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British music critic, born in London in 1963. His oft-noted claim to fame is that he supposedly coined the term "post-rock." There's a lot more to him than that though.

After 10+ years of writing for British music magazines (e.g. Melody Maker), in 1998 he published a book called Energy Flash: a Journey Through Rave Music and Dance Culture. Interestingly enough, when it was published in America (in an abridged form, for some reason) the title was changed to Generation Ecstasy: Into the World of Techno and Rave Culture. The book was a terrific piece of cultural criticism, spanning the history of electronic dance music from Detroit in the 1980s to the hoover blasts of Joey Beltram to then-contemporary forms spinning off from the axis of jungle (pre-millenium tension). Reynolds stakes out his position clearly: pro-hardcore and nostalgic for the halcyon days of the early '90s, and drug-positive while mindful of the dark side of psychedelia. He voices some not-so-subtle shades of contempt for proponents of "intelligence" in electronic music, while grudgingly acknowledging their influence. Reynolds is highly suspicious of anyone who would seek to detourne the music from the blissed-out transcendence of the dancefloor. He's endlessly fascinated with the "drug-tech" apparatus of dance music; the way certain TB-303 squelches and synth washes catalyze the E-rush.

One of the most interesting parts of Generation Ecstasy is the way Reynolds smuggles in concepts from critical theory through the back door. The connection between Deleuze and Guatarri's war machine and the mobile, anarchic Bacchanalia of Spiral Tribe isn't that hard to make, but Reynolds deserves credit for skillfully blurring the lines between academic and popular criticism. He even sets Jacques Derrida loose on the dancefloor in his discussion of the sampling revolution and its own style of deconstruction.

In 2005, Reynolds published Rip It Up and Start Again: Post Punk 1978-1984. The book is his way of going back to his roots, and his introductory sketch of post-punk is interesting for the way it shows some of the usually unexplored similarities between British post-punk and American hardcore: as reactions in the outlying areas to the seismic activity in London, New York, etc. Reynolds actually injects a lot less of his own personality into the book, and it's consequently less engaging than Generation Ecstasy. However, he has time to indicate his sympathies with a sort of post-punk chauvinism that minimizes the Ramones' gabba-gabba hey in favor of Jah Wobble's dub bass. Particularly interesting is the way he traces the trajectory of post-punk into the "New Pop" of the Human Leage et al. This time Reynolds only invokes Derrida and Althusser when the story calls for them (in his analysis of Scritti Politti arch-theorist Green Gartside).

In addition to those two, Reynolds has two other books available: Blissed Out, a collection of sorts, and The Sex Revolts : Gender, Rebellion and Rock 'N' Roll, co-authored with Joy Press. Reynolds' blog is at http://blissout.blogspot.com/

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