It’s a London thing tells the story of the black music culture that emerged in post-colonial London at the end of the twentieth century; the people who made it, the racial and spatial politics of its development and change and the part it played in founding London’s precious, embattled multiculture. Melville explores the dance cultures of soul and reggae in the 1970s, rare groove and acid house in the 1980s and jungle and its off-shoots in the 1990s.
The book argues that these demonstrate enough commonality to be seen as one musical continuum, and that the political and social importance of this form of popular art puts London firmly on the map as a global centre of this Afro-diasporic culture.
‘This book is rare and special. It combines loving appreciation of London’s overlooked black music scenes with a richly detailed social history of their place in the evolving life of our city. There really is no other book like it. Caspar Melville knows because he was there.’ – Paul Gilroy is a recovering vinyl junkie who teaches at UCL
‘I’ve waited decades for a book like this to be written. Turning each page is like digging through the crates. Important connections, intersections and black sonic samples are weaved throughout the text like a seamless mix. Black British music deserves this kind of attention. It’s an important piece of the puzzle of DJ and Club culture that has yet to be assembled in its entirety.’ – Lynnée Denise is a renowned DJ and lecturer in African American studies at UCLA
‘Caspar goes in deep! I am so proud to be part of the London clubland story he tells.’ – Gilles Peterson is a club and BBC radio DJ