40 Years of Mute Records: Through Depeche Mode, Nick Cave, New Order and more

Call for chapters
Editors: Dr Zuleika Beaven, Marcus O’Dair, Dr Richard Osborne
Proposal submission: 4 March 2016
Full chapters due: 30 September 2016

As the influential independent record label Mute approaches the milestone of its 40th anniversary, this edited academic book will explore Mute’s wide-ranging impact in the music industries. Drawing from disciplines such as popular music studies, fan studies, semiotics, creative industries management, identity studies and musicology, each chapter will take a distinctive artist-led approach.

Authors should feel free to focus on artists from different phases in Mute’s history: from the early independent years, with artists such as The Normal, Fad Gadget, Depeche Mode, Yazoo, Boyd Rice, The Birthday Party and Einsturzende Neubauten; development of imprint labels such as Blast First and Novamute, featuring Sonic Youth and Richie Hawtin respectively; back catalogue acquisition with Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire and Richard Kirk; mid-era Mute artists such as Laibach, Goldfrapp, Moby and Liars; and the new role of the newly re-independent label as a repository of the historic greats of electronic music including New Order, Kraftwerk and The Residents.

The editors of this book are currently working with label founder Daniel Miller, Visiting Professor of Music in the Department of Performing Arts at Middlesex University. Once the final running order of the volume is settled, it will be offered to a major publisher for publication to coincide with the 40th anniversary of Mute in 2018.

Recommended Topics
Proposed chapters should be based around the case study of a chosen Mute artist and explore a theme related to the impact of the label. Themes may include but are not confined to:

• Mute aesthetics
• Technology and innovation
• Producers and remixing culture
• Music and other art forms, including videos
• Gender and sexuality
• Mute and localities
• Mute business practices
• The Mute family of companies and imprints
• Mute’s relationship with other labels, from Rough Trade to EMI
• The label’s journey from independent to major to new independent
• Mute releases as artifacts and collectables
• Fans of Mute and Mute artists

Target Audience
Academics, researchers and students in a wide range of fields with an interest in popular culture will find this text useful in furthering their own research in the field. While academic in tone, the book will also be aimed at Mute enthusiasts.

Submission Procedure
Researchers are invited to submit a 400-word abstract explaining the scope and topic of their chapter, and detailing the proposed Mute artist(s) who will form the case study at the centre of the chapter. Deadline: 4 March 2016.

Authors of accepted proposals will be notified by 30 March 2016 about the status of their proposals and sent chapter guidelines. Full chapters must be submitted by 30 September 2016. All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a double-blind review basis. Contributors may also be requested to serve as reviewers for this project.

Submit to: mute40book[at]gmail.com