Thursday, 22 April 2010

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Sonic Warfare by Steve Goodman

"Sonic Warfare: Sound, Affect, and the Ecology of Fear" is Steve Goodman aka Kode 9's debut novel that traces the distinct boundaries between subsonic fequencies and how the human mind inteprets this untuned information. Kode 9 has always been seen as the intellectual forefather of the Dubstep scene, typified by his genre defying, J.G Ballard referencing album "Memories of the Future."  Perhaps one of the key catalysts behind Dubstep's steady progression into the national consciousness is that it appeals to two wildy differing demographics.  On the one hand, broadsheet journalists and musicologists have been keen to point out Dubstep's tangled web of origins and influences, how it represents the melting pot of an urban city by combining disconnected fragments of Jungle, Garage and Grime, the gritty drum patterns and discordant vocals symbolising dystopian landscapes.

On the other hand, chavs love it because "its got a filthy fucking bass on it" and sounds "well evil".  This mindset leads to music like Bar 9, 16 BIT, Stenchman and Pendulum's disastrously heavy handed attempts at making 140bpm tunes. Without a doubt Steve Goodman belongs in the former camp, and as "Sonic Warfare" outlines, he believes that Dubstep carries far deeper psychological messages then its primary premise suggests.  Traversing philosophy, science, fiction, aesthetics, and popular culture, he maps a (dis)continuum of vibrational force, encompassing police and military research into acoustic means of crowd control, the corporate deployment of sonic branding, and the intense sonic encounters of sound art and music culture. Goodman concludes with speculations on the not yet heard--the concept of unsound, which relates to both the peripheries of auditory perception and the unactualized nexus of rhythms and frequencies within audible bandwidths.

Basically its a right good read!

Buy Sonic Warfare