MicroBionic (revised and expanded 2nd edition)
Thomas Bey William Bailey
Micro Bionic is an exciting survey of electronic music and sound art from cultural critic and mixed-media artist Thomas Bey William Bailey. This superior revised edition includes all of the original supplements neglected by the publishers of the first edition, including a full index, bibliography, additional notes / commentary and an updated discography. As the title suggests, the unifying theme of the book is that of musicians and sound artists taking bold leaps forward in spite of (or sometimes because of) their financial, technological, and social restrictions. Some symptoms of this condition include the gigantic discography amassed by the one-man project Merzbow, the drama of silence enacted by onkyo and New Berlin Minimalism, the annihilating noise transmitted from the humble laptop computers of Russell Haswell and Peter Rehberg and much more besides. Although the journey begins in the Industrial 1980s, in order to trace how the innovations of that period have gained greater currency in the present, it surveys a wide array of artists breaking ground in the 21st century with radical attitudes and techniques. A healthy amount of global travel and concentrated listening have combined to make this a sophisticated yet accessible document, unafraid to explore both the transgressive extremes of this culture and the more deftly concealed interstices thereof. Part historical document, part survival manual for the marginalized electronic musician, part sociological investigation, Micro Bionic is a number of different things, and as such will likely generate a variety of reactions from inspiration to offense. Numerous exclusive interviews with leading lights of the field were also conducted for this book: William Bennett (Whitehouse), Peter Christopherson (r.i.p., Throbbing Gristle / Coil), Peter Rehberg, John Duncan, Francisco López, Carl Michael von Hausswolff, Bob Ostertag, Zbigniew Karkowski and many others weigh in with a diversity of thoughts and opinions that underscore the incredible diversity to be found within new electronic music itself.