Saturday, September 2, 2017

Sunday, March 17, 2013


In the last week of March I’ll be in Paris for the publication of Bring the Noise by Au Diable Vauvert, and will be appearing at the Paris Book Fair and doing events at two bookstores.

Then the week after that I'll be appearing at the Faber Social in London (April 2), participating in a night of talk and entertainment themed around Vinyl. I’ll be reading from the new updated/expanded edition of Energy Flash that Faber is publishing in June. 


Saturday  March 23
16h-18h  - Paris Book Fair (Salon du Livre) - Paris Expo. Porte de Versailles
Au Diable Vauvert stand (S65)

Sunday March 24
14h-16h - Paris book fair - Au Diable Vauvert stand

Wednesday March 27
19h-21h - Le Thé des écrivains  store
16 rue des minimes 75003 Paris
Live discussion between me, the bookseller and a journalist (details TK)
+ book signing

Thursday  March 28
PublicisDrugstore - Les Champs-Elysées - 75008 Paris

Sunday, March 13, 2011

a feature package at literary webzine The Nervous Breakdown on me and Bring the Noise, which is out imminently in the US on Soft Skull... elements include excerpts from BtN on the voice in pop music and on crunk, plus an auto-interview about changes in pop criticism during the 25 years since I started doing it and getting paid

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Bring the Noise--the US version, expanded and updated with some extra pieces--is out January 2011 on Soft Skull

Thursday, August 9, 2007

the hype on Bring the Noise by Simon Reynolds

#4 Music Book of 2007--Uncut

“His abilities as a forensic listener are acute and his comprehensive knowledge of the period enables brilliant expositions of the influences that link apparently separate styles…. In this schema it is always hybridity and impurity that power the creation and renewal of the avant-garde. Reynolds’s tireless support for that egalitarian and progressive agenda marks him out as the foremost popular music critic of this era”-- Jon Garvie, The Times Literary Supplement

“It has been claimed to the point of tedium that writing about music is akin to ‘dancing about architecture’. Well, whatever’s wrong with dancing? But the best critics reach for something deeper, a framework and a context that stimulates fresh ways of thinking about that music, of ‘seeing’ that architecture anew. This questing, restlessly thoughtful approach is favoured by Simon Reynolds… Discovering the community and the sound he was searching for in the late-Eighties rave explosion, Reynolds’ subsequent writing on rock, rap and soul searches for communities and scenes of equal vividness, with a hungry vigour that rewards the reader… The sheer glee of his pursuit of new sound carries the reader through insightful scene reports on grime, dancehall and crunk with an infectious energy and inquisitiveness… You may not agree with all Reynolds has to say, but it’s very clear that this isn’t the point. These pieces are arguments to be concluded by the reader, they are stimulation for fresh thought. The result is one of the more gratifyingly thought-provoking pop tomes of recent years. Long may Reynolds so intriguingly dance”-- Stevie Chick, Mojo.

“There has been no more authoritative music critic in Britain over the past 30 years than Simon Reynolds… His analysis of black music is second to none.”
-- Danny McElhinney, Irish Mail on Sunday

“Reynolds is a formidable critic; more to the point, he seems to have little desire to tell you about himself or subsume music to the demands of a more or less formulaic narrative. If you love music as much as all these writers claim to, Bring the Noise should be your first stop”--Andy Miller, Daily Telegraph

"Collections of music journalism are not the most promising genre of book, but Reynolds is one of the very few music writers who can craft prose that evokes sound. This is a hugely eclectic volume, ranging from the indie and hip-hop of the late 1980s to the Arctic Monkeys, with authoritative notes on Britpop, ragga, post-rock and R&B, and interviews with the likes of the Pixies, Radiohead and Public Enemy. Reynolds is funny and unapologetically analytical, as well as offering disarming afterwords to some articles admitting that he said something stupid, or accidentally injured a hero ("I once scorched Jarvis's flesh"). One refreshing development you can trace is that Reynolds becomes less snobbish over the years, increasingly curious and open-eared. In 2000, for example, he delivers a lovely half-wry defence of "cheesy" Euro dance music, which brings together an honest joy in big tunes for their own sake and an intriguing theory about young Italians feeling oppressed by their tastefully "historic" environment and so turning to all things artificial: "In the land of terracotta, plastic has a liberating future-buzz about it." Or, as Aqua would say: "Life in plastic, it's fantastic."
--- Steven Poole, The Guardian

