Sunday 28 November 2021, 2pm
A launch event to celebrate the publication of Teklife, Ghettoville Eski: The Sonic Ecologies of Black Music in the Early Twenty-First Century (Goldsmiths Press / MIT Press), by Dhanveer Singh Brar.
The event will feature a panel made up of the author, Edward George and Steve Goodman (Kode9), as well as audience Q&A.
Teklife, Ghettoville, Eskiargues that Black electronic dance music produces sonicecologies of Blackness that expose and reorder the contemporary racialization of theurban—ecologies that can never be reduced simply to their geographical and racialcontext. Dhanveer Singh Brar makes the case for Black electronic dance music as thecutting-edge aesthetic project of the diaspora, which due to the music's classcharacter makes it possible to reorganize life within the contemporary city.
Closely analysing the Footwork scene in South and West Chicago, the Grime scene inEast London, and the output of the South London producer Actress, Brar paysattention to the way each of these critically acclaimed musical projects experimentswith aesthetic form through an experimentation of the social. Through explicitlytheoretical means, Brar foregrounds the sonic specificity of 12" records, EPs, albums,radio broadcasts, and recorded performances to make the case that Footwork, Grime,and Actress dissolve racialized spatial constraints that are thought to surround Blacksocial life.
Pushing the critical debates concerning the phonic materiality of Blackness,undercommons, and aesthetic sociality in new directions, Brar rethinks theseconcepts through concrete examples of contemporary Black electronic dance musicproduction that allows for a theorization of the way Footwork, Grime, and Actresshave--through their experiments in Blackness--generated genuine alternatives to thefunctioning of the city under financialized racial capitalism.
When Juan Atkins said he wanted to land a UFO on a track, what kind of place wouldhe be landing it on?... Via the psychogeographies and cartographies of South Londonby way of "Ghettoville," South and West Chicago's "Teklife" and East London's"Eski"—what Brar's analysis does is highlight and connect the race/classintersections that are so often overlooked in mainstream coverage of music.Lee Gamble
Brar propels us through landscapes of sound and sense at once utterly familiar and strange. We emerge from this book with a shocked recognition that we as urban residents are living in contexts that both exceed the ways in which we understand them yet which penetrate our very core as metabolism, infection, and vibration. The book is one of the most accomplished demonstrations of the critical importance of black study and its capacities to articulate urban life in unprecedented ways.
– AbdouMaliq Simone
Dhanveer Singh Brar is a writer, researcher and cultural theorist whose work combines approaches from Black Studies, Postcolonial Theory, Cultural Studies and Critical Theory to think through the relationships between sound, music, aesthetics, politics and race. He has published in venues such as Social Text, Darkmatter, Propter Nos and in 2020 had a book - Beefy’s Tune (Dean Blunt Edit) - issued through The 87 Press. Dhanveer is currently a Lecturer in Black British History at the University of Leeds and has previously worked at Goldsmiths, University of London, UCL and University of Pennsylvania.
Edward George is a writer and broadcaster. Founder of Black Audio Film Collective, George wrote and presented the ground-breaking science fiction documentary Last Angel of History (1996). George is part of the multimedia duo Flow Motion, and the electronic music group Hallucinator. He and hosts Sound of Music (Threads Radio), Kuduro – Electronic Music of Angola (Counterflows). George’s series The Strangeness of Dub (Morley Radio) dives into reggae, dub, versions and versioning, drawing on critical theory, social history, and a deep and a wide cross-genre musical selection. Edward George lives and works in London.
Kode9 aka Steve Goodman is an artist, writer and DJ. He founded the record label Hyperdub in 2004 and Flatlines in 2019. He has produced 3 albums, 2 with the late vocalist The Spaceape (Memories of the Future, Hyperdub-2006, Black Sun, Hyperdub-2012) and one solo (Nothing 2015) His book Sonic Warfare was published in 2009 (MIT Press) and in 2019 he co-edited Audint-Unsound:Undead (Urbanomic Press) In 2021, he founded Flatlines as a book imprint with first publication Ø, documenting 36 events he co-curated between 2017 and 2020 in South London. His sound installations have appeared at, among others, the Tate Modern, the Barbican and Arebyte Gallery in London, and CAC in Shanghai.