The book is a comparative study of popular music cultures in 1980s Torino, Tampere, Manchester and Düsseldorf and their relation to the industrial city as imaginary, as heritage and as everyday reality.
Popular music genres, such as hardcore punk, house, industrial, post-punk and heavy metal, share a common origin in 1980s decaying industrial cities. All these genres have been canonized and understood as “scores” for grey, gloomy, decaying urban industrial environments or for their evocation, but is there an organic relationship between de-industrialization and this kind of music production?
Acknowledgments / Introduction: Metal on Metal / 1: The Industrial City / 2: A Genealogy of ‘Industrial City Music’/ 3: Manchester / 4: Düsseldorf / 5: Torino / 6: Tampere / 7: Industrial Heritages / 8: From Vanishing Mediator to Cultural Catalyst: Music, Space and Place / Conclusions / Bibliography
Giacomo Bottà, Adjunct Professor, University of Helsinki, Finland.
A must-read for everyone who seeks to understand the relationship between place and sound beyond a mere cause and effect-analogy. A multi-layered interdisciplinary study which unravels the articulation of industrial musicscapes and deindustrialization in a comparative perspective looking at four European cities: Manchester, Düsseldorf, Torino and Tampere. Well-researched and well-written: a superb ethnography and historiography of urban culture and popular music.
Sharpened by the author’s expertise in economic theory, urban history and musical communities, Deindustrialisation and Popular Music offers fresh thinking about the ways in which music is political. Venturing beyond the usual cities covered in popular music research, Bottà takes us into the unique histories and fascinating musical worlds of Tampere, Dusseldorf, Torinto and Manchester. Highly recommended.
This groundbreaking study makes the sound of industrial work and creative destruction come alive in compelling ways. By considering a broad array of industrial cities, local sensibilities, and DIY styles across Europe, Bottà advances our understanding of deindustrialization music beyond the tidy social/aesthetic homologies that underlie familiar accounts of ‘post-punk Manchester’ and ‘electronic Dusseldorf.’ Deindustrialisation and Popular Music is a vital contribution to the cultural analysis of contemporary European urbanism.
Moving us beyond the exhausted creative cities trope, Bottà critically examines how material and symbolic infrastructures are mediated through musicmaking, courtesy a lively, occasionally personal, look at scenes in Manchester, Düsseldorf, Torino and Tampere. Positioning the post-industrial city as a semiotic resource over which competing interests continue to wage battle, he offers us a compelling re-think of the post-industrial city.
Deindustrialisation and Popular Music is not the same old story about punk and post-punk. It looks for music and subculture’s context and impact in new places and in new ways. Indeed in some ways this is not a book about punk/post-punk at all. This is a book about how we can take popular culture seriously – as a product, as a way of seeing ourselves, and as a way of working through the past. The cultural forms and sectors have filled in the post-industrial gaps, where the creative zones are part and parcel of gentrification, all transmitted through new technological products and media forms. These carry a memory of the past with them. From Delta Blues to punk in Finland Deindustrialisation and Popular Music maps out music in its global place and how popular culture helps us deal with our past in a changing world.