1.21 GIGAWATTS WAS BIRTHED FROM THE ASHES OF AN INTERN’S AUDIO CULTURE DREAMS TO MORE PURELY REPRESENT WHAT WAS GOING ON IN THE RAPIDLY EVOLVING MOVEMENT THAT IS THE BROOKLYN DIY MUSIC SCENE. WHEN DANNY KRUG AND BRANDON JOHNSON MET AND ASSEMBLED THE FIRST VOLUME OF THE ZINE, THEY KNEW THAT THEY WERE HOLDING SOMETHING INTRINSICALLY VALUABLE IN THEIR HANDS; IT WAS AN HONEST, HARD WORKING REPRESENTATION OF WHAT THE LOCAL MUSIC SCENE WAS AND IS. THE RELEASE OF GIGAWATTS 1 (PRONOUNCED JIGGA, AS I OFTEN GET IT WRONG) LAST SUMMER MARKED THE BEGINNING OF A NEW STANDARD, A STANDARD THAT REACHED PROFESSIONAL LEVELS WHILE STILL STAYING TRUE TO THE DREAMCHASERS THAT MADE IT ALL POSSIBLE.
PERFECT PRESENTATION: DOES THE DIY SCENE CALL FOR DIY REPRESENTATION? BETTER YET, DOES THAT SCENE CALL FOR AN AESTHETIC OF REPRESENTATION? 1.21 GIGAWATTS IS A START-UP MAGAZINE WORKING FROM THE HEART OF NEW YORK CITY, BROOKLYN. ITS FOUNDERS KEEP PERSONAL TOUCH WITH THE BANDS COVERED AND OFFER A PERSONAL LOOK INTO A SCENE THAT’S OFTEN MISREPRESENTED BY THE REST OF THE WORLD.
Fueled by his passion for photography, a young Danny Krug conceptualized 1.21 Gigawatts back in the fall of 2011. Nearly two years later he’s fought his way to the front and is now looking at distribution channels outside of his locale. It’s this bottom-up story of success that channels interest in the music being produced from the hard working trough of society and compels young artists to continue on their creative paths in opposition to what mainstream culture wants of them.
The original print run, back in the summer of 2012, a long long time ago, was a lonely 1,000 copies. But for a group interested in distributing in only once place, Brooklyn, this worked just fine — Krug, Johnson and Gigawatts immediately became a home-town staple based on their willingness to sacrifice quantity for quality. That was the initial success of the zine, from day one, it looked completely professional. Professionally printed and professionally written- no matter how unprofessional some of its content was. The level of care that was put into the project showed how deeply appreciated the musicians were, even if it was just by the twenty people that showed up for the set.
And this was the return to localized music. Because all over the world there must be tiny start-ups not unlike Gigawatts where honest writers put their fingers to the keyboard in hopes of breaking ground on a new sensation. This was only a transitional theory as dictated by their own personal love for the music, an effort that lacks much reward besides that warm fuzzy feeling you get for “doing the right thing” which in this case was pursuing truthful expression.
Expression is what Krug and his co-founder are all about. With their new offices headquartered in the Bogart Building, we’re looking at a new generation of the magazine, although one wonders what the next step in authenticity really is. It’s a new generation that boasts all the resources that a photo studio and the general good feelings that having your first office can provide.
Free to do whatever he wants, cover whoever he wants and ultimately publish whatever he wants, Krug funds the zine by hosting shows at venues around the city — something that comes naturally after running 171 Lombardy. 1.21 Gigawatts is the whole package, presented perfectly. From the printed content to the shows, everything is done with heart and that’s what really counts (oh yes). Keep your eyes open for this summer’s 2-day Gigawatts festival at the Silent Barn for the one year anniversary in July. @Dingusonmusic