Not so long ago the Factory fan behind The construction in hand moved to Amsterdam. He has cunningly used this relocation to perform the conceptual act of writing about the entire Factory Benelux catalogue from within the ‘Ne’ of Benelux. While eating space cake and drinking Westmalle. The three-part result is unusual for a sustained piece of music criticism in that even as it imparts notes on the cultural education that can be achieved by paying close attention to sleeves, inspirations and lyrics, it is also very funny. Though the comedy is probably enhanced if you happen to be a Factory nut too.
The excellent Memory lapses are also well worth reading.
The development of the fanzine / magazine in electronic form continues with Manzine, ‘a publication about the male phenomenon’, which is being presented via the intriguing platform of Issuu.
The contents are I suspect a little more diverse than those of your typical men’s magazine (top shelf or lower down): umbrellas, the Royal Artillery Monument, a problematic piece (in my opinion) on the mental health risks of blogging, social mountaineering, Belgian beer as felicitous aid to the imagination, a voyage from Israel to Greece on a cargo ship, high-visibility clothing, Brian Eno, the Tweed Cycling Club, and what appears to be a score by everyone’s favourite anti-artist and musician, Bill Drummond.
On the basis of the first issue, it very roughly approximates a cross between Smoke, the Idler or the Chap, and [insert the name of your favourite style magazine here], but should it continue, Manzine may well settle into genre-defying idiosyncrasies of its own.