So lets head off to the Test Pressing book corner… Matthew Collin has taken music and its (sometimes) powerful ways as a force for change as the core to his book ‘Pop Grenade’. The book has six chapters. The first one, and its worth reading the book for this alone, is a chapter called ‘The Prophets of Rage’ about Public Enemy. You forget what a furore they caused when they first hit the UK with all sorts going on (as well as a whole lot of police over reaction but no difference there). The music was incendiary, the message was powerful, the graphics iconic and they weren’t afraid to speak their minds (which was all good until Griff went off-road). Anyway, this chapter alone made the book worth the entry price for me.
Then its off to Berlin and those loose and free times around the birth of the Love Parade, the outlaw sound system culture of Bosnia, and the uprising and strength of protestors using music in Istanbul and Moscow (Pussy Riot) to fight the powers that be.
I’m not a fan of reviewing books as these people can actually write and Matthew Collin is no different. He has worked as editor of i-D, a journalist at The Face and editor of The Big Issue (our UK magazine supporting the homeless) and he understands the power of youth culture and in turn music. As he says in the introduction…
“As a journalist, I’ve been privileged to witness some remarkable happenings on the frontlines of pop culture over the last couple of decades, often finding beauty and wonder in the most bizarre and desperate places. I’ve also met some exceedingly unusual people with very peculiar ideas about what music can do – incite a revolution, stop a war, revitalise a city, help to build a state…And sometimes. some of them even managed to succeed.”
Says it all really.