Editorial Issue 1


In the last few years the music scene around here has been dying. The venue crisis that began with rising property prices and the development bonanza leading up to the Olympics has forced Sydney into a blackhole of house djs, glamourous vacuousness, and the marginalisation of anything left-of-centre. For young people trying to find out about new music the options are few and far between. A few listen to community radio stations to get an ear on the new sounds, and many others still try to distinguish between the adverts and the music content in what is left of the music press. As for finding out about the people making music in their bedrooms in your street, forget it.

For us being into music means tracing back musical trees. Finding all the records produced by a certain producer; the band that they used to be in; the track that is sampled in this one. Yes, it’s a pretty rockist way of thinking for a certainly un-rockist age. And in a world of too much music its getting increasingly hard to do this. The internet was supposed to be an infinite resource yet if you don’t know what you’re looking for it is next to useless.

Electronic music is especially slippery. There is just so much of it. And so much crap. And so much hype. Maybe the best record of a genre was one that only 250 copies were ever made of. And yet it was never reviewed in a magazine and thus never stocked by the shops and its still sitting under a bed in some nondescript suburb.

It worries me that maybe there is not any longer an easy way for people to find out about new music. Sure, there are plenty of parties going on purporting to play earth-shattering new sounds, and, yes, there are the real new music festivals like the fantastic What Is Music, Electrofringe, Liquid Architecture and our own Sound Summit, but what about for the rest of the year? How does the 18 yr old kid that goes to big parties because ‘their friends do’ ever find out about good music?

Maybe we’re just getting old. But getting old has its perks.

Last year we decided to put in a grant application to the Australia Council to see if they would fund the publication of a music magazine closely tied to Frigid. The New Audiences programme assessed our application and we were successful. Although this nowhere near covers the full costs of the magazine we figure that its a fantastic opportunity to publish a magazine that doesn’t have to rely solely on advertising or party promotion to hit the streets. And we’re guaranteed to be around for at least six issues. Its an opportunity for us to make an attempt at resuscitating electronic music so there are more events going on that don’t just involve bad DJs playing bad music. And, most of all, its an opportunity to build a strong network of people who care about music and music cultures.

This first issue is our first timid step into the water. There’s a lot of words about local producers and labels you may only have heard of in passing; some stories on music from overseas you may like; some humour; some reviews; and the first in a series of guest covers by designers who are also working with sound and music.

We hope you like it.

Sebastian Chan & Dale Harrison


About Author

Seb Chan founded Cyclic Defrost Magazine in 1998 with Dale Harrison. He handed over the reins at the end of 2010 but still contributes the occasional article and review.