Return to the Echo Chamber
Race, Sound and the Future of Community (Excerpt)
Keywords:roots, sound, race, African diaspora, ruins
Jamaican sound system culture has long grounded my work because it foregrounds race due to much of the lyrical and ideological content, and technology via the obsession with sonic reproduction. Over twenty years after first establishing these connections, a return to them is clearly overdue given their rootedness in immigrant sub-cultures and counter-publics. However, as described by Martiniquan theorist, Edouard Glissant, this return cannot be motivated by “a longing for origins, to some immutable state of being”, but instead must be towards “the point of entanglement”, to where we discovered the complexities and contradictions in the first place. For me that tangled knot has always featured a contentious weaving of two primary threads, two elements that historically make each other sensible but which still have no essential or satisfactory relationship to each other—race and sound.
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