The first issue of Moonbuilding, which touched down back in May, was one of those finger in the wind, run it up the flagpole and see who salutes sort of projects. The A5, 48-page full-colour title, put together by former Electronic Sound commissioning editor Neil Mason and published by Colin Morrison’s Castles In Space label, went down rather well. There seemed to be a fair bit of saluting and lots of kind words. In fact, the debut issue came within a whisker of selling out. So Neil and Colin thought they’d do it again.
While Moonbuilding is a Castles In Space publication, its aim is cover the full nine yards of like-minded DIY labels and artists.
The new issue, which they’re calling the Autumn Collection, stars Bristol’s rising electronic star Kayla Painter on the cover and comes with a bumper 13-track CD featuring contributions from artists appearing at the Castles In Space Levitation festival in Whitby in November.
Inside there’s some lovely interviews with Where It’s At Is Where You Are’s John Jervis, A Man Called Adam’s Sally Rodgers, Kevin “DJ Food” Foakes and pop culture author extraordinaire Paul Gorman.
There’s reviews of the latest releases from CiS and labels including Zen FC, WIAIWYA, Cavendish House, DiN, Tigerforce, Blackford Hill, Woodford Halse, Impossible Objects Of Desire, Clay Pipe Music and Front & Follow and more…
There’s our thoughts on the latest music books including Simon William’s ‘Pandamonium’, Ted Kessler’s ‘Paper Cuts’, Nige Tassell’s ‘Whatever Happened To The C86 Kids’ and Rory Sullivan-Burke’s excellent John McGeoch biography.
The cover illustration is once again by the rather talented Nick Taylor, who also provides additional bells and whistles for the cover feature itself. With a second issue Moonbuilding can now lay claim to having regulars - The Orb’s Alex Paterson turns columnist and Steven Appleby’s all-new Captain Star strip, which first appeared in NME in 1986 and enjoyed spells both in The Observer and SFX mag, really hits its stride.
THE MOONBUILDING STORY SO FAR…
During the early days of Electronic Sound, Neil Mason began to notice there was a steady flow of independent DIY labels serving up brilliant music with beautiful artwork on sought-after, limited edition vinyl, cassette and CD releases.
He began to review many of the early offerings and soon labels such as Castles In Space, Ghost Box, Clay Pipe Music, Spun Out Of Control, DiN and Burning Witches were regular fixtures on the pages of ES.
All these labels had echoes of Neil’s formative years, a time when he’d discover new music on via the likes Mute, 4AD, Small Wonder, Fast Product, Cherry Red, Rough Trade and many many more.
The idea for Moonbuilding is to create a home for a scene that was accidentally created on the pages of Electronic Sound, drawing the artists and labels Neil has been championing for nearly a decade into a new title that is in keeping with the DIY ethic of the artists and labels themselves.
Both Neil and Colin fondly recall hoovering up fanzines from the counters of record shops in the 1980s in search of their next new favourite band. “I was always buying mags and fanzines and loved to read about all this new music,” says Colin. Moonbuilding is made with the spirit of those indie fanzines spread liberally across its pages. Brace yourself for John Bull printing sets, vintage typewriters and Ben Day dots galore.
Neil Mason has been at the sharp end of music publishing for over 25 years. He worked as a sub editor on dance music title Muzik, before becoming albums editor, then reviews editor, at Melody Maker, features editor on NME.COM and the editor of War Child’s pre-iTunes music download site warchildmusic.com. He was commissioning editor at Electronic Sound until April 2022.
Colin Morrison set up Castles In Space in 2015 and has released over 100 titles including acclaimed albums by Polypores, Warrington-Runcorn New Town Development Plan, Concretism, Field Lines Cartographer, The Twelve Hour Foundation and more. In November 2021 he promoted the label’s first two-day Levitation festival in Whitby. This year’s event, headlined by The Orb, is already sold out.