Letters from Somnolescent August 7, 2023

Bunch of random scans off the press plus bit of related rambling

by devon

As I’m getting rid of some part of my collection, the earliest one because I need money, I ended up scanning some which I’ll compile here. Some favorites from few mid 90s Dazed & Confused issues. It will be probably split in few installments I guess.

The Singles Club, D&C issue 15, 1995. Probably the first appearance of this column in Dazed ever as I can’t find trace of it before issue 15 and it contined until issue 47 from October 1998. I can’t find it in from issue 48 (November 1998) onwards and it most likely was replaced by collumn Mixtape which featured mixes made my musicians who were asked by D&C’s team to make one.

The Singles Club featured newcomers that weren’t hyped by mainstream publications or belonged to another made up scene. As it was back in the 90s, quite few of them vanished after one or two album (like Audioweb featured above, who vanished after their final album in 1998). I don’t know what happened, but few of Dazed’s back cover/singles club featured acts really lasted or got big in the end…

Initially it leaned more into indie/alt rock but later on, by 1997-8 it started to predominately feature electronic music acts, usually downtempo or IDM ones.

The Singles Club in issue 16. Featuring Crispin of Kula Shaker (who put final blow to britpop era) and Ingrid Schroeder, a little known trip-hop singer who released her debut Bee Charmer in 1996, which was a solid debut where she got one of hottest producers of the era, Howie B and also DJ Muggs of Cypress Hill producing tracks off the album. She later appeared on back cover of issue 19 (July 1996, double Neneh Cherry/Ingrid Schroeder cover) with quite big feature about her.

Double covers on one issues are another interesting bit about Dazed which made it more special compared to other magazines. Seems it started to appear early on, like with issue 13 (Richard Ashcroft/Fashion special cover) or issue 14 (Dawid Bowie/Jas Mann of Babylon Zoo). Double covers still appeared in 2000 (the year my pile cuts off), since late 2000 seem they were used as advertorial space.

T-Shirts, D&C issue 15, 1995. Dazed, like i-D had their own merch at some point in mid 90s. It seems to be a bit more humble than stuff i-D used to put out (like record bags or t-shirts designed by Martin Margiela or Helmut Lang! I believe one 1992 issue has them and I hope to snap pic of them soon and share it out) but I really like how more fun and simple it was. I love how it was presented too, I always wanted to redraw this picture with my characters actually.

An ad for Essential Mix CD, D&C issue 15, 1995. Mixed by some of biggest DJs in the UK back then. Pete Tong, Carl Cox, Sasha, Paul Oakenfold. The type of star DJ breed that pretty much back then felt as very British phenomenon? Compilation promoted by BBC’s Radio 1 itself. Clubbing literally started to explode in the UK, like even BBC embraced it early on with legendary Essential Mix starting in 1993 or having BBC2 documentaries about ravers or junglists. I feel it does have lot in common with UK/Europe being smaller when originating US scenes were more far apart from each other just due to US being MASSIVE (maybe outside Chicago or Detroit scenes being near each other) on top of openness towards all types of electronic weirdness or fun dancefloor stuff.

It was also the time when mainstream DJ mix CDs were literally advertised on TV. I stumbled upon ads in quite few TV vhs recordings even (one was S4C capture from 1999 which sadly seems to be taken down from Youtube, but I do hope I have it hoarded somewhere. I wanted to link it here so badly) which truly shows how mainstream things were due to Superclubs like Ministry of Sound, Gatecrasher, Cream or home. Things got big, profitable and had their own distinct flavor but it didn’t kill underground scenes which existed alongside it (some early clubbers were complaining about Darrens and Staceys in their clubs, though).

Coming back to this ad… interesting to see it ran in Dazed, as it still focused on more indie/alt rock and britpop acts with some IDM or downtempo thrown in back then. 1995 was halfway into britpop era so rock still was bigger and magazines usually got mix of rock and hip-hop ads from what I saw so far. But later britpop’s crash with bigger than ever Be Here Now made everyone promptly move on to electronic weirdness and club music to stay hip.

80s makeup in D&C issue 14, 1995. Ending on more fashion/beauty note. I find it interesting how 80s revival somewhat started to sneak even in mid 90s, which just moved on from 60s revivalism of 80s and early 90s to 70s revival which became sort of… perpertual. By late 90s you got late 70s/disco revival and by early 00s, 80s revival became full blown. Interesting to see trend/nostalgia cycles moving on so quick in pre-internet era. It makes me think about BBC’s 2000-2001 nostalgia series I love… (later VH1 made US edition of it, which is more known than original, British series) which covered 70s, 80s and even 90s as early as 2001.

I don’t know what to say for the end, but pretty much it’s more fun to have bigger space for some context, than on Tumblr. I think these posts will be… tossing scans with some rambling here, rather some special openings or endings. Just keep it simple.

Tags: magazines,

About devon

An exotic housecat, local fanatic of TDRā„¢ and anything from so-called turn of the millennium. I love to draw boxes and graphic design is my passion.

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