'Join The Future: Bleep Techno and the Birth of British Bass Music' is a remarkable book; remarkable in two ways. Let me explain...
Firstly, the wealth of detail and knowledge in this book is simply staggering - author Matt Annis has left no stone unturned in his documenting of a truly British sound. Jam-packed with interviews, discographies, first-hand accounts and detail-rich footnotes this is a book for the dance music enthusiast.
Secondly, this is an aspect of the rise of British electronic dance music that has often been overlooked, or at the very least, treated as a sidenote. Bleep techno and it's significance in the development of British dance music has been little explored and certainly never documented at this level before.
The sound of bleep techno was born in the north, and although - as the book rightly acknowledges - the early music transcended cultures, it also very much reflected life in the post-industrial, inner-city suburbs of the time. Starting with it's origins in the break-dancing scene of the early 1980's this book expores the genre's origins in electro and hip-hop, and the introduction of "all-dayer" parties that brought so many key-players together.
Unique 3, Warp Records, LFO, Network Records, A Guy Called Gerald, FON Records, Nightmares on Wax, Nexus 21, Forgemasters and many more influential artists and labels are all celebrated and dissected with an unprecedented dedication and attention to detail.
The book includes first-hand accounts of key clubs and raves, biographies of 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.
While bleep as a unique genre may have been short-lived, it's influence on UK hardcore (and the eventual progression into jungle and drum & bass) means that the legacy of the early pioneers lives on.
Matt Anniss writes with enthusiasm, passion and a clear love for the music - it's hard to imagine any other writer being able to cover the subject in any more detail than this. If you have an interest in bleep techno or the north's influence on the the early rave scene then you'll not find any other book commanding such authority.