12 Articles by:

Ben Thompson

Ben Thompson is a critic and ghostwriter, and the host of The London Ear on Resonance FM.

Modernism’s Tropical Turn

Modernist architecture in India and colonial West Africa may have been introduced by jobbing English architects, but new generations of local architects quickly made the style their own. A new exhibition at the V&A tells the story.

Back to Black

The British Library’s new Beyond the Bassline exhibition is an ambitious attempt to showcase five hundred years of black British music — but fails to do this rich history justice.

Ghost in the Machine

Chris Blackwell’s memoir of his life between Jamaica and Britain is attuned to the uses of a posh accent in the post-colonial music industry.

Remembering Greg Tate

Celebrated critic Greg Tate passed away earlier this month. His music writing contained multitudes, mixing together politics, poetry and theory – and earned him renown as the ‘godfather of hip-hop journalism’.

When Hobsbawm Went Jazz

The British left of the 1950s eschewed modern jazz in favour of folk and trad – but Eric Hobsbawm bucked the trend, writing a secret music column about the radical potential of ‘jazz solidarity.’

Space Is the Place

Four new books show the emergence of a new tradition of London music writing, which swaps myth and hyperbole for the poetry found in harsh political realities.

No Time to Wallow in the Mire

Mike Davis and Jon Wiener’s history of Los Angeles in the 1960s can sometimes feel as long as the decade itself, but is a monumental and moving tribute to a heroic, violently suppressed moment of possibility.

Lives in Sound

New books by veteran music writers Ian Penman and David Toop show that, at its best, there is no higher category than music journalism.