Matt Anniss’s critically acclaimed alternative history of UK dance music in the acid house era returns in updated and expanded form. Named by Rolling Stone UK as one of the best books on British music culture, Join The Future puts forward a persuasive new argument about the origins of UK club culture’s long-running love affair with bass.
Since the dawn of the 1990s, Britain’s dancefloors have moved to a string of styles built around skeletal rhythms and heavy sub-bass, including breakbeat hardcore, jungle, drum & bass, dubstep, UK garage, grime and bassline. Yet another previously overlooked sound pre-dated them all: bleep and bass, or bleep techno, the first distinctly British form of electronic dance music.
A mixture of social, cultural, musical and oral history based on five years of research and hundreds of interviews, Join The Future tells the previously hidden history of ‘bleep’ for the first time. It brings forth the untold stories of bleep’s pioneers and those that came in their wake, moving from mid-80s electro all-dayers and reggae soundsystem clashes in the North and Midlands, to the birth of breakbeat hardcore and jungle in London and the South East in the early 90s.
Along the way, you’ll find first-hand accounts of key clubs and raves, biographies of forgotten and overlooked production pioneers, stories of bleep outposts in Canada and the United States, and the inside story of the early years of one of electronic music’s most iconic labels, Warp Records.
Now expanded to include more interviews, analysis and a brand-new ‘afterword’ chapter, Join The Future is one of the most revealing and significant books on dance music in years.
Join The Future is also available as a compilation album.
“This was a vital creative era in British electronic music that deserved deeper exploration, so Matt Anniss’ history of ‘bleep and bass’, which sets the sound in the socio-political environment of its time, is a significant addition to the literature of dance culture.”
Matthew Collin, author of ‘Altered State’ and ‘Rave On’
“You wouldn’t have had hardcore had it not been for bleep. If you took bleep out of the equation, Britsh dance music would be completely different.”
Mark Archer, Altern8
“Bleep provided the building blocks of the UK sound that followed – the emotions, the edge, the darkness and the sub-bass. Later generations have taken these elements and done something new, but the fundamentals are still there.”
“Since bleep, there’s always been a heavy bassline thing coming from Sheffield and Leeds. Look at what’s come later, with bassline, the Niche sound and Toddla T. From one generation to the next, it’s always been about bass.”
Joel Pearson (verified owner) –
Matt Anniss’ chronicle of the birth of bass-centric dance music in the UK is outstanding in its scope and detail. The foregrounding of race and class is integral to the unfolding of the story and the author is perennially aware of the pitfalls inherent in the received narrative of acid house. Excellent lists of tunes to dig into and entertaining anecdotes abound. Great work from Anniss and Velocity Press.