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‘Moderne Muziek’: Vinyl magazine and the Dutch post-punk movement

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The Dutch music magazine Vinyl was launched at a chaotic party on 14 February 1981, at the newly opened ‘Schafthuis Royaal’ club in the squatted former-NRC building in the centre of Amsterdam. Vinyl presented itself as the champion of a new musical development unfolding in the Netherlands – ‘Ultra’. Ultra, standing for ultramodernen, was a term that described a number of young Dutch bands who made avant-garde, post-punk music, most notably Minny Pops, Mecano, Plus Instruments, Minioon, Mekanik Kommando, The Young Lions and Tox Modell. Ultra was visible mainly in Amsterdam, but also had a strong presence in cities such as Nijmegen, Eindhoven and ‘s-Hertogenbosch. From that February 1981 issue (preceded by a taster incorporated into the first edition, known as the ‘Zero Issue’ of December 1980), Vinyl rapidly expanded, reaching print runs of 15,000, including a print run of 3000 for an English language edition during its second year. At its peak in the mid-1980s, albeit with a more populist editorial policy, Vinyl was an established presence in the European alternative music press and referenced by the likes of BBC Radio 1 deejay John Peel. The magazine ran until February 1988. Taking a selected number of early editions of the magazine, this article looks to show how Vinyl carved out a distinct post-punk identity for itself and its readers in the Netherlands of the early 1980s. And, by using comparisons with contemporary articles on the Dutch post-punk scene in the British music press, the article will show that Vinyl (often driven by unaccommodating domestic circumstances) looked to promote an apolitical, transnational post-punk agenda.
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Keywords: avant-garde; electronic; music press; post-punk; the Netherlands; ultra

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Independent Researcher

Publication date: 01 March 2017

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