Granta Books is to publish Chamber Music, a "genre-defying" book from Will Ashon, whose non-fiction debut Strange Labyrinth (Granta), about wanderings in Epping Forest, is out next month.
Editorial director Max Porter bought UK and Commonwealth rights to the title on proposal from Patrick Walsh at PEW Literary.
Chamber Music, a "genre-defying" exploration of Wu Tang Clan’s seminal album "Enter the Wu Tang: 36 Chambers", is an "exhilarating" and "innovative" non-fiction experimentalism about "one of the most important records of the 20th century", according to the publisher.
Porter added: "It will be a discursive, essayistic foray into and around the album, built of 36 chapters or ‘chambers’. It will be about everything from cult cinema to race relations; drug legislation to the history of jazz; Staten Island to Shaolin Samples. Will is technically virtuosic and has the perfect blend of expertise and magpie-like enthusiasm to ensure this will be an essential and radical contribution to writing about music.”
Ashon started out writing about hip hop in the mid-90s for publications including Hip Hop Connection, Trace and Muzik, as well as contributing to American titles like Vibe and Raygun. In this context, he wrote stories on major acts including not just the Wu-Tang Clan, but also A Tribe Called Quest, Gangstarr, De La Soul, Snoop Dog, Rakim, Chuck D, the Beastie Boys, and many others.
In 1997, Ashton started the record label Big Dada in conjunction with renowned UK independent Ninja Tune. Over the next fifteen years he personally signed artists from across the world including Roots Manuva, Diplo, Wiley, Young Fathers and Kate Tempest.
Chamber Music will be published by Granta in 2018.