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April 2017

April 2017

Our monthly round-up includes magazines art, surfing, history and music.

Esopus #24
This is always a treat, a magazine about art that is also a series of works of art. Packed with tip-ins, foldouts and special effects it is the most magazine-y of magazines, absolutely seeped in the art of print. Highlight for me is Marco Maggis’s set of parts for the reader to create their own art. There’s also – quaintly – a CD of music included.

20 #2
Surfing and its natural environment is hugely photogenic, so surf mags generally rely on photography rather than illustration. 20 is refreshing for introducing drawn imagery to the sport, albeit quite realistic in style. It also offers basic how-to advice as well as the usual tales of fantastic rides.

Fish #1
This claims to be the first indie mag from Ukraine, its content presented in English and Ukrainian. The editor points out ‘Cultural projects are not appreciated, in conditions of war it is hard to give money for printing such things,’ which clarifies the conditions many of us luxuriate in. It’s a well put together magazine, with some good photography and illustration, but feels a little unfocused.

Faux Pas #3
This hefty Paris-based title takes a unique look at issues surrounding fashion, with some strong writing from name contributors. It’s let down by it’s design, which succeeds in avoiding fashion clichés but ends up unironically ugly.

History today
Launched in 1951, this magazine has seen a significant period of history pass during its own time. This latest iteration sees it adopt a more contemporary look and feel that owes much to today’s indies: a smaller format, matt paper and a tight design overseen by Simon Esterson and Holly Catford. The editor notes that history is more important than ever as it is questioned from every angle.

Pylot #6
The sixth issue of the mag that features only unretouched analogue images is their ‘Perspectives’ issue. A stripped down redesign accompanies a change in approach, dealing more with political themes and relevant work from the past, including an interview with artist Bruce McLean and Zed Nelson’s infamous Gun Nation series. This compelling, alternative approach to photography has found its voice.

Brick #3
This music magazine’s recent redesign sought to prove just how seriously they intend to representant the ‘new-age hip-hop’ culture. Catalogue Studio set themselves the task of ‘flipping it on it’s head’. Now dominated by white space and bold inky type, the new feel establishes a notable contrast to their competitors.

Polyester #6
The usual gang of painted technicolour faces crammed into the launch party of this issue last week. The free night at Moth club always sees crowds of hopefuls filling the street, just to get a taste of the world inside, but you have to be fast to grab a reservation to party with editor Ione Gamble’s increasingly fashionable, ‘saccharine sweet’ cyber-feminist zine. Luckily the zine itself is more readily accessible and available than the launch tickets.

Guardian G2, 2 May 2107
The graphic cover language available to a magazine is a luxury for a newspaper. The Guardian’s daily G2 supplement has always explored this freedom on their cover page. The first week of May saw a punchy cover that called out George Osborne and his new role of editor at London’s Evening Standard, referencing the sandwich board posters that were once seen all over London.

Recens Paper #6
Recens intrigues and excites with a chaotic, glitchy taste and supernatural references. A ‘salute to nextopia’, with casual mention of fifth element and cyborgs, this print magazine’s fresh and youthful gaze stems from their digital aesthetic. Overindulgent at times and difficult to decipher, packed with internet. I’m genuinely knocked back by this insight into young editor Elise By Olsen’s (and the 2017 teen) consciousness. It’s so contemporary it manages to alienate a 21 year old.

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