Tuesday, January 21, 2014
22 years of Rude FM
At the Quietus, John Doran profiles the long-running North London pirate radio station Rude FM (nee, way way back in the day, Raw FM; currently RudeFM.com)
Topics include the evergreen / renaissance-itude of drum & bass, and, naturally, the good old dayz.
Imaginary Forces on the avant-izm of darkcore and prime period jungle: "If I drag out an old record like 4 Horsemen Of The Apocalypse and on the b-side to that there's a Michael Nyman sample from one of his Peter Greenway soundtracks. That's a really mad thing to crop up in the middle of a really dark jungle tune."
Imaginary Forces, on the decline / self-constriction of drum & bass: "You've got to bear in mind that when I started the tempos were much slower about 130 to 150bpm so you had more space for everything to breathe. By the time it was 2000, we were up to 175, 180 bpm and it was just flat. Everything was squashed together....
Imaginary Forces dissing the Billingsgates (a/k.a nu-junglizm): "This whole wave seems to be old house music producers who have suddenly gone, 'Oh, we'll just throw in a few breakbeats.' And for me it's an insult. And worse, it's a throwback. Four Tet just recently called a tune 'Kool FM' and that's just crass. It really bugged me. All he did was take a crappy loop... It's just vicarious cool.... It's not necessarily a bad thing on its own that these guys are pillaging a heritage that doesn't belong to them but they are not putting anything back into it.... And they do this music and get bookings in these white boy, hipster venues. Those venues and that crowd are like, 'Well I like this music but this is safe. I like this music and this way there is less chance we'll have to rub shoulders with any chavs. It's really beige. There's no energy in it. Sure when I was young and I went to Telepathy there was that feeling that if I mixed it up with the wrong person I might get stabbed but at the same time I was having the time of my life listening to the most amazing sounds. These new guys are like the Dire Straits of jungle revival."
List of pirates scrawled in 1994, when I was living in Belsize Park (Rude FM pokes in at 104-ish on the dial). The "past" list is based on what I could pick up in Brixton in 92-93.
graph from a 1994 Touch magazine article on the buccaneers of broadcasting
got a lot of tapes from the jump up and techstep era but never go back to them - not a golden age for me as the MC-nonsense-spew element really drops away - the music itself sick and dark for sure, but by that point there were comps a plenty, the 12's were easy to identify and buy, Grooverider on 1Xtra etc, so pirate tapes didn't have the same essential function