Review: Xtravaganza #1

Written by Adok

date o'release: may'98
rar-packed size: 8,115 bytes
langs: english
main editor: aquafresh (ex-storm) /tesko^dolphin

xtravaganza, an ascii-only magazine, is the only and official diskmag of the scene in the united kingdom (ukscene). it is made by storm (he has recently switched back to his old handle, aquafresh), and the first issue was released at may 1st. the mag is supposed to be released monthly, but at the beginning of june there has not been a second issue yet. [it was released at june 15th.]

the first issue is not big, just about 19 kbyte of text. it features 11 articles, namely the introduction, thanks, news, uk scene centre, platforms, jobs section, about tesko, "who's storm?", wired 98 trip, uk scene mail-list, and final words. all of these articles are written by storm himself except "about tesko", which comes from majic mushroom / tesko, and "wired 98 trip", whose author is spansh of dynamix software. the articles are very short with the exception of storm's self-introduction "who's storm?" that has a length of 5 kbyte, which is at least a quarter of the whole mag's size.

according to the ukscene faq (by barog/nothing^tesko, available at the same site as xtravaganza), xtravaganza is "the main source of for ukscene info, it will feature articles on parties, compos, releases related to the UK and on top of that coding, tracking and art tutorials!". so far the magazine has nothing of all this. it is just at the beginning of its development.

the zine shall not just deal with the pc scene. sections for amiga, archimedes, playstation are to be installed as well as sections about the music and the ascii scene. for that purpose an ascii magazine is of course the best solution in my eyes. but having one magazine for all scenes in a country also creates the impression that this country has a small scene, which is probably the case with the ukscene, although storm insists that a lot of top demos from the past and present have come from the united kingdom. but in his opinion there seems to be a problem with communication over there, which is why he is begging that this emag will stop this problem from continuing.

maybe xtravaganza will really help building up the ukscene and improving the contact there and the contact between the ukscene and the rest of the world. first however a lot of supporters have to be found to make this magazine kicking ass. i guess in some way it might be good to take pain as a model as it has a central role in its local scene, switzerland, had times when support was really good and still is the most important representative of the swiss scene to the world. of course the bad sides of pain should be avoided such as the unreliable release basis, the lack of quality of some articles, the many spelling/grammar errors and the not-100% openness to the international scene (only swiss people can be voted for in the charts etc).

overall impression: it's a premier issue, and so i don't want to judge it. let's see how the mag develops and then let's rate its quality.

- adok^hugi