Uproot Travels in Twenty-First-Century Music & Global Digital Culture

Jace Clayton

In 2001 Jace Clayton was an unknown DJ who recorded a three-turntable, sixty-minute mix called Gold Teeth Thief and put it online to share with his friends. Within months, the mix became an international calling card, whisking Clayton away to a sprawling, multitiered nightclub in Zagreb, a tiny gallery in Osaka, a former brothel in São Paulo, and the American Museum of Natural History. And just as the music world made its fitful, uncertain transition from analog to digital, Clayton found himself on the front lines of the creative upheavals of art production in the twenty-first-century globalized world.

Uproot is a guided tour of this newly opened cultural space, mapped with both his own experiences and his relationships with other industry game changers such as M.I.A. and BitTorrent. With humor, insight, and expertise, Clayton illuminates the connections between a Congolese hotel band and the indie rock scene, Mexican rodeo teens and Israeli techno, and Whitney Houston and robotic voices in rural Moroccan song, and offers an unparalleled understanding of music in the digital age. Uproot takes readers behind the turntable decks to tell a story that only a DJ—and writer—of this caliber could tell.

Uproot is a user manual for the world created by ‘Mr. MP3 and Ms. Internet.’ Jace Clayton has auto-tuned with Berbers, played squats in Barcelona, and fielded song requests in Dubai. As a DJ processing both sound and history, Clayton has captured the glory of a digital slipstream that celebrates flow and defeats economies until the break of dawn.” —Sasha Frere-Jones

About Jace Clayton

Jace Clayton’s essays have appeared in New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, n+1, Bidoun, Frieze, and The Fader. As DJ Rupture, he has performed widely and released several critically acclaimed albums. He lives and works in New York City. You can learn more about the author at JaceClayton.com.

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