edited by Johannes Hossfeld Etyang, Joyce Nyairo, Florian Sievers – TEN CITIES, Clubbing in Nairobi, Cairo, Kyiv, Johannesburg, Berlin, Naples, Luanda, Lagos, Bristol, Lisbon, 1960–March 2020

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Spector Books, ISBN-13: 978-3944669793, English, 560 pages, 2021, Germany

Ten Cities is a hefty book that narrates all the research emerging from a collaborative music project led by Goethe-Institut from 2012 to 2014. The project featured ten cities, half in Europe and half in Africa. It explores the unknown local clubbing scenes of cities that are mostly off the globally celebrated map of club culture: Nairobi, Cairo, Kiev, Johannesburg, Berlin, Naples, Luanda, Lagos, Bristol, and Lisbon. With three editors, twenty-five contributors (including music journalists, musicologists, record collectors, urbanists, etc.), and nineteen photographers, the book covers a period from the 1960s through to the advent of the pandemic in March 2020, with each city described through two essays, a playlist, and a sequence of photographs. This is a unique way of looking at these cities through the music that permeates them, which is then re-elaborated into new sounds, styles and scenes, combined with their musical history, their urban territory and politics. In particular, the selected African cities are revealing to the self-referential West, capturing the ephemeral spaces, bodies, cultures and artefacts that influence and reflect local cultures and techniques. The book counterbalances the repetitive slickness of ‘North-Atlantic’ scenes, as the editors define them, in what will hopefully now be a testament.