Wednesday, May 06, 2009

bpm magazine flatlines

*Longtime BPM magazine editor-in-chief Rob Simas sent an email out to friends and associates this week confirming the worst for the nation's only true dance music mag left standing: BPM has closed. (You could argue that URB is one of America's original dance zines, alongside defunct titles such as Dance Music Report, but URB has definitely spread out to indie hip-hop and other genres. There's also DJ Times, which I would argue is a trade publication). *(I forgot about XLR8R, which has carved its own alt-dance niche and remains standing). Rumors had BPM going online only, but it felt to me that this had already happened months ago (correct me if I'm wrong). Keep up with him.

"Sadly, after 13 years, BPM magazine has come to a close," Simas writes. "... Working for BPM over the past 12 years has been an amazing experience. It was sad to see the magazine fold."

It isn't clear if the parent company's other publications, Vapours being one of them, are still with us, or whether the parent is still strong. The endeavor, Overamerica Media, is the descendant of Moonshine Music, a label started in the early 1990s by the Los Angeles-based Levy brothers of England. The pair introduced the United States to some of its first raves as well as to some of its first commercial mix-CDs. Some history.

They purchased BPM a few years after its launch in San Diego, which I believe was around 1996. At the time it seemed like a Johnny Come Lately zine, especially in the wake of an early '90s explostion of dance mags that included Raymond Roker's URB. But soon BPM took over coverage of superclubs and DJ culture, especially in the late '90s and early 00s, when the scene seemed to explode. I contributed to the mag and held the title of news editor at one point.

In recent years, BPM followed dance music's new generation away from the core superclubs. The likes of Steve Aoki graced the cover, and the nu electro cool kids ruled the roost. It's hipper-than-thou parties seemed geared more towards paparazzi (Paris Hilton was a guest) than dance music fans. I'm not sure if this was its downfall, or if it simply was a victim of falling print advertising and a bad economy - a common ailment for mags across the land (see Portfolio).


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8 comments:

Kaila said...

It's so sad! Unfortunately this seems to be happening to so many publications across the world. Hopefully the music industry press will find a new pay model that will allow them to charge forward instead of die off...

Anonymous said...

Quick FYI from Overamerica HQ, bpm has not folded as a brand only as a print publication, it no longer made sense to publish a magazine when blogs were scooping us on every story. We would like to thank all of you for your support over the years and look forward to the next chapter, the site and events are both still very active. Stay tuned.

Overamerica LLC has shifted its focus to the online platform along with experiential marketing initiatives, but Vapors (not Vapours) will continue to be published as a quarterly relaunching in May with a new long form article based format.

OMG PR

Dean DeCosta said...

I have been the music editor for BPM for 9 years. It was a great ride! Sad to see it wrap up, though.

But, keep your eyes on the site, as it will hopefully bring more great content.

Anonymous said...

maybe they can start writing about good electronic music, rather than that mainstream tacky garbage they've been projectile vomiting at us for so long now.

Anonymous said...

Huge fan of the mag since Deep Dish was on the cover....
Very sad. Blame Paris and Steve Bug!

Anonymous said...

Nice article!
So, now BPM is only a "brand" used to promote events and satisfy advertisers? I don't see how merely reposting press releases and watered down content makes it a legitimate style guide or music source...I'll just read Pitchfork and Fader. And Danceblogga ;)

Anonymous said...

well there another mag in LA
http://edmmagazine.com/edm2009/May2009.html

Anonymous said...

http://edmmagazine.com/edm2009/May2009.html

thats a new one i saw