A Darker Electricity Audiobook

Our first ever audiobook, A Darker Electricity: The Origins of the Spiral Tribe Sound System, is finally ready! Narrated by author Mark Angelo Harrison and with licensed Spiral Tribe tracks, specially recorded music and sound effects, it’s an immersive experience. We grabbed a few words with Mark to find out more.

It’s exclusively available in our shop and if you’ve previously bought the paperback or ebook version directly from us then you’re entitled to a 50% discount. If this applies to you and you’re interested then contact us and we’ll send you a special coupon code.

Why was it time to record ADE as an audiobook?

The paperback was very well received but I was inundated by requests for an audiobook version. The Spiral Tribe phenomena was a worldwide one. Many of the people we met on our travels were not English. The universal language is, of course, music. The written word, can for some be less accessible than the spoken word.

Creating an audio version was an interesting experience. It transforms an often inward and private experience (reading a book to yourself inside your head) to a storytelling experience. I imagined, as I read the book out loud for the recording, that I was sitting round a campfire, telling the Spiral story. It’s a completely other kind of experience and creates a different atmosphere. It felt more about sharing a story, than just about silently writing to a single person.

Have you added any sections to it, or revised any material from the paperback edition?

Yes, lots of great tracks (original Spiral Tribe music – plus a special guest appearance!). And Matt Ward, who recorded, engineered and mixed it all, did a fantastic job of creating soundscapes that add to the story’s atmosphere and adventure.

How is the world of A Darker Electricity six months since you published it?

This is an epic tale, and a big fat book. It took me several years to finish. When the book was published my world shifted from one of studious focus and long hours of writing in isolation, to suddenly being invited to present the book and speak about its political and cultural themes. Themes that are as relevant and urgent today as ever.

Spiral Tribe were pioneers. We rejected the imposed construct of consumerism. As such we were on the frontline of resistance against the establishment – an authoritarian, exploitative and destructive monster. As I say in the book: ‘…the course set by the idiots in control [the corrupt politicians] was not heading away from a destructive past, Quite the contrary. Each and every incidence of environmental and social injustice was part of an ever-expanding program.’

I guess that A Darker Electricity connects with people interested in the social history and music of the early 90s but also with younger people today who are eager to understand the currents that have shaped the world we live in today.

Did you rediscover any of your favourite stories from the book you’d forgotten about while recording it?

No, not really. Having spent so long researching, interviewing and fact checking, I know this story inside out! But it has inspired me to write the prequel – the events leading up to this book. My formative years at Britain’s free festivals and anti-war protests of the 1970s. The huge influence of Pirate Radio. The early Acid House of the late 1980s when I was squatting in Manchester (I practically lived in the Haçienda!) The trajectory of our underground culture (in hindsight) is clear!

Has anyone mentioned ADE to you at any free parties since the book?

Yes, so far everyone I’ve spoken to at free parties have loved it. I think because it shows people how, with a little attitude, we can all connect our creativity, and build unity. It’s not a ‘how to guide’. It’s more of an adventure story, but one that’s full of little tips ‘n’ tricks.

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