Welcome to the latest instalment of Crack Magazine’s Book Club.
If you are starting to feel that all that 2019 energy that you went on about a month ago is beginning to dip, maybe you need to re-up your reading list. From deep dives into an artist’s musical universe to art books for the coffee table, the Crack Magazine Book Club will improve focus, impart knowledge and make you a more interesting person to be around.
Spectres: Composer l’écoute / Composing listeningShelter Press
Soon to be published by Shelter Press, Spectres sees the publishing house join forces with INA GRM for the first in a series of annual publications. While experimental music has come to be associated as a style of music, Spectres is comprised of a series of essays by artists exploring the notion of musical experimentation. Those who’ve penned essays include pioneering artist Eliane Radigue, Félicia Atkinson, François Bayle, François J. Bonnet, Drew Daniel, Brunhild Ferrari and lots more.
Spotify Teardown: Inside the Black Box of Streaming MusicMaria Eriksson, Rasmus Fleischer, Anna Johansson, Pelle Snickars, Patrick Vonderau
When Spotify broke onto the scene in the mid-noughties, it styled itself as a much-needed solution to widespread pirating in the music industry. Now, over 10 years since the streaming platform came into being, its claims of benevolence are coming into question. Whether it’s the platform’s unchecked bot problem or aggressive advertising from big artists (we see you Drake), music lovers’ relationship with Spotify is beginning to come under strain. Cue Spotify Teardown: an in-depth study of the Swedish music service, conducted by an expert team of five researchers. Combining traditional field work, such as interviews, with cutting-edge investigation of the platform’s inner workings, Spotify Teardown is a long overdue ethical examination of one of the corporate giants of the digital age.
Kate Bush: How to Be InvisibleKate Bush
Featuring an introduction by novelist David Mitchell, Kate Bush has arranged a selection of lyrics from her 40-year career for this cloth-bound book, released via Faber. While Bush doesn’t stick to the traditional format of annotating her lyrics for this Faber series, she divides her lyrics into 10 sections. Dive into Bush’s extraordinary musical universe via this book, that grounds her work to themes of love, gender and loss.
The Camera is Cruel: Model Arbus GoldinDaniel Jelitzka and Gerald A. Matt (eds)
Released in conjunction with exhibitions at Donbirn’s FLATZ Museum and Vienna’s WestLicht Museum for Photography, The Camera is Cruel brings together, for the first time, the work of three visual chroniclers of American society: Lisette Model, Diane Arbus and Nan Goldin. Known for their idiosyncratic viewpoints that turn away from mainstream perspectives, some notable highlights of their visual trajectories include their compassionate depictions of LGBTQ+ communities. With these communities once more the target of intense public and legal discrimination in the US, The Camera is Cruel makes for essential viewing. One to put your IG scroll down for.
Neil TennantOne Hundred Lyrics and a Poem
The Pet Shop Boys are rightly cherished as the sophisticates of British pop music. This is due in no small part to the elegant turn of phrase, and wide-reaching cultural tastes, of Neil Tennant. A former journalist, Tennant’s lyrics move gracefully between the arch and sincere, providing the literary and emotional heart to Chris Lowe’s sublime production. Who else, after all, would dare reference Che Guevara and Debussy in one song, sorry, one line.
Featuring the lyrics to a hundred songs, chosen by Tenant, and one short poem, this Faber collection offers a fascinating overview of – and context behind – the work of one of our greatest pop lyricists. However, it will do precious little to sate the appetite of those waiting for an autobiography…
Shoplifters 8: New Type DesignActual Source
OK, while this can be categorised as a magazine being the eighth issue of Actual Sources’ bi-annual Shoplifters series, the design makes the format of this release somewhat indefinable. The series itself doesn’t retain a single identity, with the design changing with each instalment. Comprised of 600 pages in a hardbound book, over 60 designers have contributed 100 typefaces to Shoplifter‘s latest issue. A nerd for design? One to add to your bookshelf.