Accepted Paper:

has pdf download Bass nature and the mutuality of creative ecologies in dubstep music (London UK)  


Christoph Brunner (Concordia University)

Paper short abstract:

This presentation will address the particularities of London's Dubstep music scene in light of creative ecologies of practice. These ecologies comprise a mutuality that includes humans, machines, spaces and objects that constantly perform agency in the process of creative becoming.

Paper long abstract:

From an anthropological perspective the experience of electronic music and nightclubs have been mostly perceived as non-discursive formations and spaces where 'difference' outside discursive strata can be experienced.

As an example, London's history of black diasporic music cultures dates back to the first waves of immigration after the Second World War, mostly from the West Indies and Jamaica.

Dubstep as a recent descendant of roots-related and dub-based music describes a cultural phenomena in the lineage of the 'Black Atlantic' (Gilroy). As a hybrid music style, mostly performed at 'underground' venues in London's east end and with close relations to pirate radio, Dubstep becomes an intersection between, ethnicities, social classes and mutational forms of creativity. Referring to Kodwo Eshun's emphasis on the displacement of 'black music' (Gilroy) I will apply an AfroFuturist perspective to approach the history of dub-centred music in the UK. I will then highlight the conceptual trajectories of 'difference' and mutuality to emphasize the potential for micro-political forms of creativity and resistance through music.

By transcending the closed circuit of the club into an ecology of practice I will specifically focus on the relations between music, humans, and technology to articulate the very aspects of 'embodiment' and creative 'becoming' (Deleuze) through lived experience that take place within current modes of creative production.

These ecologies of practice comprise networks of artistic production, consumption and communication that broaden the often too narrow contexts of social sciences and transcend these fixtures into nonhierarchical and rhizomatic modes of cultural production and interrelations.

Panel W027
Sounding ethnography: mutuality and diversity in musical life