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Encyclopedia > KOOL FM

Kool FM is one of the main pirate radio stations in London, UK. The station broadcasts on 94.6 MHz FM in the Greater London area, as it has done, often not without incident, since 1991 - although it celebrated its 15th birthday on Friday 1st of December, 2006, with a huge rave at the Ministry of Sound, Kool's inaugural broadcast was on the 28th of November, 1991, from a council estate in Hackney. The term Pirate Radio usually refers to illegal or unregulated radio transmission. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... Ministry of Sound (MoS) is a nightclub in Elephant and Castle, Southwark, South London. ... The London Borough of Hackney is a London Borough in the east end of London and part of inner London. ...

Kool FM broadcasts every week in the Greater London area 24/7 since early 2006. In addition to their traditional FM broadcast, Kool FM can now also be listened to live on the web via Drumandbasswise - formerly 'Raveguide.co.uk', the website set up by DJ Spice in 2000. Spice also DJs on the station. DJ Spice is a British DJ producer from Birmingham She has been a DJ producer since 1994 when she started on the pirate radio station Kool fm, which was one of the biggest radio stations in outside London broadcasting on 98. ...


The music Kool FM plays

Kool FM describes itself as a 'Hardcore Jungle Drum and Bass radio station' - and as such the music it broadcasts ranges from (predominantly) drum n bass to old skool and, occasionally, other genres. A wide range of both up-and-coming DJs and MCs play out on the station, and similarly almost every style of Drum & Bass can be heard: music ranging from mainly Jump-Up (dancefloor-oriented D&B, arguably the most popular type of Drum & Bass in raves and clubs) to, sometimes, the more IDM-influenced subgenres of Techstep and Liquid Funk, depending on the DJ's musical tastes. Drum and bass (commonly abbreviated to d&b, DnB, dnb,deenbee, drum n bass and drum & bass) is a type of electronic dance music also known as jungle. ... Old school, sometimes alternately old skool, oldschool or oldskool, is a slang term referring to old ways of thinking or acting, and to old objects in general, within the context of newer, more modern times. ... DJ or dj may stand for Disc jockey, dinner jacket The DeadJournal website, or Djibouti. ... MasterCard logo Manchaster Town Hall MC can mean: Mini Cooper: Macao: FIPS PUB 10-4 territory code Machine, (also m/c) Manchester, England (also m/c) Mariah Carey, American songstress Marginal cost Marin Catholic Master cylinder Master of Ceremonies Rapper (also emcee), or a prefix for the names of rappers... Jump-Up is a subgenre of jungle and drum and bass music that was popular with fans of drum and bass in the late 1990s. ... Intelligent dance music (commonly IDM) is a genre of electronic music derived from dance music of the 1980s and early 1990s which puts an emphasis on novel processing and sequencing. ... Techstep (also referred to as tech) is a major subgenre of drum and bass, characterized by a dark, sci-fi mood, near-exclusive use of synthesised or sampled sound sources, and influences from industrial and techno music at the forefront. ... Liquid funk is a style of drum and bass. ...

A brief history of pirates and Kool FM

Kool FM has been running, helping to support and perpetuate the scene, and inform ravers, for over a decade. Back when jungle was an emerging genre, the station played a seminal role acting as a middleman between the ravers and the promoters (along with many other stations, some of which are still going, but the majority have been permanently shut down by their owners, merged with other stations or just faded into obscurity). Pirates back in the 1990s afforded a wide-ranging, effective way of communicating to fans of the music where and when the next raves were taking place, and it gave producers and DJs a chance to play out brand new tracks, often on dubplate (in fact, it could be argued that pirate radio contributed to the continuing success of dubplates, as producers would cut a track to acetate and then give a few copies to big-name DJs to play out in clubs or on pirate radio, to get early exposure and increase 'hype' in a track, before the promotional copies hit the record stores. If a track had non-cleared, copyrighted samples in it, hearing it on a pirate or in a rave was often the only way to ever hear it. The culture of pirate stations broadcasting a niche genre of music to hundreds and thousands of dedicated fans, of which Kool FM has always been a major part, helped both to sustain and diversify the genre throughout the 1990s, as new styles of music were played out by DJs, testing the waters or exploring new musical ideas. Jungle music can mean: Drum and bass - the current term used to encompass the entire musical genre of jungle and drum & bass Oldschool jungle - a style specific to the earliest form of drum and bass, it is still produced to this day Ragga jungle - a substyle of oldschool jungle, characterized... A dubplate is an acetate disc — usually 12 inches, 10 inches or 7 inches in diameter — used in mastering studios for quality control and test recordings before proceeding with the final master, and subsequent pressing of the record to be mass produced on vinyl. ... The term Pirate Radio usually refers to illegal or unregulated radio transmission. ...

