Disco Pogo #4
We’ve admired London dance music mag Disco Pogo since its launch last year, but with its recent fourth issue the magazine seems to have shifted to a more solid and fully-formed hi hi state. It’s our October Magazine of the Month.
Launched by the people behind nineties dance mag Jockey Slut—Paul Benney and John Burgess—Disco Pogo had a head start in terms of experience and contacts, but the way it has grown to own the dance music space is really impressive. From its name to its cover strategy and mix of contemporary and vintage musicians, it’s not put a foot wrong.
As Paul Benney told us in an At Work With interview last year, ‘We were thinking about re-launching Jockey Slut but we knew we had to change the name as some people had adopted it as a misogynistic term which was never our intention. So we decided to call the new magazine Disco Pogo as ‘Disco Pogo For Punks In Pumps’ was the slogan on issue two of Jockey Slut so there’s a nice link there.’ The name cleverly brings together punk and disco, has a great balance of the obvious and the mysterious, and is a phrase that feels good to say—it has rhythm (Paul and John have the knack for good magazine names!)
Each issue comes with a choice of cover star; at launch you could select either veteran DJ Giles Peterson or young musician Sherelle, and the new issue offers a choice of The Chemical Brothers or Romy. This strategy of old and new reflects the content of the magazine, explaining its scope to the reader and letting them position themselves within that scope. It’s a simple yet clever idea, far more useful than the multiple covers from so many other magazines.
Inside, the magazine is a mix of interviews, profiles, overviews and lists. Classic magazine fare, but well compiled and designed. There is plenty to read and enjoy: issue four has long interviews with both cover stars, plus noise pioneer Adrian Sherwood and producer James Ellis Ford. There’s a look back at how 1980’s clubland took over the pop charts, while another article charts the rise of a new network of small Balearic clubs across England. Black hip hop culture pops up in Normski’s series of portraits of early UK visits from the likes of Public Enemy and De la Soul (above).
One story that stood out for me is a list of the 20 best Pet Shop Boys dance remixes (above). A reminder that there’s more to life than Spotify, it leads with an early portrait of the duo which is a neat visual metaphor for Disco Pogo itself; The Pet Shop Boys may be half their current age in the picture, but their pose and styling match current images of them. The portrait sums up the magazine—it’s a timeless celebration of dance music then and now that reaches beyond passing trends.
Editors-in-chief Paul Benney & John Burgess
Art director Chris Jones