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David Toop

David Toop

An experimental composer/musician who has worked with musicians ranging from Brian Eno to Prince Far I, David has written many exceptional pieces for THE FACE, ARENA, MOJO, THE TIMES and his own early '80s magazine COLLUSION. He is the author of The Rap Attack (now in its third edition), Ocean of Sound and Exotica. He also curated Sonic Boom, a major exhibition of sound art for the Hayward Gallery in 2000. He once appeared on Top Of The Pops, though has yet to see this performance on TOTP2.

David Toop's blog

List of articles in the library by artist

The Beach Boys, Charles Manson: Surfin' Death Valley USA

Essay by David Toop, Collusion, February 1982

"WE'LL GET THE ROUGHEST AND THE TOUGHEST INITIATION WE CAN FIND"from Our Car Club (Brian Wilson/Mile Love) Beach Boys, 1963What were the connections between Beach ...

John "Jellybean" Benitez, Madonna: Jellybean Benitez: Spinning the Globe

Interview by David Toop, Face, The, October 1987

First it was Jellybean the DJ playing disco in a Bronx salsa club and helping launch post-video game dance music from New York's Funhouse. Then it was Jellybean the producer working with megastars like Whitney Houston and Madonna. ...

Björk: Dancer In the Dark

Interview by David Toop, bjork.com, 2000

"I STILL HAVE so much music in my head," said Maurice Ravel. "I haven't said anything yet, and I have still so much to say." ...

Björk: SelmaSongs (One Little Indian TPLP1 51 CD)

Review by David Toop, Wire, The, November 2000

THE FIRST admission to make is that I haven't yet seen Lars Von Trier's Dancer In The Dark, the film that stars Björk and features ...

Jon Bon Jovi: Q&A: Jon Bon Jovi

Interview by David Toop, Face, The, December 1992

Jon Bon Jovi has had his hair cut off and been remixed by Jesus Jones. What's going on? ...

Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E.

Report and Interview by David Toop, Face, The, January 1990

A LITTLE suburban parking spot in Carson, Los Angeles, and balmy tranquility hangs in the air like Valium fallout. There are harsh alien sounds, though: ...

Bros: Teenage Clean Wave

Report and Interview by David Toop, Face, The, April 1988

BROS and their fans are tired of the grown-up messages of adult pop. The girls that cluster outside their house every day represent a new era in ...

Chuck Brown & the Soul Searchers, Experience Unlimited (EU), Redds And The Boys, Trouble Funk: DC Freeze: Staying Alive in the Chocolate City

Report and Interview by David Toop, Face, The, April 1985

Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, New York... The urban sound off black America is synonymous with these places. So what of Washington DC, the first US city ...

Tracy Chapman, Jimi Hendrix, Living Colour, Prince, Dan Reed Network: Black Rock

Essay by David Toop, Face, The, July 1990

White Rock we know about, but why should the idea of Black Rock be so difficult to comprehend? When Prince says his current tour is rock'n'roll based, he ...

Don Cherry, The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, The Watts Prophets: The Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy, Don Cherry, the Watts Prophets: Word Power — West Coast Rap goes Radical

Report and Interview by David Toop, Face, The, February 1992

Rap music has become less experimental, but on America's West Coast, groups like The Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy and New World Rhythm are trying to ...

Cypress Hill: III – Temple Of Boom

Review by David Toop, MOJO, December 1995

HIP HOP innovations are so swiftly assimilated and processed into cliché that their initial impact can become lost in foggy video memories of oversized hats, ...

D'Angelo: Soul Asylum

Profile and Interview by David Toop, Face, The, September 1995

Is D'Angelo the last soul man or simply the finest new voice of the Nineties? ...

Jem Finer, The Pogues: Cross Platform: Jem Finer

Interview by David Toop, Wire, The, May 2004

Sound in other media. This month: David Toop talks to Jem Finer about his transition from banjo plucking with The Pogues to computer-decomposed improvisations and ...

Goldie: Timeless

Review by David Toop, MOJO, September 1995

WITH A FEW notable exceptions, Jungle has thus far been a music for singles and endless drum 'n' bass compilations. As the genre's first high ...

Goldie: Metal Guru

Interview by David Toop, Face, The, July 1995

Ten years ago, David Toop met a young graffiti artist named Goldie. "When I was a kid," he said, "I had nothing to look at ...

Jon Hassell: Behind the Blue Screen: Jon Hassell

Profile and Interview by David Toop, Wire, The, August 1994

Jon Hassell's music with his group Bluescreen is an exotic domain of ritualised sex, strange tonalities, erotic transgressions and invisible connections. David Toop enters the ...

Hot House, M People: M People

Profile and Interview by David Toop, Face, The, December 1994

THE "DISCO SUCKS" MENTALITY REARS ITS UGLY HEAD AGAIN. JUST AS M PEOPLE'S STAR REACHES ITS ZENITH, THEIR AWARD-WINNING SHEEN BURNING BRIGHT, THE MUSIC WORLD DISSENT ...

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

Obituary by David Toop, MOJO, October 1997

"MUSIC IS THE HEALING FORCE OF the universe," So said saxophonist Albert Ayler, whose body was found floating in New York’s East River many years ...

