Current Issue

Summer – Fall 2015 contents by and with:

• Sound artist Israel Martínez discusses his work amid Mexico’s War on Drugs. A profound interview on the power and range of sound art.

• Mark Fisher. An interview with the radical music writer and acclaimed author of Capitalist Realism and Ghosts of My Life on music and culture today, Popular Modernism, time wars, music and Neoliberalism and the borrowed phrase, “the slow cancellation of the future.”

• Editorial on Spectatorship (Part 1). Read exclusive opinion, stories and revelations on what it means to be a spectator today [and yesterday] from Katie Alice Greer (Priests), Dan Deacon, Mark Andersen (Positive Force DC), Kim Gordon (Essay reproduction) and Ian MacKaye (Q & A). Part 2 coming soon.

• The Photography of Sebastian Mayer. A select presentation from the accomplished German photographer.

• Dadabots. A presentation of open-source algorithms which search, remix, comment and post music throughout the Soundcloud community as told through a correspondence with the musician-hackers.

• An Anthology of Recording Music, Volume 1. A new on-going section presents a wide variety of artists relating boundaries when composing one song before presenting it to the band or entering the recording studio. Read personal accounts from C Spencer Yeh, James Hoff, Julia McFarlane (Twerps), Jane Penny (TOPS), Sadie Dupuis (Speedy Ortiz), Ben Chasny (Six Organs of Admittance), Benoît Pioulard, Greg Saunier (Deerhoof) and more.

• Decoder. An original essay by Dan Barrow to re-read and re-activate this Burroughs-inspired and nearly-forgotten punk & new wave film (released in West Germany in 1984) for 2015 and beyond.

• Visual Essay: Hundebiss. An invitational visual spread to the Italian imprint, exclusive to the print edition.

In more detail:

Our second issue begins with a conversation with Israel Martínez, a sound artist recording amid Mexico’s on-going Narcowars. Since 2010, the Mexican sound artist has been reflecting, recording, documenting and exhibiting the symbolic, personal, financial, legal, civic and human costs of Mexico’s War on Drugs. Martinez’ sound and installation work has been exhibited around the world and select works are in two of Latin America’s most notable art collections. This is Martínez first substantial interview in English and includes material printed for the first time. Samples of sound work by Martínez accompany the conversation in our App edition.

In the editor’s letter of our first issue, the words “seemingly cancelled times” were used to gesture towards an interview which has been on our mind for some time. We present a straight-forward, long-form interview with the music writer, culture theorist and teacher, Mark Fisher. Fisher has garnered praise for Capitalist Realism and Ghosts of My Life as one can read in an accolade from 2014: “After the brilliance of Capitalist Realism, Ghosts Of My Life confirms Mark Fisher’s role as our greatest and most trusted navigator of these times out of joint, through all their frissons and ruptures, among all their apparitions and spectres, past, present and future. — David Peace, author of the Red Riding Quartet and Red or Dead.” The conversation spans music and mainstream culture, Popular Modernism, post-punk, “lost futures,” the intersections of music and politics and the borrowed phrase, “the slow cancellation of the future.” Fisher elaborates on select excerpts from his writing in addition to his personal life in this “life with music.”

As algorithms increasingly play a role in our life with music, this issue profiles the on-going and open-source Dadabots project initiated by two computer programmers and musicians. An exclusive to the magazine, the interview attempts to present a portrait of these non-human bot “musicians” which explore possibilities of generative music across social media platforms.

Our second commissioned editorial presents revelations on spectatorship in live music through our own original route by exploring a supposed space between how we look at artists on stage and how they look back at us. Read exclusive and original stories and opinions from Katie Alice Greer (“We’re very strategic in how we operate and create”), Dan Deacon (“The internet is not the problem. Mid-size venues are disappearing”), Mark Andersen (“That’s the revolution in punk, if there is one”) and Ian MacKaye (“That’s the point for the record company, but it shouldn’t be the point for the band”) and Kim Gordon with the reproduction of her 1983 essay (“I’m really scared when I kill in my dreams”), which is also this issue’s object of interest. As a conversation starter, habituated and ‘transcendent’ acts and moments of music performance and ‘looking’ are shared and discussed over 60 pages. Anonymous and previously unpublished photography from the Fugazi Live Series Archive accompanies our text.

The next 20 pages are dedicated to the photography of accomplished German photographer Sebastian Mayer, who has photographed several music magazine covers over a decade. Mayer shares encounters with the likes of Iggy Pop, EYE Yamataka, Pansonic, Matthew Herbert, Carsten Nicolai, Ryuichi Sakamoto and more from some of Berlin’s heyday.

Our new on-going section, An Anthology of Recording Music, Volume 1, presents first-hand accounts of artists’ headspace before entering a studio to record a song. This free-form collection listens for boundaries of writing and recording one particular song. A wide variety of scenarios of music production are revealed by following artists: C Spencer Yeh, James Hoff, Julia McFarlane (Twerps), Jane Penny (TOPS), Sadie Dupuis (Speedy Ortiz), Ben Chasny (Six Organs of Admittance), Benoît Pioulard, Greg Saunier (Deerhoof) and more.

To close, a commissioned essay by writer, poet and critic Dan Barrow on an almost-forgotten punk & new wave film, Decoder (released in West Germany in 1984). Barrow’s essay (re)reads and contextualizes the film to reactivate it for 2015 and beyond. The essay is accompanied by rarely seen photography from the film’s production.

The last pages of Issue 2 present another new on-going section for HIGHWAY: an invitational visual essay in which over 10 pages are given over to the Italian imprint Hundebiss to share a [distilled] manifest of the label’s vision. The visual essay is exclusive to the print edition so grab a print copy in our store.