It's a London Thing
How Rare Groove, Acid House and Jungle Remapped the City
Publisher:Manchester University Press
Published:21st Nov '19
Available to order, but very limited on stock - if we have issues obtaining a copy, we will let you know.
This book tells the history of the London black music culture that emerged in post-colonial London at the end of the twentieth century; the people who made it, the racial and spatial politics of its development and change, and the part it played in founding London’s precious, embattled multiculture.
This book is a record of the Black music culture that emerged in post-colonial London at the end of the twentieth century; the people who made it, the racial and spatial politics of its development and change, and the part it played in founding London’s precious, embattled multiculture.
It tells the story of the linked Black musical scenes of the city, from ska, reggae and soul in the 1970s, to rare groove and rave in the 1980s and jungle and its offshoots in the 1990s, to dubstep and grime of the 2000s. Melville argues that these demonstrate enough common features to be thought of as one musical culture, an Afro-diasporic continuum. Core to this idea is that this dance culture has been ignored in history and cultural theory and that it should be thought of as a powerful and internationally significant form of popular art.
‘This book is rare and special. It combines loving appreciation of London’s overlooked black music scenes with a richly detailed social history of their place in the evolving life of our city. There really is no other book like it. Caspar Melville knows because he was there.’
Paul Gilroy is a recovering vinyl junkie who teaches at UCL
‘I've waited decades for a book like this to be written. Turning each page is like digging through the crates. Important connections, intersections and black sonic samples are weaved throughout the text like a seamless mix. Black British music deserves this kind of attention. It's an important piece of the puzzle of DJ and Club culture that has yet to be assembled in its entirety.’
Lynnée Denise is a renowned DJ and lecturer in African American studies at UCLA
‘Caspar goes in deep! I am so proud to be part of the London clubland story he tells.’
Gilles Peterson is a club and BBC radio DJ and founder of Brownswood Recordings and Worldwide FM
'It’s a London Thing is a compelling exploration of dance music history, inviting us to keep our eyes and ears glued to where the music comes from and what it can teach us.'
Ivan Mouraviev, Popular Music