Telling a story how I see it is one thing. Ideas and theories are cool, but I believe that they’re ultimately dry in a book format unless you’re shooting for an academic book. And while I have a lot of respect and time for academic books (quite a few are core parts of my research for this) I just don’t want to write one. I want to shoot for something that’s in between the academic – history, theories – and the journalistic.
Soon after reading the excellent Loves Saves The Day, a history of Disco, I realised that what I wanted to do was exaclty what Tim Lawrence had achieved with his book – tell the story through the words of the people who lived it. Another book that’s provided inspiration in that regard is How To Wreck A Nice Beach, a thorough history of the vocoder and its underlying technology by Dave Tompkins. A third inspiration is The Big Payback, by Dan Charnas, which recounts the history of the business of hip-hop.
Bring The Beat Back will feature input from as wide a range of protagonists as I can lay my hands on before going crazy and broke. The insights, stories and more drawn from the interviews will be worked into the book to help carry and pull the narrative together. Stories of how people met, who gave what record to who, who told who about what piece of gear, what record shops people hung out in, what parties people went to, who first did what, who heard whose record and flipped, beat tapes that were exchanged, lives that were changed. And so on. Personal stories, universal stories.
Some of those I speak to are producers, the primary protagonists of the book, others are label heads, DJs, MCs, promoters, or people who work in the background but are equally important to the history and evolution I’m looking at.
Check the blog for links to extracts from the interviews I’m conducting which are appearing in various magazines I write for. This is a way for me to start putting the story out there, without revealing too much of course.
Drum roll please…
The current list of interviewees is as follows (in no specific order).
Shafiq Husayn [L.A] (SA-RA Creative Partners) | Gabe Koch [Miami] (Merck) | Romulo del Castillo [Miami] (Soul Oddity, Schematic Industries) | The Gaslamp Killer [L.A] (Sound In Color, Low End Theory) | DJ Nobody [L.A] (Ubiquity, Low End Theory) | Kathryn Frazier [Chicago] (Biz3) | Knxwledge [L.A] (Stones Throw) | Naut Humon [San Francisco] (Asphodel) | Epstein [Miami] (Merck, Beta Bodega) | Flying Lotus [L.A] (Brainfeeder, Warp) | Byzar [NYC] (Asphodel) | DJ Olive & Lloop [NYC] (The Agriculture / Asphodel) | DJ Spooky [NYC] (Asphodel) | Olski [Cologne] (MPM) | P.Gruv [Detroit] (Hipnotech) | Jon Kim [L.A] (Sound In Color) | Dorian Concept [Vienna] (Affine / Ninja Tune) | Billy Jam [San Francisco] (Hip Hop Slam) | DJ Spinna [NYC] (BBE) | Busdriver [Los Angeles] (Project Blowed / Konkrete Jungle / Big Dada) | DJ Krust [Bristol] (Full Cycle) | Steve Spacek [London] (Warp / Sound In Color) | Prefuse 73 [Atlanta/Miami/NYC/Barcelona] (Warp) | Joe Coghill [Glasgow] (LuckyMe / Ballers Social Club) | Lefto [Brussels] (Brownswood) | Sam Valenti [Ann Arbor] (Ghostly) | Mike Slott [NYC/Dublin/Glasgow] (LuckyMe) | Michna [NYC/Miami] (Secret Frequency Crew / Ghostly) | Mr. Len [New Jersey/NYC] (Def Jux) | Dave Cooley [L.A] (Stones Throw) | Amp Fiddler & Bubz Fiddler [Detroit] (Camp Amp) | Waajeed [Detroit] (Slum Village / Bling47 / Dirt Tech Reck) | Nick Speed [Detroit] (UR / Mahogani Music) | Skywlkr [Detroit] (Bruiser Brigade) | Kelly Frazier [Detroit] (Journalist) | Coyote Cleanup [Detroit] | Lord Scrummage [Detroit] | Shigeto [Ann Arbor] (Ghostly) | Ahk [Detroit] (Buttermade) | DJ Dez [Detroit] (Slum Village) | Charles Trees [Ann Arbor] (Moodgadget / Musique Large) | Kyle Hall [Detroit] (Wyld Oates / Hyperdub) | Sterling Toles [Detroit] | Torbitt Schwartz [NYC] (Def Jux) | Blockhead [NYC] (Def Jux / Ninja Tune) | High Priest [NYC] (Antipop Consortium / Airborne Audio) | Barry Cole [NYC] (Giant