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Futuromania

On sale

11th April 2024

Price: £25

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Selected: Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781399618335

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Simon Reynolds’s first book in eight years is a celebration of music that feels like a taste of tomorrow. Sounds that prefigure pop music’s future – the vanguard genres and heroic innovators whose discoveries eventually get accepted by the wider mass audience. But it’s also about the way music can stir anticipation for a thrillingly transformed world just around the corner: a future that might be utopian or dystopian, but at least will be radically changed and exhilaratingly other.

Starting with an extraordinary chapter on Giorgio Moroder and Donna Summer, taking in illuminating profiles of Ryuichi Sakamoto, Boards of Canada, Burial, and Daft Punk, and arguing for Auto-Tune as the defining sound of 21st century pop, Futuromania shapes over two-dozen essays and interviews into a chronological narrative of machine-music from the 1970s to now. Reynolds explores the interface between pop music and science fiction’s utopian dreams and nightmare visions, always emphasising the quirky human individuals abusing the technology as much as the era-defining advances in electronic hardware and digital software.

A tapestry of the scenes and subcultures that have proliferated in that febrile, sexy and contested space where man meets machine, Futuromania is an enthused listening guide that will propel readers towards adventures in sound. There is a lifetime of electronic listening here.

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Reviews

Record Collector
A captivating celebration of the music that pushes us forward
Blitzed Magazine
Should be guaranteed a place on the bookshelf of everyone who claims to be a music lover