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Sonic Intimacy: Reggae Sound Systems, Jungle Pirate Radio and Grime YouTube Music Videos
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Sonic Intimacy: Reggae Sound Systems, Jungle Pirate Radio and Grime YouTube Music Videos (Hardback)

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Sonic Intimacy addresses and establishes the new concept of "sonic intimacy" as a key term through which sound, human, and technological relations can be assessed and understood in relation to capitalism: what is sonic intimacy, how it is changing, and what is at stake in its transformation? Analyzing "sonic intimacy" through key case studies of three alternative music technologies of the black Atlantic (sound systems, pirate radio, and YouTube), James addresses in particular the aural transmission of care (intimacies), the internal (intimate) affects of sound and the collective affect of sound (intimacy) and its relation to (intimate) times and spaces. Sonic Intimacy thus explores what is at stake in the development of sonic intimacy for human relations and alternative black and anti-capitalist public politics.

This discussion on the transformation of sonic intimacy starts with the sound system. The sound system highlights the affective and political implications of in-time: collective and bass mediated intimacies. Pirate radio permits an exploration of the initial privatization of this intimacy, as bass is scooped out and dialogues established between bedrooms, and over radio infrastructure. An analysis of the YouTube music video then provides insight into sonic intimacy's further fragmentation as alternative sound waves are commodified, speakers shrunk, distances increased and human relations made out-of-sync. More importantly, however, these case studies also provide the book with latitude for exploring how old intimacies have been retraced and where new intimacies have arisen: the aimless fervour generated through the pirate radio; the immediacy, uncertainty, deferral, multiplication, repetition and mobility of the YouTube music video. Ultimately, Sonic Intimacy outlines the importance of sonic intimacy as an area of study, argues that changes in sonic intimacy are contingent with the shrinking possibilities of alternative public culture, and tentatively identifies potential new sonic intimacies that may provide a resource for the struggle against, and demand beyond, neoliberal capitalism.

Music & DanceDanceTheory of music & musicologyMusic & DanceMusic BooksMusic recording & reproduction Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc Publication Date: 12/11/2020 ISBN-13: 9781501320712  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
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Malcolm James is a Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Sussex, UK.

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