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No Sleepis a visual history of the halcyon days of New York City club life as told through flyer art. Spanning the late 80s through the late 90s, when nightlife buzz travelled via flyers and word of mouth,No Sleepfeatures a collection of artwork from the personal archives of NYC DJs, promoters, club kids, nightlife impresarios, and the artists themselves. Club flyers, by design, were ephemeral objects distributed on street corners, outside of nightclubs and concert halls, in barbershops and retail shops, and were not intended to be preserved for posterity. Through the 90s, they became both increasingly prevalent and more sophisticated as printing technology evolved. Overnight, however, with the advent of the internet, theflyer essentially disappeared, despite it being common at one time for promoters to print thousands of flyers for any given event. Recently, these flyers have become sought-after collector's items.
About the Author
Adrian Bartos akaStretch Armstrongis a world renowned DJ, record producer, and radio personality. He's been a fixture in the New York hip-hop scene and clubsince the late 80s, when he started DJing downtown and making his own concert flyers with cardboard, scissors, and glue. In 1990 he co-created the "Stretch Armstrong & Bobbito Show" on WKCR 89.9, whichThe Sourcemagazine later named "The Greatest Hip-Hop Radio Show of All Time." Stretch and Bobbito introduced the world to Jay Z, Wu-Tang Clan, Nas, and Eminem, and dozens of other seminal figures in hip-hop. In 2015 Stretch co-produced the critically acclaimeddocumentary about the show "Stretch and Bobbito: Radio that Changed Lives." Evan Auerbach is the most popular hip-hop historian on the internet. His career as a blogger and archivist has made him the #1 source for providing rare hip-hop memorabilia to the masses, and his website UpNorthTrips continues to be pivotal in sparking a modern wave of obsession with hip-hop flyers, promo material, and posters. A walking encyclopedia of rap knowledge, Evan has played an essential role in revitalizing music media's nostalgia for 90s ephemera and landmark hip-hop events.
"What “No Sleep” depicts is a much looser time, after disco and before the gilded age of mega-clubs and luxury bottle service, when the only guiding ethos was that anything was worth a try."
—The New Yorker
"...a crucial history of New York's influential club life through the flyers that advertise so many concerts and parties..."
"A glorious era of hip-hop, house, and avant-garde cardboard artwork reflecting the energy of the downtown music scene."
"If that nostalgic feeling of golden era hip-hop flyers hits you like it hits me, this would be the book for you."
"Recently, Armstrong has been looking back at these halcyon days, culminating in the release of No Sleep: NYC Nightlife Flyers 1988-1999, a visual history of flyers from a musical era in New York that might never be matched in terms of scale, independence and sheer creativity."
—Red Bull Music Academy
"...it commemorates a unique time and place that was a sanctuary for so many."
"The pages of the book are as densely papered as a downtown telephone pole, as the plywood face of a construction fence; No Sleep is as frenetic, overstimulating, and intense as the scene it conjures."
"No Sleep serves as a visual timeline—or maybe even a trip down memory lane—for any hip-hop history buff."
As Seen In: Amuse, Forbes, i-D, Jocks and Nerds, PAPER Magazine, Quartz, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, and VICE.