“He is the master of the drop-dead soundbite.. Reynolds remains in the business of what Paul Morley believes has been lost from music writing: he provides a narrative… We should give thanks”-- Andrew Collins, Word

“Even when he’s writing about music that frankly sounds as appealing to me as amputation, I am gripped by not only what he has to say, but the way he says it. Bring the Noise is genuinely beautifully written… Brilliant.”--Allan Jones, Uncut

“This book is required reading for anyone interested in music journalism and what, at its very peak, it is capable of being. If you were compiling a list of the ten best music books of all time, three of Simon Reynolds’ previous efforts would be automatic inclusions: Blissed Out (a collection of his early writings on everything from Metallica to Public Enemy), Energy Flash the definitive history of electronic music), and last year’s Rip It Up And Start Again (a similarly exhaustive overview of the musical mutations that sprouted everywhere when punk rock spread its genes far and wide in the late 1970s).
Reynolds is just as much of a cultural theorist as a critic - he’s peerless at coming at his subjects from fresh and unexplored angles and making hitherto unestablished connections between seemingly disparate elements…. Coruscating, razor-sharp and beautifully written from first to last, Bring The Noise is a superb introduction to the work of a man who, for some time, has had no serious rivals as the best music writer around”---Jonathon O’Brien, The Sunday Business Post

“20 years' worth of mostly excellent journalism and theorising on rock and hip-hop by perceptive music critic”--The Independent on Sunday

“A cracking compendium of the former Melody Maker writer's work… Most of the book investigates the sounds that have shrieked out of pirate radio since the start of the Nineties (speed garage, techstep, gabba, jump-up, crunk), a jungle of sub-genres usually alien to mainstream critical respect. This makes Bring the Noise an important book, but you really need a companion CD”--Bob Stanley, The Times

“Reynolds's affection for grand narratives is evident, and you sometimes get the feeling he could read beautiful patterns in a snowstorm. Bring the Noise reads like a playground of ideas; word battles conducted for the elevated buzz of intellectual pleasure”-- Louise Pattison, New Statesman

“Highly acute and sharply witty, Reynolds' passionate original pieces are appended with recent notes exposing his contradictions, misjudgements and personal prejudices… A joyfully fluent, never conventional account of recent musical flashpoints, from one of the genre's most valuable map-makers.”--- Nadine McBay, Metro

“Reynolds shows again that he is a gifted writer, able to do the impossible: put sound into the written word. He’s at his best in his ‘thinkpieces’, when he’s using his vast range of musical knowledge and political nous to find cultural meaning in the ephemeral pop moment.”--Rowan Wilson, The Bookseller

“Way better than any music book you’ve read lately”--Arena

"While most of the conversation about Simon Reynolds of 2011 revolves around his Retromania book, America also got a chance this year to see this, a curated collection of his writing from the last twenty years originally published two years ago in the UK. It's a no-bullshit fascinating attempt by one of the best music writers imaginable to codify his own twenty-year response/reaction to a whole measure of cultural questions. Race, innovation, what the responsibility of the artist is or might someday be--Reynolds plays it a bit loose when it comes to proving that's what he was always asking after in the heat of it, but you'd have to just hate the guy completely to deny the clear consistency of his curiosity.
That's the thing about Reynolds that sticks the most, actually; and what makes him more valuable then the quadrillion consumption junkies and ocd isolationists that populate so much of contemporary music writing. He's up front about what he's doing, what we should be doing, which is figuring it out, asking after, searching for why. It's a book that fails to answer almost all of the questions it posits. By the end, the reader should have figured out why that is."--Tucker Stone, The Factual Opinion
information about Bring the Noise: 20 Years Writing About Hip Rock and Hip Hop (London: Faber and Faber, 2007)

Bring the Noise weaves together interviews, reviews, essays, and features to create a critical history of the last twenty years of pop culture, juxtaposing the voices of many of rock and rap’s most provocative artists--Morrissey, Public Enemy, Beastie Boys, the Stone Roses, PJ Harvey, Radiohead, the Streets--with Reynolds’ own passionate analysis. With all the energy and insight you would expect from the author of Rip It Up And Start Again, Bring the Noise tracks the alternately fraught and fertile relationship between white bohemia and black street music. The selections transmit the immediacy of their moment while offering a running commentary on the larger enduring questions of race and resistance, multiculturalism and division. From grunge to grime, from Madchester to the Dirty South, Bring the Noise chronicles hip hop and alternative rock’s competing claims to be the cutting-edge of innovation and the voice of opposition to the conservative mainstream. Alert to both the vivid detail and the big picture, Simon Reynolds has shaped a compelling narrative that cuts across a thrillingly turbulent two-decade period of popular music.

