KBnL: From an Ol’ Pal to JUICE

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source: JUICE

Having stayed in Kuala Lumpur during the birth of the club scene, the KBnL boys – before they were Johor Bahru’s equivalents of Twilight Actiongirl – had always been avid readers of JUICE. They were around since our infancy, when the magazine hasn’t expanded beyond nightlife and dance, and they still stuck with us even when we started covering off-kilter subcultures and bands (meanwhile others felt betrayed by the shift in focus). Who better to offer us a much needed anniversary paean than a genuine fan of the magazine who happens to be part of the scene then? And so we pass the pen to KBnL…

When we were asked to write for the Last Word column, we were well chuffed about it. Come on… This is JUICE we’re talking about…  Arguably the coolest local rag ever as far we were concerned!

We remember seeing JUICE for the first time at a tattoo parlour and went, “Innnnnneresting, what maaajuu mag is this la?!” Only to be pleasantly shocked to find out that it was a local mag. It was truly like a breath of fresh air. At the time there was already a healthy club scene in KL and and coupled with the fact that there were no FB, Twittter, et al notifications, JUICE was the most relevant rag in town. Yes, there were others, but JUICE was the only one that clubbers looked to – to find out what was happening or read reviews of the nights before because it was simply the most readable and relevant one. It was the first local magazine that GOT the dance scene, EDM, in today’s parlance.

For southerners JUICE was a godsend. It kept us abreast of what was going on in the capital, which cool parties and events our friends were attending, who was wearing and listening to what, and it wasn’t just the local scene for they covered the international scene as well. Best part of it all? JUICE is free! What more could we ask for?

JUICE is like a familiar old friend and we go waaaay back. Once a month we’d meet up and catch up on loads of stuff and spot our friends (and ourselves!) in photos of parties and laugh at our/their expressions. [The Scene pages] were definitely the fun segment of the mag and we really looked forward to that each month. New music, fashion, movies, pop culture, subculture, parties and concert reviews, JUICE covered it all.  Like all good friends however, we had our disagreements on occasions. Especially when it came to album or gig reviews. But in the end, it was all good. It’s hard not to kiss and make up when you look at the party pictures and realise the amount of fun you and your friends had.

The annual JUICE DJ Quests and year end accolades were always a hoot for us. It was the first time we felt that a local competition or award was interesting, relevant and cool (for us, anyway!). And those Anniversary parties… phew… Suffice to say that they usually guaranteed a good time!

We’ve gone through its many incarnations, from something that seemed like a ‘pawrer‘ DIY fanzine to its current glossy pages.  JUICE would update us on new acts (and affirm the ones we already like), and with every change at the helm came an evolving of music scenes and tastes that seemed to reflect a change in our own. From dance to indie folk to hip hop, it was like your friend coming back with a new hairdo or outfit. We’d let rip and take the piss but at the end of the day, it was still your friend.

It’s been how many years? 11…? Gosh, has it been that long? Guess we never noticed cos we’ve been busy enjoying our time together. Here’s to many more years of JUICE! Now pass us a box of tissues cos we’re getting misty-eyed.


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