Picador has bagged a “shocking, enlightening and engaging” social and political history of dance music in the UK by journalist and film-maker Ed Gillett.
Associate editor Paul Martinovic acquired world rights for Party Lines from Charlie Brotherstone at Brotherstone Creative Management. It will be published in 2023.
Party Lines is the account of how dance music culture “went from the egalitarian, ecstasy-fuelled Second Summer of Love in 1988, to its vastly different role in 21st-century culture, where wealthy DJs with links to the aristocracy play techno by night and evict tenants from increasingly gentrified neighbourhoods by day”.
It argues that attempts at regulation have actually resulted in a number of sweeping societal and political changes that have changed the landscape of this country, including the implementation of the Criminal Justice Act in 1994, a move made as a direct response to the growing popularity of rave culture but one that has resulted in a hugely controversial and complex legacy. The book will also examine the recent resurgence of illegal ‘lockdown’ raves, and the future of the dance party in the Covid era.
Gillet's work has appeared in the Guardian, Frieze, FACT Magazine and The Quietus. He also served as senior researcher on Jeremy Deller’s acclaimed rave documentary “Everybody in the Place: An Incomplete History of Britain 1984-1992”, and is currently producing a feature documentary on the history and legacy of Mississippi blues music.
He said: “I'm absolutely elated to be working with Picador on my first book. Several of its titles, in particular the original publication of Simon Reynolds' Energy Flash, have been hugely inspirational for my own writing: following in those footsteps is honestly a dream come true. From the moment I started talking to Paul, it was clear that he and Picador understand intuitively what Party Lines is about: treating dance music as not merely a musical or cultural phenomenon, but a unique lens through which to re-examine Britain's social and political history. It's a story which I'm thrilled to explore, and can't wait to share with readers."
Martinovic commented: “I’ve been a fan of Ed’s journalism and documentaries for a while, so I was delighted to discover that Party Lines is infused with exactly the same ambitious, mischievous and inquisitive spirit that is present in his work for The Quietus and in the wonderful BBC documentary 'Everybody in the Place'. It is also persuasive and passionate in its argument that the regulation of dance culture in the UK is also a history of government-sanctioned systemic prejudice, and that the simple act of going out and dancing in this country has been for many decades an inherently politicised act. It feels like a book I've wanted to read for a long time and I couldn’t be more excited to be publishing it.”