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30 review for More Brilliant Than the Sun: Adventures in Sonic Fiction

  1. 5 out of 5

    Keith Seekwhence

    The title of the book refers to the hook of a 1992 UK breakbeat record entitled "Valley of the Shadows" or "31 seconds". Like the title, much of what Eshun does here is bring us back to those intimate moments in recent and distant past and highlight the unforeseen outcomes and influences in the bodies of work of those that came before, via interpretation, stimulation or simply to just snap into the world around us. This is a fiercely intellectual take on African diaspora through music and visual The title of the book refers to the hook of a 1992 UK breakbeat record entitled "Valley of the Shadows" or "31 seconds". Like the title, much of what Eshun does here is bring us back to those intimate moments in recent and distant past and highlight the unforeseen outcomes and influences in the bodies of work of those that came before, via interpretation, stimulation or simply to just snap into the world around us. This is a fiercely intellectual take on African diaspora through music and visual culture and in various ways, draws interesting comparisons in the 20th century. Expanding on the importance , whether abstract or straight forward, of underground urban music, original influences, messages from the tools being used and life, in direct relation to the producers and consumers of culture, specifically from the 70s to the 90s and the echoing messages relayed by generations past.....turn off the TV, clear your head and get inside the mind and behind healthy perspectives from this highly gifted writer and his suggestive and conclusive meditations.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Stewart Smith

    Afro-futurism via Deleuze, Ballard and Harraway. Music writing as thought experiment. Still fresh.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Amanu

    Music reviewing at its best and most abstract. For lovers of music and language.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    From what I can tell, Eshun is doing with language exactly what Attali suggests can be done with music to foster creative and social freedom. 'More Brilliant Than the Sun" is really a musical voyage crisscrossing the black Atlantic and suggestive of the outer realms that Sun Ra proffers. It's also a great resource for finding out more about 90s jungle, out-of-this-world out jazz, and early hardcore hip-hop.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ana Oliveira

    Playlist available here: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/16U... Playlist available here: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/16U...

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ben Bush

    Post-humanist hiphop, etc. criticism, part of the Afrofuturist reading list (though I wonder if Eshun would necessarily agree with descriptor applied to his own work.) Geto Boys, Norbert Wiener, Public Enemy, Dr. Octagon, Donna Harraway, Marvel Comics, Detroit techno, Kraftwerk, Alice Coltrane. There's some great inversions here of accepted truths, which I guess what makes Eshun a good theorist. Written 95-97, there's a way it feels "dated" but I actually found this to be one of the most interes Post-humanist hiphop, etc. criticism, part of the Afrofuturist reading list (though I wonder if Eshun would necessarily agree with descriptor applied to his own work.) Geto Boys, Norbert Wiener, Public Enemy, Dr. Octagon, Donna Harraway, Marvel Comics, Detroit techno, Kraftwerk, Alice Coltrane. There's some great inversions here of accepted truths, which I guess what makes Eshun a good theorist. Written 95-97, there's a way it feels "dated" but I actually found this to be one of the most interesting parts: pseudonymity, anonymity, maleable selves vs. representing an identity, etc. etc. 90s post-humanism vs. contemporary humanism. Parts of it feel predictive, parts it feel out-of-date and I enjoyed that sensation.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    The style of it was hardly bearable. There are some great ideas, but I disagree with the overall argument of the book. To me, machine music is not liberation, but a process analogous to the effect of capitalism in society - a radical alienation of human labor and a loss of individuality. Most of the music described does not live up to the lavishness of Eshun's descriptions. I'm not really sure that what makes a piece of music Afrofuturist is the sheer fact that it was recorded by an African Amer The style of it was hardly bearable. There are some great ideas, but I disagree with the overall argument of the book. To me, machine music is not liberation, but a process analogous to the effect of capitalism in society - a radical alienation of human labor and a loss of individuality. Most of the music described does not live up to the lavishness of Eshun's descriptions. I'm not really sure that what makes a piece of music Afrofuturist is the sheer fact that it was recorded by an African American who scratches on turntables.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Dominic

    a poetic kernel from a moment in music history now past waiting to be found and re-membered through some future music movements.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Cobertizo

    "No somos censores, sino sensores. No estetas, sino kinestetas. Somos sensacionalistas. Los últimos mutantes incubados en parlantes-útero. Tu madre, tu primer sonido. El dormitorio, la fiesta, la pista de baile, la rave: esos son los laboratorios donde se ensamblan a sí mismos los sistemas nerviosos del siglo xxi, las matrices del discontinuum de las Futurritmáquinas. El futuro es mejor guía para el presente que el pasado. Prepárate, estate listo para cambiar todo lo que sabes sobre la historia "No somos censores, sino sensores. No estetas, sino kinestetas. Somos sensacionalistas. Los últimos mutantes incubados en parlantes-útero. Tu madre, tu primer sonido. El dormitorio, la fiesta, la pista de baile, la rave: esos son los laboratorios donde se ensamblan a sí mismos los sistemas nerviosos del siglo xxi, las matrices del discontinuum de las Futurritmáquinas. El futuro es mejor guía para el presente que el pasado. Prepárate, estate listo para cambiar todo lo que sabes sobre la historia de la música por un fugaz vistazo de su futuro."

  10. 4 out of 5

    Muthee BM

    Masterpiece. One of the most eloquent books on music that I have read, the book takes music as its territory and goes even further, sending probes that travel at the speed of 33 1/3 (and faster) and the prosthesis of the arm. Language is part of the dance, the human is in the background and the new sounds emerging continually complicate, and that is really "more brilliant than the sun".

  11. 5 out of 5

    Marco

    El libro te transporta al paisaje musical que describe el autor,una forma de ver y sentir la música, donde te das cuenta que el futuro empezó desde los 50 pero la gente se dió cuenta de ello hasta 40 años después .De Sun Ra hasta Tricky pasando por Kraftwerk y Public Enemy.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tim Jaeger

    This book made me realize that Electronic music is the past, present, and future.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Rus

    Alucinante viaje por lo que el autor llama Ficción Sónica aproximándonos a artistas referencia en lo que a crear mundos y navegar galaxias sonoras se refiere.

  14. 4 out of 5

    vi macdonald

    4.5 Words cannot express how goddamn keen I am for the re-release of this badboy later this year.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Malini Sridharan

    I like the general concept and subject matter but had some trouble getting into sections on music I had not listened to and those that tended more toward the descriptive than the analytic. I think a lot of what I disliked about this book is rooted in my dislike of breakbeat-- his descriptions of how it is so awesome simply did not reach me.

  16. 5 out of 5

    mao

    Black Afrofuturist sonic fictions.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Gaius

    Whatever happened to the Verso reprint this was supposed to get? Such a great book. There are some solid PDFs of it online, though.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Al Williams

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kirk

  20. 4 out of 5

    Dave

  21. 5 out of 5

    Liberex

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sam Purcell

  23. 5 out of 5

    John Braine

  24. 5 out of 5

    Io

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lena Jay

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rhiannon Schaub

  27. 5 out of 5

    Roborobb

  28. 4 out of 5

    -end-

  29. 5 out of 5

    Gary

  30. 4 out of 5

    Avana

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