Uproot: Travels in 21st-Century Music and Digital Culture

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Available August 16, 2016 from Farrar, Straus and Giroux

What it is

In 2001 Jace Clayton was an unknown DJ who recorded a three-turntable, sixty-minute mix and put it online to share with friends. Within weeks, Gold Teeth Thief became an international calling card, whisking Clayton away to play a nightclub in Zagreb, a gallery in Osaka, a former brothel in Sao Paolo, and the American Museum of Natural History. Just as the music world made its fitful, uncertain transition from analog to digital, Clayton found himself on the front lines of creative upheavals of art production in the twenty-first century globalized world.

Uproot is a guided tour of this newly-opened cultural space. With humor, insight, and expertise, Clayton illuminates the connections between a Congolese hotel band and the indie-rock scene, Mexican rodeo teens and Israeli techno, and Whitney Houston and the robotic voices in rural Moroccan song, and offers an unparalleled understanding of music in the digital age.

News & Events

  • Monday Aug 15 - Book Launch at Rough Trade in Williamsburg Jace will be in conversation with Kimberly Drew, and live music will be provided by Sonido Kumbala and SCRAAATCH. 7pm!
  • Aug 31 - Harvard Bookstore, Cambridge MA. 7pm
  • Sept 15 - McNally Jackson, SoHo NYC. Jace and Julianne Escobedo Shepherd will play and discuss a selection of music from Uproot and beyond.

Advance Praise

“Jace Clayton is a bricoleur like no other whose curiosity leads him fearlessly beyond fixed cultural boundaries to make connections and find insights that are brilliant and unique. He looks at the world and makes culture from gorgeously odd angles―every sentence of this book is a gem.” —Elizabeth Alexander
“In this exhilarating book, Clayton, aka DJ Rupture, guides readers on an international tour of various forms of music and music-making technologies within many cultures … Clayton urges readers to embrace the power of music, recognizing its energetic and enduring capacity to capture and express shared emotions and to become a 'memory palace with room for everybody inside.'" —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Jace Clayton flows like water around the world” —Diplo
“As infectious as a pop hook” —Astra Taylor
“[A] sharply detailed exploration of how technology and globalization have transformed participatory audio culture … An engrossing tour of the global cutting edge.” –Kirkus Reviews
“I’m so glad to read such an upbeat version of the future of music and the music-listening public. Uproot raises some interesting propositions about how musicians will be making music in the ever-evolving world. I like Jace Clayton’s positive spin.” —Laurie Anderson

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