After fifteen years and forty-seven issues (fifteen in phase one, thirty-two in phase two) Sydney’s independent electronic music magazine Cyclic Defrost is calling it a day (at least in print) with their final issue released this week.
Founded in 1998 by Seb Chan and Dale Harrison, Cyclic Defrost began life as a self-published, four page photocopied black and white zine – essentially a newsletter to promote the Frigid and Cryogenesis electronic music nights. Read a history of that era here.
The project quickly grew in size and scope – and started to feature interviews, reviews, essays, and more ambitious editorial design. In 2002 Cyclic Defrost was rebooted, complete with backing from the Australia Council, a colour cover, and its iconic square format.
Since then, Cyclic Defrost’s credo has been to “cover independent electronic music, avant-rock, experimental sound art and leftfield hip hop. We have no interest in fashion spreads, alcohol or clothing advertising, nor do we accept advertising in the guise of ‘editorial’.”
“We are purposefully different. Each issue features a mix of local and international feature articles and stacks of reviews covering CDs, DVDs, vinyl as well as record sleeve designs and artwork.”
“We are published three times a year and are available free in selected record stores and other outlets across Australia.”
The final issue (edited by Alexandra Savvides and designed by Thommy Tran) contains interviews with The Necks, This Thing collective, Arbol, The Longest Day, a feature on the resurgence of the cassette, and Cyclic Selects with Bob Baker Fish. Seb Chan also shares some thoughts on the history of the magazine in an editorial, which is also available to read online.
One of the signature features of each issue was to invite a special guest to design the cover. Below are a few selections from over the years —
The final issue of Cyclic Defrost (cover above by Jonathan Key) is available for free now from all the usual outlets.
You can download past issues as PDFs here.
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