Paul Gilroy

Orphic Riddles The Drums, the Discs and the Critics

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Donald Byrd, Mizell Brothers, Vacuum Tube Amplification, HiFi.

This piece combines a discussion of Donald Byrd’s recordings with the Mizell Brothers with a skeptical reflection on the limited power rating of Ralph Ellison’s first, home-made HiFi amplifier. These «events» are used to ask difficult questions about the history, aesthetics and politics of Black Music. Tentatively, the essay raises the disquieting problem of that music’s shifting aesthetic significance in the archives of the black freedom movement. Patterns evident in the final three decades of the twentieth century are contrasted with effects evident during the era of #BLM protests after 2015.

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