Capturing the contemporary

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by Steve Watson in November 2023
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You may already have seen the video from our Stack Magazine Club conversation with Zweikommasieben, the Swiss magazine that’s obsessed with the contemporary musical moment. But I’m also sharing it here as an episode of the Stack podcast, slightly edited and ideal for listening while you’re doing something other than sitting at your computer.

I shared our Magazine Club conversation with Cake Zine a couple of months ago and that went down well with listeners, so I’m hoping that putting Zweikommasieben into our podcast feed will help the discussion to reach a whole new group of independent magazine fans.

We delivered the 27th issue of Zweikommasieben to Stack subscribers in August this year, and then the following month we invited everyone to join us for a conversation that digs into the details behind the making of the magazine. It was a particularly good time for us to catch them, because issue 27 was something of a milestone – the magazine has been publishing for 12 years now, but in the very first issue they included an editorial that explains that the human brain processes the present moment in 2.7 seconds, which in German translates to ‘zwei komma sieben’. They took that as their name because they wanted to understand the contemporary moment in music, and so when issue 27 came around they used it as an opportunity to look back on what they’ve done so far, reflecting on what it means to have spent 12 years trying to capture the present.

I love the way the magazine embodies this sort of playfulness and experimentation, which I think you’ll hear comes from mixing a very stereotypically Swiss sense of rationality and control with a crazy enthusiasm for reimagining what a printed magazine can be, completely overhauling the design and format and coming up with a fresh, concept-driven approach every time.

I hope you’ll enjoy this episode of the Stack podcast. We have loads more conversations with independent magazine makers in our podcast archive, and of course if you follow us wherever you get your podcasts we’ll be able to deliver our new episodes to you as soon as they’re ready.

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