As interest and popularity in jungle (now called jungle drum n bass), grew, so did the pirates, and Kool FM has always played a notable part in the progression and support of the genre. Booking Agencies were set up to book DJs to play on the station, events were organised in association (and sometimes by) the stations, producing revenue to further the ability of the stations to survive, supporting the music scene and themselves. This had always been a necessary thing to do in terms of the pirates supporting themselves: since the Radio Authority (now known as Ofcom) regularly enforced the law regarding unlicensed broadcasts, confiscating broadcasting equipment and all possessions relating to the station if they were caught. Thus, DJs would lose record collections (which were often subsequently destroyed), masts would be taken down, microwave dishes removed... Running a pirate station was (and still is) an expensive project, so as much as supporting the scene, events were organised and the revenues used in part to fund the continuation of the stations. Ofcom is a regulator for communication industries in the United Kingdom. ...

It is widely regarded that along with several other stations at the time (such as Pulse FM, Don FM, Weekend Rush, Eruption), Kool FM's support in jungle's formative years helped to spread the word amongst fans of the style, and also helped to nurture the music into what it is today. Almost every drum n bass fan with a sense of the history behind their music understands that the genre would be nowhere near as popular, diverse or successful without the invaluable support and development provided by the multitude of pirates (in the past, there were easily as many as 40 or more pirates in the Greater London area alone, though the airwaves aren't quite as crowded today). Many newcomers to drum n bass, and some who have been listening to the genre for a few years, fail to realise that until 1994, when Kiss FM began broadcasting jungle, and 1995, when the seminal 'One In The Jungle' show began on BBC Radio 1, there was no Jungle or Drum & Bass on any legal, licensed radio station anywhere in the UK, so it is important that the role of pirate stations is not underestimated. Even today, pirates such as Kool FM play an essential role in the continuation of the genre. This page redirects from Radio 1. See Radio 1 (disambiguation). ...

The humble beginnings of Kool FM

(An excerpt from an interview by Stephan Enders (se), Stefan Müller (sm), interviewing Eastman, one of the founders of Kool FM back in 1991)

se: How was Kool FM established in the beginning?

Eastman: I started off in sound systems, I used to have a Reggae Sound System, playing Reggae, Soul, Rap, this sort of thing, in the early days. And one of the guys, who used to follow the sound, had a brother we called Smurf, the little blue man. And he was into like techno hardcore in them days, but we wasn't. We was more into Reggae, Soul. And I thought he was mad, sort of thing, this music, all fast speeds, 92 miles an hour, and like going to big raves and taking all sorts of things. But later it was the blend of the two. He approached me and asked me, 'cause I was involved in pirate radio through Reggae and Soul as well, like over 20 years I've been doin' it. And he asked me if I'd like to do a hardcore station. I sat down with another friend like DJ Brockie, who's been with us from the beginning, and we decided to go for it. But we felt that we could influence the music just more musical, more feeling in the music. And we started, we went on air, we broadcast our first transmission November the 28th in '91. And the things just went on. We stayed on air from then twenty four-seven, we was like on 24 hours a day, and we had about a three months run, so it really established us well. Then after about a year the music started to change, with different producers, like Potential Bad Boy, Rebel MC, these sort of guys, putting the Reggae samples in, or the Soul samples and all that, into the music, and it just progressed from there. 't was about friends, I mean we started off with nothing when we first started, none of us was workin', we put all our giros together, unemployment benefit, whatever you call it, I don't know what you call it over here, and we just decided we wanted to do something for ourself.

sm: How oft did you have problems with the media authority, the law?

Eastman: On average about every two weeks we get our aerials taken down. Sometimes we have our arials taken down three times in one weekend. But it is just about determination. And I know a lot of people here who are into radio. If you wanna broadcast and you wanna be on air, 'cause you wanna reach into people's homes, cars, you just do it! So we get straight back on air again.

se: How often did you change studio or the location of the studio?

Eastman: The studio about every three, four months, it all depends. 'Cause the trouble is with Kool FM, a lot of the DJs are so well known, if they're seen on the street in Hackney or East London, next thing they're on the radio, people have seen them going into that building, so they might know where we are. 'Cause a lot of the DJs and MCs have really high profile in London. So that's the awkward thing.

(Read the entire article on the Radio X-Mix web site.)

See also

The term Pirate Radio usually refers to illegal or unregulated radio transmission. ...

External links

  • Kool946FM.co.uk Website
  • Radio X-Mix: Eastman Interview (full) - accessed 17 June 2006.
  • A History of Drum & Bass - 1993-1994 (from the BBC 1Xtra Xtrabass minisite) - not working 17 June 2006.
  • A History of Drum & Bass - 1989-2006 (from the BBC 1Xtra Xtrabass minisite) - working 16 Feb 2007.
  • A History of Jungle Drum & Bass (dates from 1998, but still historically relevant) - accessed 17 June 2006.
  • A Short History Of Drum & Bass by Ben Gilman - accessed 17 June 2006.
  • RadioRewind: BBC Radio 1 History (and brief history on the creation of the law defining a status of 'pirate' radio stations) - accessed 17 June 2006.
  • The Fused Pirate Radio Resource (HUGE back-archive of pirate stations, UK pirate history 1985-2000, separate section on London pirates) - accessed 17 June 2006.
  • LondonPirates.co.uk - Everything you could possibly want to know about pirate radio in London from 1989 to the present day - Last updated 06 March 2007.



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