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What is Zweikommasieben?
It’s the German term for 2,7: the number of seconds that, according to recent studies in neuroscience, the human brain needs to processes the present. It is the ‘now’ we are aware of apparently. It’s also the name of a Switzerland-based print magazine that has been devoted to the documentation of contemporary music and sounds since the summer of 2011.
Who makes it?
A group of music enthusiasts and graphic design lovers. In the beginning most of them were based in Lucerne, Switzerland, and most of them were studying at one of the universities in the city. By now the team grew pretty international and the people working for the magazine have made a name for themselves as exciting editors, designers, photographers, authors, etc.
What makes it different from the rest?
From the rest as in ‘print music journalism’: It still exists. Over the past decade a lot of music magazines have vanished – be it long-running titles or projects that have popped up in recent times.
From the rest as in ‘online music journalism’: We are very lucky that we are too slow for the music-industry-PR-hype-circles. Each time a PR agent offers us to cover a new album or whatever we can claim that the next issue is only out in a couple of months, which is very unattractive to most agents. Also, it is a great excuse to have conversations with musicians and artists that are career-spanning and/or about other things in life than music and sounds.
Who reads it?
Music enthusiasts and graphic design lovers. Probably it’s 50/50.
Why do you work in magazines?
I think it’s beautiful to put something out into the physical world – something that is about the stuff that I really love. I am very lucky that there are other folks out there that love this stuff as much as I do apparently and buy the magazine. It’s also wonderful to see how other people (our graphic designers) give an interesting shape to those things that I love (the content). Each issue of Zweikommasieben looks different. And to be honest, it’s always beyond my imagination.
Aside from the print magazine, what else are you involved in?
Zweikommasieben has always been a print magazine first and foremost. However, we are also running a website and are doing stuff on social media, like sharing reels on Instagram from concerts that we visit, and running a (kinda) weekly playlist on Spotify. Back in the days we were also doing lots of events in Switzerland and abroad – concerts, club nights, listening sessions, festivals, and symposiums. But those days are over. We had slowed down the event part of the operation before Covid, and once the pandemic hit we stopped this part completely. These days, there are a few things on the horizon again, but we keep focusing on the magazine.
What would you change about Zweikommasieben if you could?
Pay more money to the folks who put their heart and soul into the project.
Where do you see Zweikommasieben in five years?
I hope we can keep going! I hope that the people that are involved right now will stick around. I also hope we can find new enthusiastic folks who are willing to work for the project. And I hope there will still be some people out there who appreciate what we do and support us 🙂