Simon Reynolds

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Simon Reynolds
Simon Reynolds.jpg
Born 1963 (age 51–52)
London, UK [1]
Occupation Music journalist
Nationality British
Period 1986–present
Notable works Blissed Out, Retromania, Energy Flash, Rip It Up and Start Again, The Sex Revolts
Spouse Joy Press
Website
blissout.blogspot.com

Simon Reynolds is an English music journalist who writes on rock music, electronic dance music, and wider forms of popular music. In addition to his contributions to publications such as Melody Maker and The Guardian, Reynolds has written works on topics ranging from post-punk and electronic dance culture to gender and sexuality in popular music.[2]

Over the course of his career, he has contributed to Melody Maker, The New York Times, The Village Voice, The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The Wire, Mojo, Uncut and Spin.

History and career[edit]

Reynolds was born in London in 1963.[3] While attending the University of Oxford, Reynolds co-founded Moniter, a shortlived pop music magazine, with future Melody Maker peer David Stubbs.[4] By 1986, he had joined Melody Maker and had begun to establish himself as a mainstay of the magazine. He was an early proponent of the neo-psychedelic guitar bands that emerged in England in the late 80's (such as A.R. Kane and My Bloody Valentine),[5] and much of this writing would be the focus of the retrospective collection Blissed Out: The Raptures of Rock, published in 1990.[6]

In 1990, Reynolds left Melody Maker (although he would continue to contribute to the magazine until 1996) and became a freelance writer, splitting his time between London and New York. In the early 1990s, he became involved in rave culture and the electronic dance music scene, particularly that of the UK, and subsequently became a writer on electronic dance music and its surrounding culture.[7] In 1994, Reynolds moved permanently to the East Village in Manhattan. In 1995, along with his wife, Joy Press, Reynolds co-authored The Sex Revolts: Gender, Rebellion and Rock 'n' Roll, a critical analysis of gender in rock.

In 1998, Reynolds published Energy Flash: a Journey Through Rave Music and Dance Culture, a history of what became rave music, and became a senior editor at Spin magazine in the US. In 1999, he went back to freelance work and published an American version of Energy Flash in abridged form, titled: Generation Ecstasy: Into the World of Techno and Rave Culture. In 2005, Reynolds published Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978–1984, a comprehensive history of the post-punk era.[8]

Reynolds has continued writing for magazines, as well as his blog, Blissblog. In 2007, Reynolds published Bring the Noise: 20 Years of Writing about Hip Rock and Hip Hop in the UK, a collection of his writing themed around the relationship between white bohemian rock and black street music. In 2008, an updated edition of Energy Flash was published, with new chapters on the ten years of dance music following the appearance of the first edition. He contributed a chapter to Sound Unbound: Sampling Digital Music and Culture (The MIT Press, 2008), edited by Paul D. Miller a.k.a. DJ Spooky. In 2011, Reynolds published Retromania: Pop Culture's Addiction to Its Own Past, an indictment of and investigation into what he perceives as the current situation of chronic retrogression in pop music.[9]

Critical style[edit]

Reynolds has become well known for his incorporation of critical theory in his analysis of music, particularly that of theorists such as Georges Bataille, Jacques Derrida, and Deleuze and Guattari.[10] He has written extensively on gender, class, race, and sexuality, and their influence on music. In his study of the relationship between class and music, Reynolds coined the term liminal class, defined as the upper-working class and lower-middle-class. This is a group he credits with "a lot of music energy".[11]

Reynolds has also written about drug culture and its relationship to and effect on music. In his book, Generation Ecstasy, Reynolds traces the effects of drugs on the ups and downs of the rave scene. Evidence of his interest in the topic can be found in Generation Ecstasy, and in his review[12] of Trainspotting, among other things.

Reynolds has on occasion used the Marxist concepts of commodity fetishism and false consciousness to describe attitudes prevalent in hip hop music.[13]

Books[edit]

CD[edit]

  • Rip It Up and Start Again : Post Punk 1978-1984 - CD compiled by Simon Reynolds, 15 May 2006, V2 label

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]