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“Exploring the Black roots of shoegaze and dream pop”

  • By M.I.C.
  • MixMag
  • 24-May 2021

It is common knowledge that people of the African diaspora are to be thanked for conceiving or at the very least inspiring all forms of contemporary Western music.

The polyrhythmic percussion found throughout modern metal can be very easily be traced back to traditional West African drumming; Jamaican toasting is to thank for the cultural zeitgeist that is hip hop and before jazz music was gentrified and transformed into something synonymous with Ronnie Scott’s and Whiplash, it was being championed by African American musicians as early as the 1920s. Even the aesthetics of goth music could be attributed to the morbid writings and funereal on-stage antics of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. But shoegaze? Or dream pop? Surely Black people’s influence is not so pervasive to have had a hand in the creation, development and continued existence of the genres “born” from the Scene That Celebrates Itself?

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