Step) | Marvin ‘Seven’ Bedard [Miami/Chicago] (Chocolate Industries) | Dobie [London] (Soul II Soul/Pussy Foot) | Mainframe [L.A] (Sound In Color) | Alexander Nut [UK] (Eglo Records/Rinse FM) | Metropolis [UK] (Foreign Beggars) | Dak [Detroit] (All City/Leaving Records) | Dart Adam [Boston] (Journalist) | Brenk [Vienna] (MPM)| Andrew Meza [L.A] (BTS Radio) | Mike Paradinas [UK] (Planet Mu) | Pete Concrete [Holland] (Eat Concrete) | Om Unit/2tall [London] (All City/Civil Music) | Jonwayne [L.A] (Alpha Pup/Stones Throw) | Kelpe [London] (DC Recordings) | Mieux [Vienna] (Up My Alley)| Zanshin [Vienna] (Affine) | The Clonious [Vienna] (Affine, Ubiquity) | Cid Rim [Vienna] (LuckyMe) | Trishes Jackson [Vienna] (FM4) | Benji B [London] (BBC 1Xtra, Radio 1, Deviation) | Drew Horley [London] (Ty, Big Dada) | Black Milk [Detroit] (Slum Village) | Count Bass D [Nashville/Atlanta/NYC] (JazzySport, High Times) | Illum Sphere [Manchester] (Hoya:Hoya) | edIT [L.A] (Glitch Mob) | Salva [L.A] (FoF) | Sam XL [L.A] (Pure Filth Sound) | Kode9 [London] (Hyperdub) | King Britt [Philadelphia] (BBE, Hyperdub) | Amaechi Uziogwe [New York] (Ozone Entertainment, Def Jux) | Dibiase [L.A] (Alpha Pup) | Charlie Dark [London] (Mo Wax, Blacktronica) | Dizz1 [Australia] (Nod Navigators, Tru Thoughts) | Joe Kay [L.A] (Soulection) | Jneiro Jarel [Atlanta] (Label Who, Lex) | Caural [Chicago] (Mush, Eat Concrete) | Push Button Objects [Miami] (Chocolate Industries) | Tom Brown [London] (Lex) | Jeff Weiss [L.A] (Passion of Weiss) | Kidkanevil [London] (First Word, Ninja Tune) | Feadz [Paris] (Bpitch Control) | FS Green [Amsterdam] (MPM, Beat Dimensions) | Taku [Australia] (Soulection, PMC) | Pursuit Grooves [New York] (Tectonic, Beat Dimensions) | Jazzysport [Tokyo] | Sauce81 [Tokyo] (Cosmopolyphonic) | Daisuke Tanabe [Tokyo] (PMC) | Olive Oil [Fukuoka] (Oilworks) | O.N.O [Hokkaido] (Tha Blue Herb) | Gifted & Blessed [L.A] (All City, Eglo) | Fulgeance [Caen] (Musique Large, First Word) | Luke Vibert [England] (Mo Wax, Ninja Tune) | Sweeney Kovar [L.A] (Journalist) | Mark Pritchard [England] (Warp, Alphabet Zoo) | Mweslee [Spain] (Nod Navigators, Arkestra) | Skiz Fernando [Baltimore] (Wordsound) | Mr Beatnick [London] (Shhhhh) | J Rocc [L.A] (Stones Throw, Beat Junkies) | MonoPoly [L.A] (Brainfeeder) | Exile [L.A] (Dirty Science) | Subtitle [L.A] (Mush) | Computer Jay [L.A] (All City) | Frosty [L.A] (Dublab) | Peanut Butter Wolf [L.A] (Stones Throw) | Free The Robots [L.A] (Alpha Pup) | Sacred [L.A] (Juju) | Thavius Beck [L.A] (Mush) | Coleman [L.A] (Mochilla) | B+ [L.A] (Mochilla) | Samiyam [L.A] (Brainfeeder) | D-Styles [L.A] (Alpha Pup, LET) | Numark [L.A] (Jurassic 5) | Dday One [L.A] (Content Label) | Take aka Sweatson Klank [L.A] (Sketchbook, PMC) | Kutmah [L.A / England] (Sketchbook) | Houseshoes [Detroit / L.A] (Tres Records) | Non Genetic [L.A] (Skam) | Daedelus [L.A] (Ninja Tune) | Dip Some [Cologne] (Up My Alley) | Mr Trick [London] (Rhythm Incursions) | Alex Chase [London] (One Handed, Stones Throw) | The Wach [London] (Mo Wax) | Will Ashon [London] (Big Dada) | The Bug [London] (Ninja Tune) | Jay Scarlett [London / Munich] (Beat Dimensions) | Raz Mesinai [New York] (Wordsound / Sub Dub) | Morgan Zarate [London] (Hyperdub) | Robot Koch [Berlin] (PMC) | Paul White [London] (One Handed) | Henri Soundspecies [London] (Soundspecies) | DJ Food [London] (Ninja Tune) | Teki Latex [Paris] (TTC) | Poirier [Montreal] (Chocolate Industries, Ninja Tune) | Teebs [L.A] (Brainfeeder) | Machinedrum [New York / Berlin] (Ninja Tune, Merck) | Andrew Noz [New York] (Cocaine Blunts) | Dabrye [Detroit] (Ghostly) | Onra [Paris] (All City) | Ras G [L.A] (Brainfeeder) | Patchwork Pirates [London] | Daddy Kev [L.A] (Alpha Pup, LET) | Hermutt Lobby [Belgium] (Eat Concrete) | El-P [New York] (Def Jux) | Dom Sum & Martyn Flyn [London / Glasgow] (LuckyMe) | Debruit [France] (Civil Music, Musique Large) | Danny Breaks [London] (Alphabet Zoo, Droppin Science)