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unofficial release

self-released and handmade audio

in post-industrial society


The culture of self-released music and sound art is one of the most vital, yet most overlooked, phenomena resulting from the 20th century revolution in communications technology. In this volume, Thomas Bailey surveys a fascinating realm of creative activity and identifies the key individuals and developments responsible for its continued relevance in the present age. From the networked “mail art” of the 1970s, to the home-taping boom, to the establishment of music labels dealing solely in digital sound files, this culture provides valuable insight into the evolution of the “official” art market and the artists who bypass it. Along the way, we are introduced to a world where networks are artworks in themselves, where blank tapes and recordable CDs are fashioned into elaborate art objects, and where relative freedom from creative supervision leads to both colorful innovations and violent aesthetic extremes.  
'Unofficial Release' features material on mail art, cassette culture, industrial music, handmade packaging, releasing addiction, anti-promotion, net-labels, digital file sharing, circumventing censorship, extremist metal, sound poetry, imaginary music, ‘outsider’ art, tape nostalgia...and much more!

Exclusive long-form interviews are also included with artists such as Frans de Waard, Vittore Baroni, Rod Summers, GX Jupitter-Larsen and others, along with new insights from theorists and artists as varied as 'Gen' Ken Montgomery, The Tapeworm, Alexei Monroe (author of Interrogation Machine and more), Oren Ambarchi, and David Tibet. Also includes front and back cover photography courtesy of Scott Konzelmann / Chop Shop.

Unofficial Release is the first title available on the newly revived Belsona Books Ltd. imprint, TBWB's home for personal projects that, while of a high written standard, can't wait to be approved by peer review or accepted by established publishers. This title remains available from and through a number of other distribution channels - but do feel free to contact your local independent bookseller and request that they stock it.

book excerpts

...coming soon, after some creative re-formatting

signed copies available

If you're interested in an autographed copy of Unofficial Release, please contact us using the contact form in the page footer.

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