The Audiopolitics of a World Musical Revolution
With a Preface by Naresh Fernandes, author of Taj Mahal Foxtrot.
Noise Uprising brings to life the moment and sounds of a cultural revolution. Between the development of electrical recording in 1925 and the outset of the Great Depression in the early 1930s, the soundscape of modern times unfolded in a series of obscure recording sessions, as hundreds of unknown musicians entered makeshift studios to record the melodies and rhythms of urban streets and dancehalls. The musical styles and idioms etched onto shellac disks reverberated around the globe: among them Havana’s son, Rio’s samba, New Orleans’ jazz, Buenos Aires’ tango, Seville’s flamenco, Cairo’s tarab, Johannesburg’s marabi, Jakarta’s kroncong, and Honolulu’s hula. They triggered the first great battle over popular music and became the soundtrack to decolonization.
The scope of Denning’s book — dozens of genres across five continents — is impressive. . . . Noise Uprising offers an ambitious map of the connections between them.
Tim Barker, The New Republic
Noise Uprising’s year zero is 1925, when electrical recording techniques allowed vinyl to conquer the world. Record companies hunted new sounds: Argentine tango singers, Cuban son musicians, Egyptian taarab vocalists. Denning links the explosion of vernacular recordings to an emergent age of decolonisation.
Financial Times Books of the Year
. . . a brilliant book . . .
In great detail and with an impressive sense for origins and outcome of local musical styles, this book is an eye-opener.
Alexander Ebert, popcultureshelf.com
Deeply researched and densely fascinating . . . the book is a necessary chronicle.
Robert Ham, Portland Mercury