Wednesday, 29 May 2013


Grandslam magazine was the publication that followed on after the demise of Big Daddy magazine in 2003.
Although it was very chunky and very funky, the mag had a rather scanty shelf life, ending in 2004.
Hip hop and funk were its main areas of coverage - lots of interviews, historical articles, record label overviews and so on. Needless to say there were tons of record review pages too, not only just for rap and funk but also soul, beats, R&B, Latin, reggae and some obscure leftfield biz.
Plenty charts and playlists as well, with other related material featuring stuff like books and graffiti.
The image on top has an example of a couple of covers from its 2 year reign - dated 2003 & 2004.
Grandslam also dished out free promo CD's and 2 examples are on view above.
I have also plucked out an item  from 2003 - a reminder of the content in the record review pages, with the one here being for MF Doom's "Viktor Vaughn" album.
Accompanying it is my CD of it.

Sunday, 26 May 2013


Soul Express was a magazine from Helsinki who had quite a lengthy run in publication compared to some - 1989 to 2005 to be exact.
It first started off printed in Finnish text but became anglicised in 1993.
Soul music was the main music form at its hub but it also incorporated other styles associated with the genre such as jazz, funk & hip hop.
It was loaded with record reviews, charts, artist interviews and other related features.
Since its final issue in printed format in 2005, Soul Express has continued with an online version.
The top items above are 2 random examples of the mags covers - one from '93 and the other from '95.
Underneath is a chart list that contains the mags albums of the year for 1992 as chosen by various contributors, and as you can see, the material covers mainly soul but also has funk, hip hop and jazz albums in there too.
The yellow item is an example of one of their album reviews from 1995 and is for the James Taylor Quartet release called "In The Hand Of The Inevitable", on Acid Jazz records.
So dipping into my own record collection, I have put up the JTQ vinyl cover to go alongside the review.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013


USA magazine, Wax Poetics, first landed in the UK import racks in 2002.
Funk, hip hop, soul, disco, dub, jazz and other such black influenced music is what it specialises in.
It doesn't really copy other specialist mags in this field, for example there are no record reviews of new releases, no DJ charts, no gig guides and such like - Wax Poetics material consists mostly of interviews, historical articles, special features and in-depth overviews relating to various aspects like record labels, bands, music genres and so on. The fact that the magazine is still running today shows that it's a formula that works.
The image at the top is an example of one of their covers - this is dated 2004.
Underneath it is a review of Wax Poetics that appeared in UK mag, Straight No Chaser back in 2002, just around the time WP first appeared on the scene - and getting a big SNC thumbs up in the process!
Next up is an ad that appeared in Wax Poetics in 2004 - featuring the Oh No album "The Disrupt", plus some other Stones Throw stuff.
Lastly, I have accompanied the ad with my CD copy of The Disrupt, so you could read who's on it.

Sunday, 19 May 2013


Following on from yesterday's post, the item at the top is a feature that cropped up in the 100th issue of The Face and is a diagrammatic overview of London's clubbing scene from 1978 to 1988. It contains not only all the main nightclubs but also the dates they began and some of the people who were connected to them.
[To read, you'll need to click onto it to view the enlarged version, or download it to your pc and zoom in.]
One of the clubs mentioned in the diagram is Limelight, a venue that opened in Shaftesbury Avenue in 1986.
The photo of the nightclub was taken by my brother in 1987 and shows the well known Limelight logo on their banners.
Underneath the picture is an ad from Soul Underground magazine who had organised a P-Funk night at Limelight. This is dated February 1988.
And so from the mothership to receivership - yes, in 1992 Limelight did go into receivership and had to hand over its business to Touche Ross & Co to keep things ticking, however, as you can see in the final ad, which is from a Dec/Jan issue of Touch magazine, the nightclub wasn't dead and buried quite yet, in fact it was preparing for its 'Resurrection' in January 1993!

Saturday, 18 May 2013


The Face magazine appeared on the scene in 1980 and lasted for almost quarter of a century.
It was a youth culture mag so needless to say the contents did contain a large chunk of music related material in amongst its lifestyle pages. They didn't really present the usual record reviews and charts kind of coverage, their music stuff was mostly band interviews, clubbing features, latest music trends, behind the scenes reports and of course, the fashions that fitted the fads.
The cover on top dates from 1988 and was a special magazine celebrating their 100th issue, one that had them taking a look back at what the 80's had been like up to then.
From that 100th issue I have included an ad for Eric B & Rakim's "Follow The Leader" album released the same year, and I have also put up my vinyl copy of the LP to accompany it.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013


UK based Jazz Express magazine started up in 1979 and covered a combination of mainstream jazz and the more streetwise variety.
The mag's material consisted of jazz related news items, gig dates, festival info, musician interviews, special features and record reviews.
I'm not certain when Jazz Express reached the end of its run but I do know it is no longer on the go.
The cover on top dates from 1993.
The next item was published in Birmingham Vibe magazine in 1995 and is an overview of Jazz Express when Vibe did a feature on music magazines that were in circulation at the time.
Underneath it is an example of the kind of record review that appeared in Jazz Express, this one being for Greg Osby's "3-D Lifestyles" album released on Blue Note.
I have the vinyl version of this LP so thought I'd put the cover up to accompany the review.

