The new 600-page giant by British writer Tim Lawrence examines the very unique NYC party scene and its cultural influence on the city in the early '80s.
Lawrence segregated the book into four chapters or parts, with each one describing one year in full detail through a collection of interviews with DJs, artists, event organizers, producers, musicians and dancers, as well as news pieces and features from local news magazines, illustrations, photos and stories. This book is about music, art, performance, video, film, sex, drugs, nightclubs, Paradise Garage, techno, house, disco, punk, hip-hop, cultural renaissance and much more! Read a snippet from the preface below to get an idea of what Life And Death On The New York Dance Floor is about.
"Negotiating disco’s recent collapse, rap’s battle to become more than a passing fad, and punk’s aesthetic exhaustion, New Yorkers were so unbothered about defining the culture they were bringing into existence it was left to the British to coin the names of mutant disco and electro, with postpunk popularized later. That left the period appearing to lack an identity as well as the kind of clean-cut generic innovation that can provide an easy anchor for chroniclers and readers alike, while its sandwiching between disco plus house and techno added to its antinarrative personality. When Chicago dj Frankie Knuckles argued that house music amounted to “disco’s revenge,” he inadvertently contributed to the idea that the music and culture of the early 1980s were only of passing consequence. This book aims to show how, at least in New York, revenge wasn’t even a conversation topic as the city’s party culture entered into what would turn out to be—at least at the time of writing— its most prolific phase."
Read the full preface here.
Life And Death On The New York Dance Floor, 1980-83 will be published on September 30, 2016. Click here to order.
Tim Lawrence has previously released two other books: Love Saves The Day: A History Of American Dance Music Culture, 1970-79 (2004) and Hold On To Your Dreams: Arthur Russell And The Downtown Music Scene, 1973-92 (2009).