Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Kodwo Eshun: More Brilliant Than The Sun - Adventures In Sonic Fiction (1998)

Less a critical survey than a manifesto for the neuron-altering powers of “breakbeat science,” this ingenious book traces the development of sampladelia from the “jazz fission” era of ’68-’75 (with excellent analyses of George Russell’s and Herbie Hancock’s sonic experiments), through the Parliament/Funkadelic groovescapes of the late ’70s (including close scrutiny of Pedro Bell’s subversive cover art), through Electro (early ’80s synth oriented hip hop) and Detroit Techno, to the present Jungle milieu of time stretching and spatio-acoustics. Eschewing a traditional music-crit vocabulary in favor of a riffing, neologistic verbal poetics, Eshun perfectly captures the sci-fi convolutions of the music he describes, and makes an infectious case for the birth of a new audio-paradigm

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