Giacomo Bottà
Von Humboldt Foundation


This article examines popular music practices in industrial cities during the time of economic downturn and crisis (the early 1980s). In particular it takes into account the birth of alternative DIY musical practices and their use of urban space at the imaginary and material level.
The article will start with an introduction to music making and to the effects it has on space / place perception and use. I have examined case studies from industrial cities and compared the way different music scenes developed during times of crisis and achieved relevant cultural expressions.
The main interest of this paper is to show how the economic downturn brought to a series of cultural innovations, which were not directly connected to technological advance and resulted out of re-use, recycle or innovative use of available technologies and practices.

popular music, industrial city, industrial decline, brutalism, punk, place and music, industrial atmosphere



SAJ Vol. 4, 2012, No. 1