Tuesday, March 26, 2024


My ninth book is out in a couple of weeks time! 

Futuromania: Electronic Dreams, Desiring Machines & Tomorrow's Music Today is a themed collection about music and the future, looking at the intersection between science fiction and pop, and exploring "the rhetorics of temporality."

release rationale:

Futuromania: Electronic Dreams, Desiring Machines & Tomorrow's Music Today 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. 

Futuromania shapes over two-dozen essays and interviews into a chronological narrative of machine-music from the 1970s to now. The book explores the interface between pop music and science fiction’s utopian dreams and nightmare visions, always emphasizing 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.

UK edition 11 April 2024 via White Rabbit

Via select record stores, the first five hundred copies come with a freezine with bonus pieces


US edition on Hachette out on May 7.

For a flavor of futuromaniac music, try these playlists

Quick tour of future pop - Spotify

Extended odyssey into the future frontier - Spotify, Tidal

Finally, I've started a blog (yet another blog!) dedicated to the book: Futuromania,  which will initially be a place for news about Futoromania appearances on podcasts and in the media, interviews, and events, and then later will develop into a repository for all the "future music"-related writings I've done over the years that didn't make it into this volume. 


Saturday, March 23, 2024


A mate of mine - a Matt of mine, even - Matthew Worley has a new and excellent book out in a week's time: Zerox Machine: Punk, Post-Punk and Fanzines in Britain, 1976–88. Via Reaktion Books.

Here's what I was happy to offer by way of an endorsement: 

"Intensely researched, teeming with insights and fresh connections, Matthew Worley’s book is the definitive study of punk and postpunk fanzine culture. If you want to know why zines mattered - why zines got people so excited - this is where you should start” 

So definitive and encompassing is Zerox Machine that there is a chapter towards the end in which Monitor is covered, with quotes from myself and David Stubbs.  

Release rationale: 

Zerox Machine is an immersive journey through the vibrant history of British punk and its associated fanzines from 1976 to 1988. Drawing on an extensive range of previously unpublished materials sourced from private collections across the UK, Matthew Worley describes and analyses this transformative era, providing an intimate glimpse into the hopes and anxieties that shaped a generation.

Far more than a showcase of covers, this book examines the fanzines themselves, offering a rich tapestry of first-hand accounts, personal stories and subcultural reflections. Through meticulous research and insightful analysis, Matthew Worley captures the spirit and essence of British youth culture, not only shedding new light on a pivotal movement in music history but crafting a unique alternative history of Britain in the 1970s and ’80s.


Another recent book of note  is  Switched On: The Dawn of Electronic Sound by Latin American Women.  

Published by Contingent Sounds out of Berlin and co-edited by Luis Alvarado of Buh Records, a Peruvian label that specialises in reissuing Latin American avant-garde and experimental music, this  book represents a double decentering of the received narrative about electronic music history: it focuses on the Latin American contribution, and further focuses on the role of female pioneers such as Beatriz Ferreyra, Graciela Castillo, Hilda Dianda, Jacqueline Nova, Jocy de Oliveira, and Nelly Moretto, among many others.

Release rationale: 

"The official history of 20th-century avant-garde electronic music has been predominantly narrated from the point of view of Anglo-American and Western European experiences and largely remained focused on its male protagonists. To destabilize this history, this editorial project presents a collection of perspectives, essays, interviews, archival photos, and work reviews centered on the early electronic music production by Latin American female creators, who were active from the 1960s to the 1980s. The book also brings us closer to the work of a new generation of researchers who have focused on offering a non-canonical reading of the history of music and technology in Latin America. The publication is the record of a new vision, an account of the condition of being a woman in the field of music technology at a time when this was a predominantly masculine domain.... 

"The texts that make up this publication are organized spatially and conceptually, rather than following a chronology. The selection of female composers profiled sheds light on a variety of relevant aspects: key musical contexts, experiments with technologies (such as tape, electronic synthesis, the first commercial synthesizers), diverse formats (i.e., radio art, electroacoustic pieces, installation, multimedia, theater, film, etc.), intertwined with themes, such as migration, memory, identity, collaboration, interdisciplinarity, social engagement, the acceptance of electronic music, etc. Moreover, the framework of this editorial project opened a space for intergenerational dialogue and a meeting of aesthetics, as many of the authors gathered as collaborators are composers and sound artists themselves....

Edited by: Luis Alvarado and Alejandra Cárdenas

Composers and sound artists featured in this historical account include: 

Alicia Urreta, Beatriz Ferreyra, Elsa Justel, Eulalia Bernard, Graciela Castillo, Hilda Dianda, Ileana Pérez Velázquez, Irina Escalante Chernova, Iris Sagüesa, Jacqueline Nova, Jocy de Oliveira, Leni Alexander, Margarita Paksa, Marietta Veulens, Mónica O’Reilly Viamontes, Nelly Moretto, Oksana Linde, Patricia Belli, Renée Pietrafesa Bonnet, Rocío Sanz Quirós, Teresa Burga, Vania Dantas Leite, among others.

Playlist at The Wire magazine

YouTube Playlist