Jean-Yves Leloup – Digital Magma

Jean-Yves Leloup

Sternberg Press, 2010, English, ISBN 978-1-933128-70-2, 176 pages
A trajectory of almost thirty years is taken as a sort of hypertext path by Jean-Yves Leloup in his parceled examination of electronic music and its rapid and compelling evolution. It’s composed of short chapters focusing on a single topic. It starts with the amorphous spaces of the “Rave”, and continues with the music “Territories”, between tourism, nomadism and connected globalism, and the “Mix”, with its meta-work of continuity and narrative connections. Next he discusses the “Immersion”, or the omnipresence of sound nowadays, the “Playlist” as an intimate space and a social interface, and “Plastic Music”, which concerns the invasion of video in music releases. “Avatars”, talks about the evolving multiple identities of musicians, “Collectivism” discusses collaborations and compilations, “Over-production” analyzes the “productivist” generation of artists, while “Bastards” explores sampling and remixing. In “Free Market” he analyzes sharing in different economies, and in “Dematerialization” he tries to outline the management of the current production flux. The book is grounded by diversions into the history of avant garde music, social aspects of electronic music and specific music structures and artifacts. As the author states: “technology has drawn most of the current cultural changes.” The resulting “magma” is the continuous re-inventing and blending of influences, technologies and social consequences in the “nothingness” of electronic music, as defined by David Toop in the preface.