MUSIC: HISTORY, SURVEYS & THEORY

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Paperback, 4.5 x 7 in. / 432 pgs.

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Catalog: FALL 2020 p. 42   

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ISBN 9781734489736 TRADE
List Price: $20.00 CDN $27.00

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Assembling a Black Counter Culture

By DeForrest Brown, Jr.

Assembling a Black Counter Culture

In this critical history, DeForrest Brown, Jr “makes techno Black again” by tracing the music’s origins in Detroit and beyond

In Assembling a Black Counter Culture, writer and musician DeForrest Brown, Jr, provides a history and critical analysis of techno and adjacent electronic music such as house and electro, showing how the genre has been shaped over time by a Black American musical sensibility.

Brown revisits Detroit’s 1980s techno scene to highlight pioneering groups like the Belleville Three before jumping into the origins of today’s international club floor to draw important connections between industrialized labor systems and cultural production. Among the other musicians discussed are Underground Resistance (Mad Mike Banks, Cornelius Harris), Drexciya, Juan Atkins (Cybotron, Model 500), Derrick May, Jeff Mills, Robert Hood, Detroit Escalator Co. (Neil Ollivierra), DJ Stingray/Urban Tribe, Eddie Fowlkies, Terrence Dixon (Population One) and Carl Craig.

With references to Theodore Roszak’s Making of a Counter Culture, writings by African American autoworker and political activist James Boggs, and the “techno rebels” of Alvin Toffler’s Third Wave, Brown approaches techno’s unique history from a Black theoretical perspective in an effort to evade and subvert the racist and classist status quo in the mainstream musical-historical record. The result is a compelling case to “make techno Black again.”

DeForrest Brown, Jr is a New York-based theorist, journalist and curator. He produces digital audio and extended media as Speaker Music and is a representative of the Make Techno Black Again campaign.


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FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 8/17/2022

DeForrest Brown, Jr “makes techno Black again” in 'Assembling a Black Counter Culture'

DeForrest Brown, Jr “makes techno Black again” in 'Assembling a Black Counter Culture'

Featured spreads are from Assembling a Black Counter Culture, the highly anticipated new release from New York theorist, journalist, curator and musician DeForrest Brown, Jr and Primary Information. In this 432-page paperback, Brown provides a deep historical analysis of techno and adjacent electronic music, showing how the genre has been shaped by a Black American musical sensibility. Brown writes: "The primary intention of this book is to detach the term 'techno' from the electronic music culture industry and the British lexical standard of the hardcore continuum to reconsider its origins in the community of Detroit and its context within African American history. Formulated out of an intuitive response to the urban degradation plaguing Detroit and other cities around the United States in the late twentieth century, techno is evidence of post-Civil Rights Movement Black youth adapting to the industrialized Northern states, using the technology available; techno is not, as is widely believed, a generic component of the globalized drug-induced nightlife economy. At the same time, techno attests to a collective engineering of stereophonic intelligence, a modernized method of Black expression that would transform the African American musical continuum of the slave song, the Negro Spiritual, blues, and jazz, spanning several centuries, into a technologically optimized form of soul music." continue to blog


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