Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Uproot

Uproot

Travels in 21st-Century Music and Digital Culture

Jace Clayton

FSG Originals

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In 2001 Jace Clayton was an unknown DJ who recorded a three-turntable, sixty-minute mix and put it online to share with friends. Within weeks, Gold Teeth Thief became an international calling card, whisking Clayton away to play a nightclub in Zagreb, a gallery in Osaka, a former brothel in Sao Paolo, and the American Museum of Natural History. Just as the music world made its fitful, uncertain transition from analog to digital, Clayton found himself on the front lines of creative upheavals of art production in the twenty-first century globalized world.

Uproot is a guided tour of this newly-opened cultural space. With humor, insight, and expertise, Clayton illuminates the connections between a Congolese hotel band and the indie-rock scene, Mexican rodeo teens and Israeli techno, and Whitney Houston and the robotic voices is rural Moroccan song, and offers an unparalleled understanding of music in the digital age.

EXCERPT


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CONFESSIONS OF A DJ


 


The early twenty-first century will be remembered as a time of great forgetting. As so many of our ways of communicating with each other and experiencing the...

Reviews

Praise for Uproot

"[Clayton's] frank curiosity and broad musical tastes form the basis for this terrific book about the globalization of ideas in our age of 'digital superabundance' . . . Humor and humility infuse descriptions of a street dance party in Kingston, Jamaica; traffic in Cairo; and a smoke-filled music store in Beirut. Throughout, we feel the moral weight of the personal stories behind the music . . . Guided by empathy and openness to the new, this DJ has his ear to the ground." —Daphne Kalotay, New York Times Book Review

“Jace Clayton is a bricoleur like no other whose curiosity leads him fearlessly beyond fixed cultural boundaries to make connections and find insights that are brilliant and unique. He looks at the world and makes culture from gorgeously odd angles—every sentence of this book is a gem.” —Elizabeth Alexander

"Some people think global music culture is homogenous, but it's not. Everything is mutating at a high speed and even higher bitrate. For any real insight into why and how it’s happening, it's essential to be part of it and to document with the eye of a creator. Jace Clayton flows like water around the world, getting to the bottom of it all." —Diplo

“I’m so glad to read such an upbeat version of the future of music and the music public. Uproot raises some interesting propositions about how musicians will be making music in the ever-evolving world. I like Jace Clayton’s positive spin.” —Laurie Anderson

“As befits a seasoned DJ, Jace Clayton’s eclectic travelogue effortlessly blends technology, ethnomusicology, and economics into a unique, fascinating hybrid. Uproot reminds us that while smartphones put the world at our fingertips, most of us rarely stray from the familiar and formulaic. Take a break from Pitchfork, expand your horizons, and read this book. Uproot is a cosmopolitan clarion call, full of passion and insight as infectious as a pop hook.” —Astra Taylor

“The revolution will be auto-tuned. Jace Clayton shows how technology disrupts not only the music industry but musicians themselves. Platforms maybe more open than ever, but the trade-offs are complex: music becomes mechanized, and listeners are sold to the highest-bidding social marketer. This book is both accessible and profound.” —Douglas Rushkoff

"In this exhilarating book, Clayton, aka DJ Rupture, guides readers on an international tour of various forms of music and music-making technologies within many cultures . . . Clayton urges readers to embrace the power of music, recognizing its energetic and enduring capacity to capture and express shared emotions and to become a 'memory palace with room for everybody inside.'" —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“[A] sharply detailed exploration of how technology and globalization have transformed participatory audio culture . . . An engrossing tour of the global cutting edge.” —Kirkus Reviews

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Jace Clayton

Jace Clayton's essays have appeared in The Washington Post, Bidoun, Frieze, and FADER, where he is a regular contributor. As DJ /rupture, he has performed widely and released several critically acclaimed albums. He lives and works in New York City.

Jace Clayton