Borderlands: Dub Techno’s Hauntological Politics of Acoustic Ecology

Alessio Kolioulis


This article explores the aesthetic, social and economic relationships between dub techno and urban space. Sketching out the neoliberal economic transition from the post-war economy to a post-Fordist society, this article lingers on dub/techno trends from four cities: Kingston, London, Detroit and Berlin. An archaeology of dub techno is reconstructed into four parts, each highlighting an affective relation, or “sound map”, between music and neoliberal economic production. Starting with the hauntological melancholia of London-based Burial’s music, this article traces the history and sonic networks of the dub techno diaspora, from Detroit techno’s city of urban decay to Berlin’s divided city. Finally, dub techno is narrated through a “borderland” mapped sonically between Detroit and Berlin, suggesting a futuristic politics of dub techno’s acoustic ecology.


Dub techno, Detroit techno, dub diaspora, acoustic ecology, post-Fordism, neoliberalism

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