Interview with
Maestro Monteverdi of TAP2

By Adok/Hugi

Maestro Monteverdi of The Afghanistan Posse is the main editor of El Afghano, a satirical magazine that used to be distributed as text-files plus a coded interface for MS-DOS. The latest issue, El Afghano 4.5, was an HTML document. It's already been a couple of years since its release; however, occasionally there are rumours going through the scene that the El Afghano staff is preparing a new issue. I've interviewed Maestro M. in order to get some real information on that matter, and also to learn more about the history of the magazine and the background of its contributors.

Could you please introduce yourself to our readers?

My name is Maestro Monteverdi, and I've been the main editor of El Afghano since its latest issue. Before me, Afghanbashi and Mohammed Napolčon served as main editors.

I'm the most serious-minded of the three of us, and my aim is to make El Afghano a respectable "quality" magazine, just like Hugi.

Could you tell us the history of El Afghano: When was it founded? How many issues have been released? How has the mag developed with the time? What actually is the reason why you're releasing this mag?

Huh, that's a lot of questions. Let me think a while... If I remember correctly, the first issue of El Afghano was released in early 2000. Issues 2 and 3 followed soon after that. Then there was a break until El Afghano #4, and El Afghano #4.5 was released several months after that. However, it was spread only among close friends of our staff members'. It took about a year until one of us actually figured that the mag hadn't really been released to the public yet and uploaded it onto the Internet.

So all in all, five issues have been released so far. The first two issues were plain text-files. Issue 3 was both a text-file and an MS-DOS based program. In issue 4 the text-file was dropped and there was only the program, which perhaps resulted in many people not being able to read it because of compatibility problems. Issue 4.5 then was an HTML document, thus the layout and readability were better than that of previous issues, and it was also compatible. There was even a cool title screen in it, showing a Pashtuna warrior walking in agricultural areas where opium was cultivated.

No issue had a lot of text, I think the largest one had a bit more than 100 kbytes... But you know, it's not size that matters - it's contents. And the reason why we started this magazine? Well, it's simple: for fun.

What are the contents of El Afghano usually like? What topics you publish most about?

El Afghano is pretty much a satirical magazine, like you correctly described it in your review in Hugi #19. On the one hand, we mock at politics, and on the other, we mock at the demoscene and diskmag editors. Sometimes we also mock at ourselves.

Please don't make the mistake of confusing "satirical" with "low-quality"!! I want to show you that it's possible to make a satirical magazine with a high quality. I'm really serious about that.

Who is currently a member of the El Afghano staff?

Afghanbashi, Mohammend Napolčon, Arturo Ui, Pedro Salazar (he's back) and me. Many years ago we also had a sixth member, Abu Gaza, but we've long lost contact with him. He hasn't been very productive anyway.

Who apart of your staff members has ever contributed to El Afghano?

Well first of all: YOU, Adok. ;-) Then there have also been contributions from Venior (mostly feedback IIRC), Dario Phong ("voteshit")... BTW, I'd also like to greet Szum of Cryogen for accepting our member Mohammed Napolčon as a co-editor of Dragon International, and Eggbird aka Skrebbel aka sir RICHARD kbab aka whatever this weirdo calls himself these days because he seems to be such a loyal reader. Maybe he's even our greatest fan? Autographs aren't available yet, though...

What I've been wondering for a while already: Do all of you really live in Afghanistan? Sometimes I have doubts about that when reading your mag...

That's a challenging question. The answer is: partially yes. We do live in a place called Afghanistan. However, it's probably not the place you're thinking of. Our Afghanistan has some things in common with the country the media have been reporting about quite a lot especially since September 11th, 2001. But it's not the same. There are many little differences, and unfortunately, I'm not able to explain it to you here in all detail.

In any case, we are happy about the US troops finally having liberated Afghanistan from Taleban rule.

As the contents of El Afghano are quite controversial, I'd be interested in getting an answer on the question: What feedback do you usually get on your mag?

Well, to be honest: We hardly get any feedback. Probably it's because our magazine is almost unknown in the demoscene, even though it's available at and, announcements have been posted to, and it has even be reviewed by other diskmags such as Hugi and WildMag. It's not that easy to get a new mag equally known as Hugi...

Perhaps it's also because there are people who don't even read El Afghano after downloading it simply due to the fact that most of its issues have been either text-based or HTML-based, or have been embedded in - I admit it - a crappy MS-DOS engine. Well, they are definitely missing something.

Does The Afghanistan Posse release anything apart from the El Afghano magazine?

No, it doesn't - at least not yet.

Have any of your members been involved in any other scene projects than those of your group, The Afghanistan Posse?

Yes. Mohammed Napolčon was a staff member of "Dragon International". This was Szum's project. He wanted to conquer the world scene with a formerly Polish diskmag. However, not even a first issue of it ever came out.

Why do you use TAP2 as the official abbreviation of your group-name? Where does the number 2 come from?

I guess you know that there is already a German-based group called TAP (and I have no idea what this stands for...). Therefore we can't simply use TAP. As far as we know there's no TAP2 yet, so that's why we're using it.

By the way, even though some members of the group TAP know us, let me tell you that no member of TAP has ever been involved in the making of an El Afghano issue.

When can we expect the next issue of El Afghano to be released? And more, what will it be called?

I can't give you a definitive date... Only "the one and only" knows. You can imagine that life in Afghanistan isn't all that easy, so that's why we can't work on the mag like maniacs. ;) Moreover, as it's a satirical mag, it needs more preparation than a serious one because we first have to invent good funny things and ideas that can be used in satire... Anyway, whenever it will be released, it will be available at, I guess. It will probably be just called "El Afghano 6"... or maybe not. Let's see...

A final question: Could you explain who is the "one and only"? I suppose not everybody has understood it yet.

Sorry, I must not mention His name for this would not please Him. You know, that's part of our religious creed. But I don't think that by now, there are still lots of people who haven't got it. If you still don't understand it, please ask somebody else - not me and any other member of TAP2.

A final message to our readers?

Well, I guess you know what I'm going to tell you: Unless you've already read the latest issues of El Afghano... feel free to do so now. Just if you have time, interest and the right sense of humour (find out what), of course.

Maestro Monteverdi and Adok/Hugi

- El Afghano Chronology -

2000/01: Issue 1 - First E-mag from Afghanistan
2000/02: Issue 2 - No Fame, No Shame
2000/02: Issue 3 - Discrete Convulsions
2000/07: Issue 4 - Temporary Permanency
2001/02: Issue 4.5 - The Prophecy E-mag

El Afghano 4.5 was officially released

a whole year later: in early 2002.

Where to download all the issues:

(search for group "el afghano")