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Maybe I'm missing the point but Ministry magazine is a waste of money - certainly on it's editorial content, what little of it there is. It seems to me that the features have little depth (fashion spreads of a clubber's wardrobe and as a lot of clubbers seem to dress the same, this is a waste of time. Like a number of specialist magazines, the cycle of features goes round and round, northwest clubs in edition 1 (for instance) would be shown again in issue 7 (I've stopped getting the magazine when I saw how quickly the repeatitive it started to become. To be fair, there have been some okay and well writen pieces within it's covers but they were few and far between and they overdo the adverts. Considering that it is a propaganda publication for The Ministry Of Sound as well as the external adverts could with the admission costs of the venues, I would say that they could easily afford to send the magazine out free of charge to it's regular customers (CD as well) as it is not a 'proper' magazine (it would also be tax efficient for them to do so - they'd still have advertising revenue and would be able to charge more due to a higher circulation. One word to sum the magazine up as it is - crap.
If you're after some decent, well written, informative articles mixed up with some hilarious topical satire then you're at the right place. It is the definitive guide to the summer and all of its events, both at home in the UK and abroad (namely Ibiza). If you're after some free stuff (and who isn't) then the CDs that come taped to the front cover are usually of a pretty good standard (of course), featuring some promising tracks (that usually go on to be instantly recognisable in the clubs) and a few great ones. This month's CD is mixed by Dave Pearce, to give you an idea of the standard. Ministry obviously have high standards to maintain, and this magazine easily meets them, fitting in perfectly alongside its great albums, record labels and clothing range. Oh, and if you're in Ibiza this summer, make sure you pick up your free copy from the clubs and bars during the day, it'll make the evening easier to plan, and helps you kill time between those waking hours of 14:30 and 23:30.
You'd expect a pretty well made mag, this being the official on-paper version of the Ministry of Sound super-club. And it is. It's journalistically good, and well made. But to be honest, it find it doesn't really satisfy me as a dance music magazine. It does run some good features on occasion, and you get a few shots of bare-chested beauties, but I have never been compelled to buy it for a feature or special article or interview. No, what I buy it for is the free cover mounted CDs, which are of a great standard. At least, they were. Back about a year or two ago, you could find one CD every 3 months or so, and they were awesome. But these days, they come on nearly every issue, and the content has certainly suffered for it. They are far inferior to the music offered by Muzik, the best of the dance mags, and although Ministry's review section is expansive, it doesn't make it a good magazine by a longshot and I think it will need a big revamp (or more likely, extra breast shots) before it picks up again.
Ministry magazine easily stands out as the best magazine in it's genre. If you enjoy clubing the listings section is the best I have seen (yes, better than Muzik) and is scattered with pictures of people on nights out. (This usually manages to spring up a few of your friends every once in a while, and just for entertainment value it is usually at the end of the night when they look a little worse for wear!) The interviews are always in depth and honest, and they deal openly with issues such as drugs, rather than sweeping them under the carpet as a lot of magazines do. The attitude of accepting that drugs and clubs go hand in hand is refreshing and while being open about this fact, they also accept that not all clubbers are 'off their heads' as a lot of the music press would have you believe. It is refreshing to see such an honest, open and - more importantly - realistic point of view. All this plus every month a free CD which usually is a full length mix but also doubles up as a CD ROM to give exclusive intervies, video and track previews. Some of the best tunes I have ever heard have come from these Cds, introducing me to bands like Mutiny UK and Presence for example. Go out and buy it... it's more than worth the cover price. *update* This months CD is the latest in the Superstar DJs collection, and probably one of the best so far, in the inimitable house syle of Danny Rampling. There really isn't anything more I can say about this CD except for it's a must have, with a very latino house feel. It includes the incredidible Pasilda and Ultra Nate's Desire. Go and get it whilst you still can!
if you go clubbing and understand club culture this is the magazine youve been waiting for. ministry has informative articles and realistic reviews every month and will guarantee a laugh, with humourous features and sections. There is a monthly update on the whereabouts of paul oakenfold, regular club listings and interviews. if you want to know whats happening and where it happening in clubland then look no further. its written by people who know the scene.if that wasnt enough, you get a free 10-12 track cd with every month. these cds are specially compiled by the likes of judge jules, jeremy healey and dave pearce, among others. on a recent purchase, i got the 'live at homelands' cd and realised songs i had been looking for in the shops for ages were on it, along with a selection of other fantastic house and trance tunes. at the risk of sounding cheesy, try it- you might like it. and hey, if you dont for any reason (you hate clubbing, you have no sense of humour ect), then be safe in the knowledge youve saved yourself a tenna in dance compilation albums.