Out now: Mood #7
I’ve always been a fan of the Mood logo. The mash of the words ‘food’ and ‘music’ that is visually represented by the two O’s, the first being a record and the other a burger, is a perfect representation of the publication’s content. And their covers are also always so striking, especially when placed on a shelf surrounded by other independent magazines. Issue seven has a cover as eye-catchingly colourful as ever, and it’s themed ‘World Music’, a term Editors Emma Hovel and Mario Villar Sangurjo rightly questions in their letter, as it’s a genre that music aside from conventional Anglo rock/pop is often unfairly categorised into.
At a first glance though, the concept of music and food has always seemed a bit jarring to me. I’ve wondered what do music and food really have to do with each other? Is there enough there for an entire publication dedicated to the theme? But the more I think about it and the more that I browse through the pages, Mood seems suited to the way that music has become indicative of lifestyle in the same way that food currently is. It’s a publication that seems more aware of the role of music today than most mainstream music mags, which seem nostalgic in comparison.
Issue seven’s content takes readers on a whirlwind tour of restaurants and record shops, focusing on the food tastes and music tastes of different countries. A Japanese restaurant in Santa Monica recommends local karaoke bars to readers (above), and an interview with a Jamaican veggie restaurant in Brooklyn (below) that has paintings of Bob Marley and Hailie Selassie on the wall emphasises the way that a country’s culture and food are inextricably connected .
The overall design of spreads could be more varied: Mood sticks to a simple template, which can become a bit bland in places. Yet photography and illustration makes up for what the design occasionally lacks: Assa Ariyoshi’s illustration for a piece on vegetarian cooking (which features a few nods to Morrissey) adds vibrancy to the standardised spreads (above). The documentary style photography of restaurants and dishes is also effective in conveying a sense of mood, of place and taste (below).
Food has become as much a part of lifestyle as music once was, and food tastes seem to say just as much about a person as music taste once did. The two now overlap more than ever, they’re key components of someone’s outlook and style. In the last Gourmand, an interview with singer Neneh Cherry about home cooking was an example of how editorially music and food have become intertwined. Mood takes this connection further, and it deserves a place on both your bedside table magazine stack as well as your kitchen cookbook shelf.
Review by Madeleine Morley