When I interviewed Kutmah ahead of my research trip to Los Angeles, one of the key things he said that stuck with me was about Los Angeles’ geographical location and temperate weather and how that related to the music that has come out of the city, especially the sounds at the heart of the late 2000s beat revival.

Justin put it to me that in L.A you can always see the horizon, always see the sky, and that – in contrast to New York’s claustrophobic Manhattan streets – played a direct hand in the city’s music being more open, wider, freer.

This idea has become central in the book, not just with regards to L.A but in terms of how the location – what surrounds the artists – relates to the music, how they make it, how it’s perceived. So for L.A it’s definitely about the nature side of it, and for Detroit and New York it’s about a more urban relationship, especially one of chaos and hostility.

I’m currently translating the excellent All Ears documentary into French and came across this quote from Matthewdavid, recorded in 2009, that adds to this idea.

Los Angeles is a unique place in that the natural setting is very beautiful too. Sure we get hella traffic and our freeway system and public transportation system is flawed and congested and the city is grimy and dirty but I think it’s very influential about why it’s happening here because I think the natural environment has a lot to do with it.Matthewdavid, All Ears

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