Ocean of Sound
David Toop, Michel Faber
David Toop’s extraordinary work of sonic history travels from the rainforests of Amazonas to the megalopolis of Tokyo via the work of artists as diverse as Brian Eno, Sun Ra, Erik Satie, Kate Bush, Kraftwerk and Brian Wilson.
Beginning in 1889 at the Paris exposition when Debussy first heard Javanese music performed, Ocean of Sound channels the competing instincts of 20th century music into an exhilarating, path-breaking account of ambient sound.
‘A meditation on the development of modern music, there’s no single term that is adequate to describe what Toop has accomplished here … mixing interviews, criticism, history, and memory, Toop moves seamlessly between sounds, styles, genres, and eras’ Pitchfork’s ’60 Favourite Music Books’
This history of ambient music, starting with Debussy, is a minor masterpiece * Observer '50 greatest music books ever' * An encyclopaedic work, uncommonly knowledgeable and wide in its scope ... a rare and subversive read * DJ Magazine * A masterfully innovative and radical work * Melody Maker * A scintillating and illuminating read * Mojo * Buy it, read it and let it remix your head * i-D * A ground-breaking history of ambient music * Independent * Partly a mediation on the development of modern music, but there's no single term that is adequate to describe what Toop has accomplished here ... mixing interviews, criticism, history, and memory, Toop moves seamlessly between sounds, styles, genres, and eras, using listening as a tool in a search for a deeper understanding * Pitchfork's '60 Favourite Music Books' * An erudite and entertaining chauffeur, Toop shows us a way of listening differently ... Ocean of Sound puts Toop up there with Eno as a theorist of ambient music * Wired * Ocean of Sound's parallels aren't music books at all, but rather Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities, William Gibson's Neuromancer ... Ocean of Sound is as alien as the 20th century, as utterly now as the 21st * Wire * Ocean of Sound has gained a fervent cult audience ... the best music-related book of the 90s * Chicago Reader * Ocean of Sound brilliantly elaborates [trends in music], like sonic fact for our sci-fi present, a martian chronicle from this planet earth * Face * A heroic endeavour brought off with elegance and charm * NME * David Toop is the brilliant voyager of our sonic century, for whom music is a map of our dreams -- Steve Erickson
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