UPROOT! Rupture wrote a book

Finished copies of my book have arrived! Uproot: Travels in 21st-Century Music and Digital Culture will be published on August 16 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux and I couldn’t be more excited for you to read it. You can pre-order here. Early readers Laurie Anderson, Diplo, Elizabeth Alexander, and more had some amazing things to say about Uproot.

Mark your calendars for the New York City release party on Monday August 15.

New Years Eve Celebration @ The Whitney Museum

I’ve been cooking up a new podcast (coming next month!) and lots & lots of writing (coming soon) but until then —

I’m pleased to announce that I will do a special DJ set at the Whitney Museum’s New Year Eve celebration, performing after Matana Robert’s 12-person ensemble. Info/tix.

The next day I’ll lead a group reading of N.H. Pritchard for The Poetry Project’s 41st Annual Poetry Marathon @ St.Mark’s Church in the East Village.

2016 is already very busy. More soon.

MUDD UP BOOK CLUBB: Yan Lianke’s Dream of Ding Village

the mudd up book clubb rolls into 2016 with Yan Lianke’s Dream of Ding Village (2006, trans. 2011). This book is a lot. It’s set in the rural Henan province where Yan grew up in a poor peasant family. Dream is an exquisite, queasy, and nuanced tale of a village dealing with ‘the fever’ & consumer communism — based on China’s real-life blood plasma-selling scandal that led to a massive AIDS crisis in the 90s.

Yan is a fascinating figure (“Ironically, it was after he joined the army as a propaganda writer that he realized the true value of literature and stopped regretting the loss of his first book, which he says now was an unworthy and uninteresting tale.”) and this is special one. Stay heavy over the holidays! (but there’s a strain of humor in it too…)


Flying east across the ocean — Friday Oct. 30th you can catch me DJing in Spain, at Huesca’s Periferias festival. Then on Saturday & Sunday I’ll be in Berlin for Ableton’s Loop, “a summit for music makers.”

This interview at Ableton blog covers some of what I’ll engage at Loop.

Saturday I’ll give an artist talk, and on Sunday I’ll be in conversation with Holly Herndon after her keynote, then discuss some ideas about software, performance, and problems at MaxConnect.


This Saturday I’ll be DJing at a new event series hosted by Lamin Fofana, Unnatural Star Arrangements. Find us at Trans-Pecos on the Queens/Brooklyn border. Dutch E Germ, VHVL, Lamin, and myself. AKA great surprise sound all night long. Haven’t DJed in NYC in awhile and am looking fwd to this one!
Oct 10. 10pm til late. $10 in advance.

PS: Philip Sherburne wrote a thoughtful essay on Lamin’s latest EP for Pitchfork, focusing in on “What Techno Can Teach Us About the Migrant Crisis

KITCHEN TALK: From Minimalism to Algorithm

On Wednesday September 23, I’ll be participating in a roundtable discussion at NYC art space The Kitchen. 6:30pm. Free!

They say: Please join us as Karen Archey, Jace Clayton, Tere O’Connor, and Cheyney Thompson discuss this year’s theme: “From Minimalism into Algorithm.”

Taking place in The Kitchen theater and gallery spaces throughout the 2015-2016 season, “From Minimalism into Algorithm” sets contemporary and historical painting, sculpture, performance, and musical composition in counterpoint, proposing a new through-line for art-making during the past half century. Organized collaboratively by The Kitchen and participating artists, the exhibition takes up the legacy of Minimalist art and composition during the 1960s and 1970s—whose seriality was understood by artists and critics to correlate with the era’s industrial production and increased weight placed on the presence of the individual—as a precedent for reconsidering work by a younger generation for whom serial repetition now corresponds more directly with digital technology and the reconfiguring of our encounters with physical space through networked communication.

Mudd Up Book Clubb: FRAN ROSS – OREO

There’s a larger story to be told about how the Mudd Up Book Clubb met at Brazenhead, the best bookstore in the world, for nearly 4 years! About how Michael had to leave Brazenhead’s secret apartment location (& how I recorded its silence — a shareable portrait of the clandestine bookshop’s unique acoustic space)… but we’ll save that for later. Because the September Mudd Up Book Clubb selection is a whopper .

Back in 1974 Fran Ross published a great American novel. Oreo. An unruly picaresque. Black, Jewish, steeped in Greek myth and profane jokes gassed by polystylistic riffs, with Yiddish in spades and a masterful use/abuse of language at the heart of it.

How did Oreo not become an instant classic, revising the way we think of contemporary lit lineages? For all those selfsame reasons it seems.

When the book failed to make waves, Ross moved to LA — to write comedy for Richard Pryor. This actually happened. I love this woman.

So — let’s read her only book. New Directions recently re-republished it. This September we’ll meet at a post-Brazenhead location to discuss what happens when a hyperintelligent writer decides that there is no reality outside of language and that the Lawd/Jehovah gave us tongues so we could wisecrack and hoot. Shaking up our canons in the best possible way.


Radio is in my blood. After 5 years of hosting a show on WFMU, and some time off, I’m ready to return. If you enjoyed Mudd Up! then you’ll like what’s to come… This fall I’m starting a new podcast, and am looking for a New York City based production assistant.

WANTED: a media producer/arts journalist with experience editing audio interviews and doing storytelling with sound. Duties include: artist and label liaison, audio editing/production, dealing with metadata/FTPing/etc., & research. I’m not after a musician (or DJ), although familiarity with new & old music is a big plus.

The time commitment will hover around 5 hours a week. We’ll need to meet twice a month in NYC, although much of the work can be done remotely. There is a monthly honorarium. This position makes the most sense for someone who is excited to work with me and get some flexible-yet-focused experience producing an exciting, unruly podcast about exciting, unruly music.
I am a benevolent dictator and an equal opportunity employer.

Interested? Tell me why with some examples of what you do. Email: radio at jaceclayton dot com


It’s always exciting to collaborate with Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts, author the beautiful, thoughtful book Harlem Is Nowhere. This Friday, May 29, we’re staging a new work in NYC, at the New Museum’s IDEAS CITY Festival. The evening is “a performative conference in 9 acts,” ranging from dance battles to spoken word to something involving a hot air balloon; we go on promptly at 11pm.

Our contribution, The Last Dance, is a half-hour piece about the Renaissance Ballroom in Harlem, which was demolished this past March. We’ll be joined by historian Michael Henry Adams (pictured above being arrested as he protested its destruction). This article provides context.

Friday May 29. The Aula, 268 Mulberry Street. DJ Rupture, Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts, and Michael Henry Adams present The Last Dance, part of A Performative Conference In 9 Acts.
for a warm up, here’s our Harlem Is Nowhere mix from 2011– that’s the Renaissance Ballroom:


Queridos Defeños, nos vemos este sabado! This weekend I head down to Mexico City to DJ the 5th anniversary of Pulqueria Insurgentes! The pulqueria is one of those special places that could only exist in D.F. — a huge no-attitude possibility-rich 5 story building specializing in underground sounds and pre-hispanic fermented maguey sap…

The pulqueria is in fiesta mode for the entire weekend. On Saturday March 21st myself and buddy Sonido Martines will be on deck to shake things up, and DJs for that Friday include the Kumbia Queers’ Ali Gua Gua and legendary Sonido La Changa. Who needs a SXSW?! Full lineup: Continue reading MEXICO CITY SEE YOU SOON