Radio bleep bleep
Chris Cudby turns on the radio in the basement-level of an old tie factory and a series of discordant bleeps seep out of the speakers.
“Quite a lot of stuff we play is experimental or noise music, so that’s actually what it’s supposed to sound like,” the AFM station manager explains.
The new low-wattage radio station is the brainwave of the Audio Foundation, an organisation founded in 2004 to support independent and adventurous music coming out of Aotearoa.
Establishing a radio station was on the foundation’s to-do list for a couple of years before the shift to larger premises on Poynton Tce.
The station is equipped with a donated transmitter and a patchwork of gifted gear and is now broadcasting live on 88.3FM.
Being a low-powered radio station has its limitations and staff can legally transmit only one-watt, which is just enough to capture listeners around the block.
“The radius for the signal is quite small, it’s just around the K’ Rd area really, but the internet streaming side is where we can expand our audience,” Mr Cudby says.
Broadcasting over the internet will help expose Kiwi electronic music practitioners to a global audience they may have had trouble reaching before, he says.
“It’s probably a dispersed audience, but from what I gather there’s a dedicated following of New Zealand noise and experimental music, especially in America and Europe.”
Noise music is defined as a category of genres that literally employ noise as a musical resource.
The musical style often falls outside the norm for mainstream radio, which is where AFM fits in.
The station’s playlist consists of adventurous tunes that have been collected by the foundation over the last six years, amounting to about 55 days of solid music.
Audio Foundation director Zoe Drayton says the station is a great way to showcase the enormous collection – though it might not be to everyone’s taste.
“It’s a very specific type of music that is going on here, not all people would find it accessible but that’s the nature of art – that it has a specific audience.”
DJs also play specialist shows on Sundays and Mondays.
The foundation will also be broadcasting shows and live discussions.
Go to audiofoundation.org.nz for online streaming.
– © Fairfax NZ News
© Auckland City Harbour News March 8th, 2013.
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