Italian translation due for publication by ISBN Edizione in 2008 with expanded/updated material

German translation due for publication by Hannibal Verlag in 2008



WHAT’S MISSING? The State of Pop (1985)

THE REDSKINS, live (1985)

ZAPP, live (1986)

YOUNGER THAN YESTERDAY: Indiepop’s Cult of Innocence (1986)


BEAT HAPPENING, Beat Happening (1986)

BACKS TO THE FUTURE: the Folk and Country Resurgence in Alternative Rock (1986)


HUSKER DU, Warehouse: Songs and Stories (1987)

MANTRONIX, interview (1987)

THE SMITHS: An Elegy (1987)

PUBLIC ENEMY, interview (1987)

LL COOL J, interview (1987)

DINOSAUR JR, interview (1987)


MORRISSEY, interview (1988)

THE PIXIES, interview (1988)

LIVING COLOUR, interview (1988)

VARIOUS ARTISTS, Sub Pop 200 (1989)

THE STONE ROSES, interview (1989)

THE CARING COLONIALISTS: A Critique of “World Music” (1989)

POSITIVITY: De La Soul, Soul II Soul, Deelite and New Age house (1990)

RAP’S REFORMATION: Gangsta Rap versus Conscious Rap (1990)

MADCHESTER VERSUS DREAMPOP: Happy Mondays and Ride (1990)

MANIC STREET PREACHERS, interview (1991)

PAVEMENT, live (1991)

NIRVANA, live (1991)


RRRRRRUSH! : Hardcore Rave and London Pirate Radio (1992)

WASTED YOUTH: Grunge and the Return of “Heavy” (1992)


LET THE BOYS BE BOYS: Onyx interview / Gangsta Rap as Oi! (1993)

STATE OF INTERDEPENDENCE: Britain, America, and the “special relationship” in pop music (1993)

MTV: the Revolution will not be televised (1993)

PJ HARVEY, interview (1993)

IT’S A DOGG’S LIFE: Dr Dre and Snoop Doggy Dogg (1993)

AGAINST THE GRAIN: Thinking about the Voice in Pop (1993)


THE BEASTIE BOYS, interview (1994)

POST-ROCK (1994)


RAGGA (1994)



PULP, Different Class (1995)

R&B: The Sound of 1997 (1997)


FEMININE PRESSURE: 2-Step and UK Garage (1999)

KING AND QUEEN OF THE BEATS: Timbaland and Missy Elliott (1999)

HATE ME NOW: Puff Daddy and the Player Hater Syndrome (1999)

FOR THE LOVE OF MONEY: Lil Wayne, Cash Money and New Orleans rap (1999)


WE ARE FAMILY: the Rise of the Rap Clans and the Hip Hop Dynasty (1999)

ROOTS ’N’ FUTURE: the disappearing voice of reggae (2000)

EURO: trance music and the people-pleasing power of “cheese” (2000)

MILES DAVIS, Live-Evil/Black Beauty/In Concert/Dark Magus (1997)

PURE FUSION: multiculture versus monoculture (2000)



FAVES OF 2000: Dancehall (2000)

HISTORIA ELECTRONICA: the case for electronic dance music culture (2001)

B-BOYS ON E: Hip Hop Discovers Ecstasy (2001)

SO SOLID CREW, They Don't Know(2002)

THE STREETS, Original Pirate Material (2002)

WHO SAYS THE BRITISH CAN’T RAP? The UK’s New Wave of MCs confront American Hip Hop Isolationism (2002)

RAVE-PUNK: the genre soon-to-be-known-as Grime emerges (2002)


DIZZEE RASCAL, Boy In Da Corner (2003)


LIL JON & THE EASTSIDE BOYZ, Crunk Juice (2005)

MOTHER NATURE’S SONS: Animal Collective and Ariel Pink (2005)

AGAINST ALL ODDS: 2005, Grime’s Make-Or-Break Year (2005)

2005: the year black pop and white pop stopped talking (2006)

ARCTIC MONKEYS, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not (2006)

GREEN-EYED SOUL: Hot Chip and Scritti Politti (2006)

Bring the Noise: A Listening List