Bill Laswell: An Interview with Bill Laswell

Interview by David Toop, Wire, The, December 1994

For almost two decades, Bill Laswell's music has traced a long, humid trail across continents, genres, moods, atmospheres and numerous collaborations. David Toop met him ...

Larry Levan 1954-1992

Obituary by David Toop, Face, The, January 1993

JUST BECAUSE remix culture confuses our sense of history, this doesn't mean that DJs don't have heroes. Larry Levan was one of the few DJs ...

LL Cool J: Def Jam: The Rap Brat Pack

Report and Interview by David Toop, Face, The, March 1986

THE GREATEST CREATIVE CONVERGENCE IN 20th Century music has been the American Jewish/Black independent record company. Reel 'em off: Herman Lubinsky and Savoy Records, Hy ...

M/A/R/R/S

Profile and Interview by David Toop, Spin, January 1988

M/A/R/R/S BEGAN AS A collaboration between Martyn and Steve Young of the 4AD band Colourbox and Alex and Rudi of A. R. Kane. ...

Pete Namlook: Peter Namlook

Interview by David Toop, Wire, The, September 1994

Pete Namlook is one of the more remarkable figures of 90s electronic music. Since December 1992, he has released over 150 albums on his own ...

Prince’s Crown Starts to Slip: Love Sexy

Review by David Toop, Sunday Times, May 1988

It is difficult these days to find a pop musician who enjoys general critical euphoria, but for the past few years Prince has escaped the ...

Prince of Confusion

Essay by David Toop, Face, The, September 1994

David Toop listens to the old and the new and wonders which is which ...

Arthur Russell

Retrospective by David Toop, Wire, The, April 1995

This New York composer, who died in obscurity of AIDS in 1992, was a true visionary, traversing dub, disco and minimalism and anticipating the '90s ...

Scritti Politti: The Green Manifesto

Interview by David Toop, Face, The, 1988

The only pop artist who can incorporate Miles Davis and Jacques Derrida into the same repertoire, Green Gartside is still pondering the "the undecideability of ...

Tupac Shakur: Farewell to Arms

Retrospective by David Toop, Face, The, November 1996

Tupac Shakur was the rapper whose lyrics merged poetry with pain to make him an icon for America's doom generation. On September 13, at the ...

The Stylistics: Style Wars

Interview by David Toop, Black Echoes, August 1985

DAVID TOOP talks to the world's greatest soft soul harmony group – THE STYLISTICS ...

Sweet Tee & Jazzy Joyce: Queens of the Bronx

Interview by David Toop, Face, The, May 1987

"HIP HOP is such a beats orientated music. It's just beats and a bass line. If you put anything else to it like keyboards and ...

Luther Vandross: Let's Start with Pacman

Interview by David Toop, Face, The, March 1987

LUTHER VANDROSS SPRAWLS UNTIDILY ACROSS THE COUCH AND SHOOTS THAT LOOK. "MS PACMAN," HE CORRECTS. ...

Jah Wobble & Evan Parker: Passage To Hades (30 HERTZ)

Review by David Toop, Wire, The, February 2001

PERHAPS THIS IS a disingenuous flash of hindsight on my part, but I'm convinced that when I heard Public Image Limited's first album, back in ...

Womack and Womack (and Womack): Bring The Family Back

Profile and Interview by David Toop, Face, The, December 1985

BORN IN THE SOUL YEARS, SURVIVING THE LEAN YEARS, THE WOMACK FAMILY HAVE PUT A LIFETIME'S EMOTIONS INTO THEIR MUSIC. BUT CECIL AND LINDA WOMACK ...

List of genre pieces

Drug Culture As Pop Culture

Overview by David Toop, Mixmag, June 1992

WHEN PHUTURE'S 'Acid Tracks' hit the decks in 1987, the title of this minimalist techno-homage to the Roland TR-303 blinded most of us to the ...

All Mix & No Master

Essay by David Toop, Wire, The, September 1992

"Whoever doesn't like what I did, 20 years from now they can go back and redo it."Teo Macero, discussing his method of recording Miles Davis ...

Dub It Up: A Whistlestop Tour Through Reggae's Echo Chambers

Guide by David Toop, Wire, The, May 1994

A is for Alpha & Omega The odd couple of '90s roots and culture. Bassist Christine Woodbridge and melodica puffer John Sprosen conjure cultural spirits ...

Electro: The Beatbox Bites Back

Essay by David Toop, Face, The, May 1984

1984: Two a.m. at The Funhouse and the giant video screen fills with the image of the Master O.C.'s hands scratching an Enjoy 12 inch. ...

Incredible Strange and Highly Exotic

Essay by David Toop, Wire, The, October 1994

The Incredibly Strange Music books are mondo archaeology for vinyl fetishists. They exhume a hidden world of plastic where exotic Easy Listening, modern primitives, suburban ...

Rap It Up! Street-corner jive that brought discos alive

Retrospective by David Toop, History of Rock, The, 1984

Unless you were a streetwise native New Yorker, the source of the new underground black music that was appearing on disc in 1979 seemed unfathomable. ...

The A-Z of Electro

Guide by David Toop, Wire, The, March 1996

In its original incarnation, Electro was black science fiction teleported to the dancefloors of New York, Miami and LA; a super-stoopid fusion of video games, ...

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