The Underground Is Massive

The Underground Is Massive : How Electronic Dance Music Conquered America

3.92 (154 ratings by Goodreads)
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Joining the ranks of Please Kill Me and Can't Stop Won't Stop comes this definitive chronicle of one of the hottest trends in popular culture-electronic dance music-from the noted authority covering the scene.

It is the sound of the millennial generation, the music "defining youth culture of the 2010s" (Rolling Stone). Rooted in American techno/house and '90s rave culture, electronic dance music has evolved into the biggest moneymaker on the concert circuit. Music journalist Michaelangelo Matos has been covering this beat since its genesis, and in The Underground Is Massive, charts for the first time the birth and rise of this last great outlaw musical subculture.

Drawing on a vast array of resources, including hundreds of interviews and a library of rare artifacts, from rave fanzines to online mailing-list archives, Matos reveals how EDM blossomed in tandem with the nascent Internet-message boards and chat lines connected partiers from town to town. In turn, these ravers, many early technology adopters, helped spearhead the information revolution. As tech was the tool, Ecstasy-(Molly, as it's know today) an empathic drug that heightens sensory pleasure-was the narcotic fueling this alternative movement.

Full of unique insights, lively details, entertaining stories, dozens of photos, and unforgettable misfits and stars-from early break-in parties to Skrillex and Daft Punk-The Underground Is Massive captures this fascinating trend in American pop culture history, a grassroots movement that would help define the future of music and the modern tech world we live in.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 448 pages
  • 135 x 203 x 27mm | 336g
  • Dey Street Books, an imprint of HarperCollins US
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0062271792
  • 9780062271792
  • 659,762

Back cover copy

"The Underground Is Massive is a book about the rise of electronic music, but let me be very clear: anyone who cares even a little about music will love this book. Dance music's growth took place largely away from the spotlight, in cross-pollinating scenes around the globe; Michaelangelo Matos tells these hidden histories with the love, care, and joy of a seasoned mage passing down spells to a trusted novice. Every detail, every page, every where-things-changed anecdote hums with life. This book is a genuine service to history, and I am profoundly grateful for it."--John Darnielle, author of Wolf in White Van, nominated for the National Book Award

The Underground Is Massive is the first-ever big-picture history of the American electronic dance music underground, viewed through the lens of nineteen parties over thirty years--from the black, gay underground clubs of Chicago and Detroit's elite teen-party scene through nineties "electronica" to today's EDM-festival juggernaut. In telling EDM's story, Michaelangelo Matos takes in the rise of the Internet and Burning Man, 9/11, and the collapse of the record business, spotlights its legendary artists--including Frankie Knuckles, Moby, Diplo, Skrillex, Deadmau5, David Guetta, Tiesto, and Daft Punk--and vividly charts why and how it took nearly three decades after electronic dance music became a global youth soundtrack for it to hit big in the land that birthed it.

"A staggering work of research, organization, and synthesis, yet Michaelangelo Matos never loses his wit or his deft way with a sentence. He is the Barbara Tuchman of EDM!"--Luc Sante, author of Low Life and The Other Paris
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About Michaelangelo Matos

Michaelangelo Matos writes regularly for Rolling Stone, Red Bull Music Academy Magazine, and NPR. The author of an acclaimed volume (about Prince's Sign `O' the Times) in Bloomsbury's 33 1/3 series, he lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
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Rating details

154 ratings
3.92 out of 5 stars
5 30% (46)
4 39% (60)
3 25% (39)
2 6% (9)
1 0% (0)
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