Love Injection Fanzine began publishing monthly in February 2015. But the inspiration for its genesis can be traced a bit further back – to Barbie Bertish and Paul Raffaele’s attendance at long-running New York City dance parties like 718 Sessions, Joy, and most vitally, The Loft. It was at the latter, a ritual gathering that’s survived and thrived through the decades, that Barbie and Paul experienced the singular welcoming energy of NYC nightlife’s original safe space, where a mosaic of party people across generations converged to celebrate music, sound and most significantly, one another. Adopting the name one of the classic tracks they regularly danced to at the party – Trussel’s underground disco-boogie anthem, “Love Injection” – they turned to the tactile craft of independent print publishing to document the community that so readily embraced them.
Co-edited by Barbie and Paul, Love Injection Fanzine seeks to fill in the gaps of dance music and nightlife culture’s untold stories and histories, and bring new perspectives to familiar ones. Notable features have included profiles of such distinguished dance music figures as Francois K, Danny Krivit, Kenny Dope Gonzalez, Louie Vega, Nicky Siano, Junior Vasquez, Timmy Regisford, and Yvonne Turner; DJs and producers such as Justin Strauss, Honey Dijon, DJ Spinna, Bobbito Garcia, Ron Trent, AceMo, Kim Ann Foxman, Aurora Halal, Gavilan Rayna Russom, MoMa Ready, Kush Jones, Kim Lightfoot, Robert Hood, and Rich Medina; musicians such as Roy Ayers, Thurston Moore, Earl Young and Kamasi Washington; active collectives such as Analog Soul, Dope Jams, Discwoman, and Papi Juice; artist/performers, documentarians, and events producers such as Ann Magnunson, Ladyfag, Michael Holman, Vince Aletti, and Giant Step; and personal North Stars such as the DJ, radio host, party host, and Loft founder David Mancuso’s protégé, Colleen Cosmo Murphy. Special commemorative issues have been dedicated to the legacy of renowned independent dance label West End Records, and in memoriam for Frankie Knuckles, producer Boyd Jarvis and DJ Blu Jemz. Events listings, DJ charts, photo essays, and poetry regularly inhabit the zine’s pages. Contributors are frequently friends and close peers.
The conspicuously homegrown approach to editorial is intentional; Love Injection’s content is not determined by press schedules, algorithms, or social media metrics. Print is its prioritized format – this in order to provide some small respite from modern life’s relentless dependence on screens. However the zine, by its very definition, is not precious. No longer on a monthly schedule as of March 2020 – as per the reality of publishing amidst a pandemic – it nonetheless remains as it began, readily available for free within NYC at The Lot Radio kiosk in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, most area record shops, and select independent bookstores like McNally Jackson and Bye Bye Neighbor. Mailed subscriptions are available at the cost of postage. All domestic distribution is handled in-house – very literally by hand – and internationally via Rubadub in Glasgow. And in an effort for the zine to be fully accessible to all, digital PDFs may also be purchased for a nominal price for those unable to afford a paid subscription.
Love Injection aspires to become a resource for people studying the impact of nightlife and dance culture and their ecosystems – a time capsule of New York City yesterday and today, and hopefully, the grist for further inspiration tomorrow. This is for you.