This is a book review of one of my favorite books about the visual culture of electronic music: Electronic: From Kraftwerk to the Chemical Brothers (by the design museum). It contains everything from old graphic designs, rave photography, interviews with musicians and artists, as well as factual tidbits.
I was actually on the hunt for a book on light art, but they didn’t have the type of book I was looking for. Instead, I was referred to this one, and even though it wasn’t what I was searching for, I knew right away that I needed to have it! And, I’m very happy that I bought it. If you are interested in the visual art and culture of electronic music as well, then I think you’d be really happy with it as well.
You can buy the book here> (Note! This is an affiliate link, which means that I get a commission on each sale, but it comes at no extra cost for you)
Their own description of the book:
The visual culture of electronic music: how technology, design, art and fashion have contributed to its enduring power and appeal
With its roots in Detroit and Chicago in the early 1980s, electronic dance music was popularized across Europe through underground rave parties and clubs. Its impact on contemporary culture is still unfolding today. Containing interviews with early pioneers such as techno legend Jeff Mills, The Designers Republic’s Ian Anderson, and those pushing the political dimension of electronic music, such as ballroom dancer and DJ Kiddy Smile, Electronic bears witness to the shifting nature of the genre.
Illustrated with over 300 images, some published here for the first time, Electronic features Jean-Michel Jarre’s virtual studio; work by pioneer Daphne Oram of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop; audiovisual performances by musicians like Bicep and the Chemical Brothers; fashion collections by Raf Simons and Charles Jeffrey of Loverboy; iconic photography by Jacob Khrist and Tina Paul; artwork by Christian Marclay; club graphics from Peter Saville and Mark Farrow; tons of album cover designs; and iconic venues such as the Haçienda, Gatecrasher, Fabric, Berghain and the Warehouse Project.
The book starts with the history of the hardware, software, and ideologies that led to the development of the culture of electronic music.
And it continues on with everything you might love with the culture such as old-school graphic designs for underground clubs, album covers, marketing materials, merchandise, photography from rave dance floors, and huge festivals.
This is one of my absolute favorite pages of the book. The interior design of this building is so nice. The colors and stripes remind me of race-car environments, and the floor details makes me think of authoritarian strict rules to maintain order.
Here’s one of the awesome photographs from a party. He looks like a cool guy from a movie, surrounded by fog and darkness.
These are just some of the contents.
Overall, I really love this book and it’s a joy to have it at home to grab whenever I feel like getting inspired. I think this would make a great gift as well to someone who enjoys these types of things. Or, you know, you can just buy it for yourself!