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Last Updated: Friday, 18 April 2008, 09:17 GMT 10:17 UK
Mixmag celebrates 25 years of clubbing
by Kev Geoghegan
Radio 1 music reporter

Mixmag's 25th anniversary front cover
Part of Mixmag's 25th anniversary front cover

In 1983, Shalamar (ask your mums and dads!) graced the front page of a new monthly newsletter for DJs. This week, Mixmag celebrates its 25th anniversary with a cover photoshoot featuring the likes of Dizzee Rascal, Daft Punk, Pete Tong and Fatboy Slim.

While other clubbing publications like Muzik and Ministry have folded, Mixmag's circulation continues to hover around the 40,000 mark.

With the Creamfields festival also celebrating a milestone 10th birthday this year, Mixmag's current editor Nick DeCosemo reckons the appetite for a clubbing monthly is as strong as ever.

He said: "The readership is younger because it's a young, vibrant, energetic thing but there's something about the clubbing experience and going out with your friends that can fundamentally change people.

"Even if people stop raving and going out all the time, they still like to dip into it."

Death of the 'superclub'

Creamfields
Creamfields celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2008

Reports of the death of the clubbing scene may have been greatly exaggerated in the past but they are not entirely without foundation.

Reports of massively overpaid DJs supported by rising club ticket prices culminated in the ultimate 'superclub' Cream closing its doors in 2002 and Gatecrasher downsizing its operations.

Mark Rodol, chief executive of Ministry of Sound in 2003 was quoted as saying: "The super DJ and the 'superclub' game is over".

While the superclubs have since gone on to run successful festivals like Creamfields, Gatecrasher's Summer Soundsystem and Global Gathering , there has been a return to smaller, 'boutique' style club nights across the country.

Decosemo argues online social networking scenes are responsible for a return to the roots of clubbing, the rave scene in the late 1980s.

He said: ""Facebook and MySpace have totally revolutionised the way people promote nights. It's very similar to the first illegal acid house parties.

"It would be a secret location and you would have a number you would have to call and find out where it was happening."

"The principle's the same although it's more hi-tech now."

Mixmag's top UK club nights
The Warehouse Project (Manchester)
Bugged Out! (various venues in the UK and Europe)
Pressure (Arches Glasgow)
Trailer Trash (London)
Chibuku (Liverpool)

"It's still a group of people in the know trying to target the right sort of people so they can have a party they can really enjoy."

Musical genres

There has also been a breaking down in the, largely media influenced, barriers between musical genres.

The past 18 months have seen an explosion in bands straddling between rock and dance.

Dubbed 'nu-rave', they include bands like Brit nominees Klaxons, New Young Pony Club, Hadouken! and newcomers Pendulum.

Mixmag's DeCosemo agrees it can only help secure the future of the clubbing scene.

He said: "The interesting thing now, is that you have a whole generation of kids who have grown up with indie rock from The Strokes onwards and they're discovering electronic music and the joys of dancing in dark sweaty rooms.

"You have all these exciting new clubs where kids are taking rock elements and taking rave elements, throwing it together and seeing what comes out."

Mylo and Pete Tong
Mylo and Pete Tong
But UK dance producer Mylo reckons the crossover has been happening for years.

He told Newsbeat: "I would dispute that being a new thing, in the 90s you had the Heavenly Social scene and big crossovers between acts like the Chemical Brothers and big indie rockers like Tim Burgess from The Charlatans."

Ibiza Rocks

The recent addition of Ibiza Rocks to the island's music scene is proof that the dance industry is constantly changing. Instead of the usual four-to-the-floor club tunes, it invites bands like Babyshambles, Razorlight and The View to pay to the pre-club crowds.

The Enemy are due to open the Ibiza Rocks hotel and singer Tom Clarke recalls playing the event in 2007.

He said: "I did wonder, 'cause it's a massive dance scene, and we didn't know how indie would go down. "Having done the gig, it was one of the best receptions we've ever had."

The Future

Mylo reckons there's some exciting stuff going on at the moment.

He said: "The albums that have really done it for me recently were Simian Mobile Disco, Justice and Digitalism.

"I'm loving the cosmic disco revival, the Hercules Love Affair album. The fact that their single Blind just scraped the top 40 was an outrage.

"I thought it was one of the best pop songs in a long time.

"I think any vibrant scene has to be in a constant state of change.



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