Pop Matters gives Sonic Multiplicities 7 out of 10!


In a thorough and illuminating review of Sonic Multiplicities on Pop Matters Subashini Navaratnam examines the theory that Hong Kong popular music is dead. She checks off the various dates people name as the time of death for Cantopop and discusses the reasons why people have declared this genre of music extinct. In the end however she comes to the conclusion that, “Hong Kong pop is not dead, but it has transformed, mutated, and altered, and the authors want to encourage people to see, listen, and think in new and altered ways.”
The review explores some of the subjects present in the book, including the idea of global popular music, and how this often skews towards favouring music produced in the US. Navaratnam had the following to say about the book’s take on this.
Sonic Multiplicities is an intriguing study of pop culture that doesn’t take North America as its starting point and yet does not avoid analysis of political or cultural forms of dominance that affect and, indeed, produce these forms of “globalised” pop commodities. The authors are particularly attentive to the formation and production of both the national and diasporic subject, consistently grounding these subjects in temporal and spatial circumstances, especially or even when these circumstances are stable, shifting, or ambivalent. It manages to trouble notions of a radical or emancipatory potential in pop culture without demeaning either the cultural workers or the consumers—indeed, recognising that subjects and producers of popular culture using the internet as a platform are most often both.
Overall the review gives Sonic Multiplicities a very positive 7 out of 10. The book is currently available as hardback and later this year will be reprinted in paperback.
You can read the review in full here.


Posted by Alice Gillam at 10:49 (0) comments
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