Sunday, 12 May 2013


Worldbeat magazine was on the go for only a short period of time, slightly less than a year in fact during 1990-91.
It was a UK based publication but with an international outlook and although it covered music from the Caribbean, Africa and Latin America, it's emphasis was on the dance music side of life rather than folk/roots.
There were lots of band profiles and interviews, plenty record reviews and a smattering of travel type features from around the globe.
The magazine cover displayed here on top was the very last Worldbeat to be published and is dated September 1991.
From the same issue I have plucked out an advert for an album called "Steely & Clevie present Soundboy Clash", a various artists compilation of dancehall goodies released on Profile.
To accompany the ad I have put up my CD copy of the record to show you it in more detail.

Friday, 10 May 2013


Jockey Slut magazine reached the end of their run in 2004 after 11 years in publication.
It covered the full range of underground dance music - house, hip hop, techno, breakbeat, drum & bass, leftfield, jazzy grooves, chillout and even a touch of indie.
Lots of artist profiles, gig reports, record reviews, clubbing updates, as well as having the odd page on fashion, computer games, books, a radio guide and so on.
Jockey Slut would also supply free music with certain issues in the form of a flexi disc, cassette or CD.
One such free CD is the one I've displayed under the magazine cover above - 10 fresh tracks that came with the March 2000 issue.
Underneath that is an advert and a review from the same issue for a single by The Creators called "The Hard Margin".
I must admit, I don't have many CD singles in my collection so this one here is a bit of a rarity for me, but the record is so good it's worth having in both formats!!

Tuesday, 7 May 2013


Import magazine, Blaze, had a fairly short lifespan - only in circulation from 1998 to 2000.
It was set up by Vibe magazine in the USA to cover the hip hop scene, so music content included artist profiles, record reviews and gig news, with the lifestyle side of hip hop cropping up in things like graffiti articles, fashion pages and lots of adverts.
As an example of how their album review pages looked, I have chosen the above item on the excellent Peanut Butter Wolf release "My Vinyl Weighs A Ton" that came out in 1999 on Stones Throw/Copasetik.
I have included my CD version of the album to go with the review.

Sunday, 5 May 2013


Import magazine, Underground News, first appeared in the racks in October 1992.
Although the magazine was based in Cleveland, USA, they had a team of columnists reporting from around the world - France, Japan, UK, Italy, Canada - so the mag was also keeping a close eye on what was happening on the dancefloors globally.
The music it covered was house, acid jazz, techno and street soul mostly, and featured stuff like record label lowdown, artist profiles, record reviews, clubbing updates and charts.
The item under the magazine cover above was a winners list Underground News had compiled showcasing their choice of the best music of 1993, published in an issue dated January '94.
One of their selections was new group, Wall Of Sound, who were not only an act but also a production team called Mood II Swing.
So I have taken one of Wall Of Sound's products from my collection to accompany the piece - a 4 track EP released on the superb Eightball Records label.

Thursday, 2 May 2013


Touch magazine was the result of a transformation from its previous incarnation, FREE! magazine, as featured in yesterday's post. This change took place in March 1991 but it at this stage it really was just the title of the mag that was different, the content was pretty much the same as before, along with the fact that it was still focusing on London in the main and it was still available for free around record shops, trendy stores and clubs. It wasn't until a while later when Touch became obtainable around the UK that the material changed slightly and they introduced things like life-style pages and so on, not to mention a price tag appearing!
Anyway, it continued as a good urban black music source and the front cover on top dating from 1992 will give you an idea of the sort of stuff that was inside.
In later years the mag also came with free promo CD's attached, however, even further down the line in 2008, Touch eventually shut shop.
The item under the cover image is a review of the magazine that cropped up in Birmingham Vibe fanzine in 1995, and they were a touch critical about certain aspects.
Underneath the review is an example of one of Touch's album reviews, a compilation of street soul called "R U Conscious" that came out in 1992.
I have grabbed a vinyl copy of the LP from my shelves to go with the item.