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Interchange 4A and 4B

Press/Orga: Interchange

Country: United Kingdom
Format: Mag/Lit
 INTRODUCTION TO ISSUE 4       In retrospect making the previous Interchange as two volumes had not been a good idea because it set a precedent for future issues that would be very difficult to fulfil, not least the amount of work required.      These concerns underpin the magazine’s introduction, in which I indicate an openness to articles/suggestions from others; especially regarding other areas of interest to me, such as performance art. This is reflected in the content; for example Kathan Spiss’ sound work was only a part of his overall art practice and The Bow Gamelan Ensemble were far better known in the art world than the music one.      I cannot remember how I knew Paul Burwell of the Bow Gamelan Ensemble. Perhaps it was through another member, the artist Richard Wilson who was involved with the arts group Projects U.K. In any case it was Paul who was the main spokesperson and I interviewed him at his house in Bow. Just after the interview had been recorded I saw them perform in Newcastle at the main City Art Gallery, the Laing. I remember the gig because at one point, through all the smoke, bells began to ring; a lot of bells. Thinking it was part of the performance the audience stayed in the space and it was not until the fire department rushed in and told us to leave did we realise that (some of) the bells were the fire alarms of the building.      Andrew Mackenzie of The Hafler Trio was living locally so it was easy to get a piece on them from him. I ‘introduced’ him to a few secret recording spaces and we made a few recordings in them, some of which later appeared on a Hafler Trio release.      Peter Skyjka was a friend of the R&D Group 28 and a super nice chap who I met a few times in London, but I am not certain if the interview was recorded or done via mail. It is a great pity he didn’t make more music. At the opposite end of the spectrum I could scarcely keep up with the output of Trevor Ward (Nails Ov Christ). He always had a lot of projects on the go and also ran a tape label releasing music by bands such as Ramleh and Con Dom.      Thus although I had no problem with content for a single volume, finding ‘the same again’ for the second was proving a challenge. In principle it should not have been a problem, as there was something of a commercial tsunami of ‘weird’ releases and a network of labels aided and abetted by the mainstream music press. Whilst this was good news for the artists and promoters, it made my own situation difficult on two fronts as a) I saw no point in promoting artists that were already being covered elsewhere and b) in the rush of various labels to sign up new artists they gave record deals to artists that, in my opinion, were merely mediocre (or worse, pale imitators of say T.G.), so it was more difficult to find really wonderful ‘unknowns’.      My problem was solved by Peter Harrison who suggested I publish a hugely expanded/updated article on Conrad Schnitzler that had previously appeared in Flowmotion magazine. It was this that prompted me to ask Ian Dobson and Gordon Hope about reprinting some of their other items, a notion they kindly agreed to.  Job done.      Digging through the Interchange files I was amazed to see that Interchange 4 is a Side Real production, which is perhaps another indication of my desire to alter the direction of the magazine. I also noticed that I credited ‘Ward Phillips’ (my musical recording name) as joint editor of the magazine. I have no idea how many people this actually fooled.      Why did the magazine cease? Mainly for the reasons I have outlined above. I did have thoughts about a fifth issue and even drew up a potential list of names, P16 D4, Katharsis, Muslimgauze, Con Dom, the main interview being with David Jackman, or perhaps Roland Kayn, but my heart wasn’t really in it any more and I don’t think I even made any overtures to these artists. I became further disillusioned with much of the new music I was hearing which seemed both uninteresting and derivative. This seemed to be a poor closed-minded attitude for a magazine editor, and so one day I packed up about 100 cassettes and posted them all to Peter Zincken in the Netherlands who was both super-enthusiastic and publishing a magazine called Material. I said that I thought he was the right person to own them as he would make good use of them. I didn’t (and still don’t) regret doing so. I began to ponder the possibilities of book publishing, especially as I had begun to take a bookbinding course. But that is another story…