Blog Akashic Books – Depeche Mode and Washington DC HC

Akashic Books – Depeche Mode and Washington DC HC

Posted May 28, 2021, 8:33 p.m. by T

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Akashic Books – Depeche Mode and Washington DC hardcore


What started as an independent publisher founded by the former bassist of Girls Against Boys and ex-member of Dischord’s Soulside in Brooklyn at the end of the 1990s has since seen an evolution that established Akashic Books as a veritable heavyweight on the firmament of publishers in terms of well-curated, quality books with a focus on attention to detail and the endeavour to make literature more accessible.

There are two recent releases that exemplify what is to love about Akashic as a publisher:

Given my weak spot for Depeche Mode and the 1980s at large, I got quite a few books on both the topic and the band, however, Depeche Mode: Monument takes things to the next level – not just in terms of extent with more than four hundred pages, but also in terms of how lovingly it is put together.

Having been released with the blessing of Mute Records, a label we recently covered, I would go as far as claiming that Monument is a borderline exhaustive visual account of the band’s catalogue and musical history.

Needless to say, there is an overload of eye candy with an array of never before published footage and given that one of the contributors hails from Germany, a part where Depeche Mode celebrated some most of their successes, their relationship with Teutonic heritage is illuminated, with accompanying essays, anecdotes and visuals focussing on their musical efforts and recordings, with less space being dedicated to the drama and clout around the band.

Not sure how the uninitiated would feel about the massive examination of all things Depeche Mode that makes the book Monument, but I’d be hard pressed to imagine that a fan would be anything less than enthused about it.

Let’s enter a time machine and head back to the end of the 1970s, take a couple of turns and look at one of the epicentres for what helped to shaped what became known as hardcore punk.

Spoke: Images and Stories from the 1980s Washington, DC Punk Scene is exactly what the title promises, i.e. detailing the history of the bands that contributes to one of the most relevant scenes in the alternative music cosmos.

 The main attraction here are live photos from the early heydays of bands like the usual suspect, e.g. Minor Threat, Bad Brains, Fugazi, Government Issue etc., but more interestingly other bands that are rarely document in other similar books on this matter, i.e. the fantastic Void, Swiz, my beloved Beefeater, Nation of Ulysses and others.

Having already been responsible for the Salad Days documentary, Scott Crawford hereby creates a captivating  coffee table equivalent that has intensity and immediacy reverberating from each and every page.


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