher Cox teaches philosophjy at Hampshire College, Amherst, MA. Erik Davis is a writer based in San Francisco, and a contributing editor to 'The Wire'. Andy Hamilton teaches philosophy at Durham University. Ken Hollings is a writer based in London. Biba Kopf writes about German music for 'The Wire' and other publications. Ian Penman is a freelance writer and critic. Edwin Pouncey lives in South London and is a regular contributor to 'The Wire'. Tom Roe lives in New York and is a sound and text manipulator. Mark Sinker is a writer. Peter Shapiro is a writer and one of the world's leading air guitar experts. Philip Smith lives in Berkeley, California and edits digital reproductions of rare books. David Toop lives in London and is a composer, author, critic and sound curator. Rob Young is editor of 'The Wire.


"A collection of features from the renowned independent music magazine - The Wire

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