DIY: The Rise of Lo-Fi Culture
Amy Spencer

A well informed study that champions the unsung heroes and heroines of DIY distribution in art, music, literary zines and culture.

This exploration of lo-fi culture traces the origin of the DIY ethic to the skiffle movement of the 1950s, mail art,Black Mountain poetry and Avant-Garde art in the 1950s, the punk scene of the 1970s and 80s, right the way through to the current music scene. Through interviews with key writers, promoters and musicians (including Bikini Kill and Bratmobile) Amy charts the development of music outside of the publicity machine of the large companies, and examines the politics behind the production of the many 'home-made' recordings and publications available today.

Amy Spencer is a former zine writer and record label founder who is part of the promotions collective The Bakery. She is currently studying for a PhD in Contemporary London Literature.

'Spencer subverts the high gloss media culture with her do-it-yourself guide for anarchistic amateurs of music and literature who just wanna have fun.' The Times

'Starting with a survey of the "non-commercial, small circulation magazines" known as "zines" – Dishwasher Pete's journal about washing up in every US state has made him "a guru among dishwashers" – Amy Spencer provides a wide-ranging history of DIY media. Her account of underground journals such as the East Village Other, with its pre-PC era Slum Goddess pin-up, will stir memories for readers of a certain age, though they may be perplexed by more recent DIY emanations such as Wiiiija Records (from its postcode W11 1JA): "Their first records were Terminal Cheesecake and Bastard Kestrel." The Independent

'Spencer's scholarly approach – including comments from key figures and comparisons of trends – makes this guide admirably well- researched...well marked sections and clear explanations make it all manageable, and Spencer's continual support for enthusiasts is bound to rub off.' – Daily Mail

'Interviews with key writers, promoters and musicians (including Bikini Kill and Bratmobile) bolster this fascinating look at our cultural undercurrents. Spencer's book is a must for anyone who loves Indie and who wants to learn what independence really means and where it first came from.' The Book Depository

'a veritable cornucopia of self-made worth, DIY: The Rise of Lo-Fi Culture is a triumph from beginning to end... Highly recommended.'

'a comprehensive guide to the evolution of DIY culture as we know it today.'

To read an extract click here

Price: £7.99/$15.95
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-7145-3161-8
Music/Cultural Studies
Publication: July 2008