After fifteen or so long and illustrious years as the most reliable and respectable source for news, views and reviews of drum & bass, Knowledge Magazine has declared an end to its magazine format, moving all content online. And we’re gutted. It’s not that we’re losing anything – from the sounds of it the online version of the mag will be as good as, if not better than, its original format – but there’s something undeniably special about that magazine. Maybe it’s that it has stuck so resolutely to its editorial guns despite shifts in the musical landscape over the years; maybe it’s that it has lasted so long despite the competition from the web and elsewhere; maybe it’s because it gave a respectable face to my beloved drum & bass for so many years...or maybe it’s simply that I loved that magazine so much as a teenager, I would go to the effort of having my local newsagent order it specially.
Growing up outside London – the drum & bass Mecca – before the advent of widespread internet access, my sources of discovery for D&B were the swindling local record shop owner (“you need to have this TP – yeah that’s just £14.99 to you”), my older brother, rave tape packs, but most importantly of all – my trusty copy of Knowledge Mag. A waist-high stack of Knowledge back issues still commands pride of place in my flat (a stack which nearly caused a relationship-ending argument in which I declared “they’re not going anywhere – and that’s a deal breaker”, I kid you not), because that stack is a reminder of your passion for something: that stack of magazines is as much drum & bass to me as the stack of my favourite remaining records next to it, or the ancient tape packs also gathering dust. In a world where the internet was still scarce, yet Knowledge Mag was shipped worldwide, it was one of the central pillars of drum & bass – it helped the scene develop and spread – nestled somewhere around the amen break and Fabio & Grooverider in any list of importance, for my money anyhow.
Times move on though, and Knowledge have too. From July onwards they will be strictly online, and we reckon their new website is going to blow us away. Meantime though, I am positive I am not alone in saying thanks to Knowledge Magazine for fifteen amazing years, in short – we salute you! Go to your local newsagent and grab the last issue today.