Welcome to Crack Magazine’s Book Club.
If cutting down on screen time is on your mind, then might we suggest delving into some books. For our June round-up, we’ve selected our top reads – which span from astrology-themed cocktail recipes, a queer photo book and essays from women working in music.
Dreaming in Yellow – The Story of the DiY Sound SystemHarry Harrison
An autobiographical account of DiY sound system collective’s pivotal presence within the 90s free party scene written by founding DiY member Harry Harrison. By nature, the movement was predominantly clandestine – avoiding publicity and evading the authorities – and Harrison’s documentation of the Nottingham-born sound system’s legacy is the first proper recording of many of the events that took place. An essential read for ravers, offering firsthand insight and anecdotes from the free party movement and highlighting the formative impact this had on the UK rave landscape.
Polish photographer Agata Kalinowska presents an emancipatory, queer visual journey with her debut publication YAGA. Drawing on the mystical Slavic archetype of Baba Yaga, Kalinowska explores ideas of the contemporary witch and non-heteronormative standards. Moving past the male gaze and male-dominated aspects of the queer world, Kalinowska’s photography is dedicated to making space for women within this. YAGA captures a freedom and hedonism in existing outside of societal norms.
Danyel SmithShine Bright: A Very Personal History of Black Women in Music
Part memoir, part cultural history, Shine Bright celebrates the Black women who have shaped the landscape of American pop music today. A writer and editor for publications including Billboard and Vibe, Danyel Smith’s book highlights the erasure of Black women artists within the industry and is here to change that. A vital read that traces the enduring and foundational legacy of musical icons like Aretha Franklin, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston as well as telling the stories of overlooked artists.
While You Were SleepingEwen Spencer
Photographer Ewen Spencer spent the late 90s capturing images of Britain’s club kids for Shoreditch magazine Sleazenation. For his new book, While You Were Sleeping, Spencer compiles his work from this period spanning 1998 to 2000, documenting the club landscape at the time. A nostalgic snapshot into a pivotal point in UK subculture, the candid photographs document the UK garage landscape, hedonistic ravers and metalheads, spanning images from Slipknots’ Astoria show in 2000 to young aspiring MCs and trance club kids.
Margarita In RetrogradeVanessa Li and Bowen Goh
Ever wondered which cocktail represents you? Want to impress your date with the perfect aperitif suited to their birth chart? Well, the owners of Bushwick venue Mood Ring have you covered. Margarita in Retrograde fuses mixology and astrology, tailoring the drink recipes to each of the Zodiac signs. Written by best friend duo Vanessa Li and Bowen Goh, this book is a must for anyone who wants to be the host with the most and let’s be honest, who doesn’t?
This Woman's WorkSinéad Gleeson and Kim Gordon
Co-edited by Kim Gordon and Sinéad Gleeson, This Woman’s Work includes contributions from 16 pioneering women writers. Sharing firsthand accounts as women in the music industry as well as delving into their favourite female artists and movements, there are essays from Zakia Sewell, Juliana Huxtable, Sub Pop’s Megan Jasper and Kim Gordon alongside novelists including Maggie Nelson, Otessa Moshfegh and music journalist Jenn Pelly.