Greece is a country with too many magazines for its population. Sometimes I wonder how can so many magazines survive based on the amount of people willing to buy them and their - mostly outrageous for their content - prices. But new ones keep coming out continuously (and older ones closing down of course).
The music press in Greece has always been a very difficult story. The combination of a fixed amount of people buying the music magazines, plus the interests of the local record companies made it extremely difficult to publish a respectable music magazine that could be self-sustained. Miraculously it did happen. But in recent years, it has become even more difficult, following the crisis in the music industry as a whole and the tremendous upheaval Internet has brought to it.
The publication of a new music magazine is of course something very courageous for anyone concerned. The publication of a music magazine that does not cater to mainstream tastes and audiences, but instead looks for new, unknown, interesting music, makes the whole effort look suicidal. But thankfully there are still heroes out there. And they make beautiful things too!
Muzine (from the combination of music and fanzine) is the magazine that has many music fans in Greece raving about it. It was a lovely surprise, returning home on night late from work, to find it in my mail box, waiting for me. I went up and, once inside my home, opened the envelope with immense anticipation, as I had been waiting for it for a while - not to mention the people working for it waiting for a whole year! It did not disappoint.
First of all the cover - one of the best I have ever seen in a Greek magazine, both in terms of design and print quality. It can easily stand side by side with any foreign publication - and in my humble opinion, beat the s..t out of them all. Secondly, the small size, roughly larger than a digi-pack, it makes it feel strangely familiar and, as it is thick and sturdy, look more like a precious book than a casually read magazine. It makes you want to keep it in your bookcase.
Inside, the design and layouts are excellent and clear, minimal and quirky, easy for the eye, with interesting typefaces, funny caricatures, great colours and the feel that you read something meant to be read, not just looked at.
And the content one may ask...how is it written? As the writers are all experienced music people, many having previously worked for other music publications in print and on-line, many with years of experience in the music industry and press, Ι was certain that the content would be good. It is not good...it is excellent. You read the magazine from cover to cover, not in a few hours, but in a few days...all the while listening to the accompanying cds (two, the white (jazz, ethnic, lounge) mood and the red (alternative pop & rock) mood that include tracks from the cds presented within the publication.
And it makes you want more...Just the fact that you will not see inside any mainstream release, that you probably do not know any of the bands presented inside, that you do get a taste of them, turns this whole experience into something unique...no bitchy pop divas, no self destructing rock idols, no vain reality show winners, no flavour of the month "indie" saviours...just good music.
So I suggest, to all of you who can read Greek, and even to those of you who cannot, try to find this, listen to the cds and read, read, read... and then you will know why all of us who have already done so, are eagerly anticipating the next issue. A big thank you to everyone involved and kudos to all of them - I am putting a name list here as found inside the magazine:
Writers (in Alphabetical order):
Yiannis Papaioannou (iON)
Collaborators in this issue:
Comic: Vassilis Kolettis and Stavors Dilios
Sketches of writers: Manolis Zoulakis (Manolo)
Cover design by Giorgos Tsioukis
CD Digital mastering: Spyros Polychronopoulos
Edition/Design: Haramada Press
168 Riga Ferreou, Patra
So there....go and get it!!!! NOW!