David Toop

David Toop ( born May 5, 1949 in Enfield, Middlesex ) is a British music journalist, writer and musician.


Born in Enfield Toop moved shortly after his birth with his parents to Waltham Cross in Hertfordshire, where he also grew up. Even with eleven years Toop learned playing the guitar by first copying the music back then known instrumental rock bands like The Shadows and The Ventures. Later he was influenced by its own statements of bluesmen like Buddy Guy and Bo Diddley. In his first band formed in 1964, Toop took over the lead guitar and initially played only cover versions of popular R & B and blues pieces Another founded by Toop blues band broke up in 1967 after only one appearance again. After Toop 1967, the Grammar School left, he started an art and study graphic design at Hornsey College of Art and at the Watford College of Art and Design. His studies in Watford but he broke after one year to get back to painting in Hornsey.

Together with drummer Paul Burwell and the singer Simon Finn took Toop 1970 Pass the distance -titled album. The album was, however, taken a few weeks off the market to avoid a suit of a shoe manufacturer whose advertisement Toop had copied for the cover. After several unsuccessful attempts to form Music groups to Toop and Burwell were formed as a duo, calling themselves Rain in the Face and devoted themselves primarily experimental, influenced by Sun Ra, Han Bennink and Olivier Messiaen music.

In addition to his own band projects, Toop devoted increasingly to writing. So he dealt with ethnic, bioacoustics, shamanism and language / languages. After the first music-theoretical writings as " Decomposition Process As Music " (1972) and "The Bi / s / onics Pieces" (1973 ) was published in 1975 his book " New / Rediscovered Musical Instruments". After this book Toop was asked by Brian Eno to record an eponymous plate for Enos new label Obscure together with Max Eastley. Following this she worked for the BBC, which produced several radio shows with Toop. In the years 1976 and 1978, Toop worked for the artist John Latham at the London Zoo, where he recorded animal sounds, among other things, increasingly seeking dealt with topics such as bioacoustics and communication. This work was later exhibited in London at the ICA and the Whitechapel Art Gallery.

From the late 1970s, Toop published several albums on his own label Quartz. His work with the band The Flying Lizards resulted in the chart hit TV the Toop with his bandmates in the chart show Top of the Pops was allowed to present. In the 1980s, Toop founded the music magazine Collusions and produced the synthpop band The Frank Chickens. In 1984 he traveled to New York City to do research there for a book on the history of hip -hop culture and music. The " Rap Attack: African Jive to New York Hip Hop " titled work was published in the same year and is now regarded as a standard work of hip -hop history. It published two updated and added sequels.

1998 Toop composed the soundtrack for Acqua Matrix titled underwater show, which decided in Lisbon every night of the Expo 1998.

In his long career Toop has with numerous musicians such as John Zorn, Prince Far I, Jon Hassell, Derek Bailey, Talvin Singh, Evan Parker, Scanner, Ivor Cutler, Haruomi Hosono, Jin Hi Kim and Bill Laswell and other artists such as the theater director Steven Berkoff, Butoh dancers Mitsutaka Ishii, the poet Bob Cobbing or the writer Jeff Noon worked.

Toop was still active as a critic and columnist for numerous newspapers and magazines such as The Wire, The Face, The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Vogue, Spin, GQ, The New York Times and The Village Voice.

In 2000, he curated the exhibition Sonic Boom, the UK's largest ever exhibition on sound art, which was shown at the Hayward Gallery in London. In the years 2001 and 2002 was Toop sound curator in the exhibition Radical Fashion, on the work of the designer Issey Miyake, Junya Watanabe, Martin Margiela and Hussein Chalayan was to be seen and with the Toop music from, among others, Björk, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Akira Rabelais and Paul Sagittarius presented.


  • Rap Attack: African Jive to New York Hip Hop. 1984, ISBN 0-89608-238-5 )
  • Rap Attack 2: African Rap To Global Hip Hop. 1992, ISBN 1-85242-243-2
  • Rap Attack 3, 2000, ISBN 1-85242-627-6
  • Exotica: Fabricated Soundscapes in a Real World. 1999, ISBN 1-85242-595-4
  • Haunted Weather: Music, Silence, and Memory. 2004, ISBN 1-85242-812-0
  • Sinister Resonance: The Mediumship of the Listener. 2010, ISBN 1441149724


Solo albums

From Toop compiled and curated albums