Monday, September 17, 2007


Nobody writes letters anymore, so outside of birthdays and Christmas I never receive anything worth opening in the post. But last week was the exception as the first issue of Woofah magazine landed on the doormat. Woofah is a new 'reggae - grime - dubstep' magazine edited by John Eden and Paul Meme, aiming to provide some intelligent coverage of scenes which just don't get enough written about them. Woofah combines high production values (glossy paper!) with some really good content. I particularly liked the interviews with Mark Iration (of Iration Steppas) and MC/thoughtist Lez Henry (author of the excellent What the deejay said).

These interviews made me reflect on how a feature of UK dance musics is the cross-pollination between genres in defiance of the efforts of various style border police to keep them separate, cf. Mark Iration's background in house music and bass'n'bleeps as well as dub. Also, how much of the history of these musics is largely undocumented - so much follows a familiar trajectory of central London and Manchester clubs. How about a history that was able to give credit where its due to places like Lewisham Boys Club (scene of some legendary reggae soundclashes) or the Checkpoint club in Bradford (where Mark Iration played house and bashment for the youth of
Huddersfield, Bradford and Leeds)?

In a time when so much stuff is chucked on the web and skimmed rather than read, Woofah have taken a deliberate step back, arguing that some things have enough value to be worth stopping for a while and paying attenion to. So if you want to read it, you're going to have to get your hands on a copy.

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