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This book celebrates ten years of Crack, the decade’s best music magazine

The independent publication started as a dream and is now thriving, the story of its rise is captured in these photos and behind-the-scenes stories

Starting a magazine has probably not been an advisable move for anyone in the last couple of decades, but somebody failed to tell Jake Applebee, the founder of Crack magazine: “We started ten years ago just after the recession. We had no money. We lived with our parents, did waitering on the side and bar work in the evenings to make it work. It was very tough and stayed that way for at least two years.”

Having pushed through those trying early years, Crack has now established itself as one of the finest culture magazines in the UK, if not beyond. Not to mention the fact that they now run a festival, a creative agency, a film production company, a pub, and they recently revealed their new platform, where they post new mixes every day. 

They’re celebrating ten years in publication with a book that looks back over the past decade and collects together the highlights. Crack has featured work from renowned photographers, including Emmanuel Olunkwa, Clementine Schneidermann and Elliot Kennedy, and many of those snaps are reproduced in the high-quality compendium. 

When asked to identify the shoots that stand out in their memories, art director Ade Udoma picked the A$AP Ferg shoot with Dapper Dan in Harlem: “For us, an independent magazine founded in Bristol, to bring them together and depict A$AP Ferg’s Harlem story so thoroughly was a great achievement”. Udoma also gave shouts to Crack’s first Christine and the Queens cover shoot, saying: “I still don’t think Chris has been captured in such a raw way.”

For Applebee, it’s capturing MF Doom that springs to mind: “We were told we had five minutes to shoot him and we had to set the studio up in the kitchen of his recording studio. It felt like at any moment he could pull the plug but, somehow, we got the shot and got out of there.”

These photos, as well as spreads of Thom YorkeSOPHIEBlood OrangeArca and so many more, are collected together with behind-the-scenes stories in The Crack Magazine Archives: A decade of shoots & the stories behind them. Purchase your copy here.