Pirate Fucking Radio 100

From a fan from the deep south Netherlands we received a copy of the compilation CD ‘Pirate Fuckin’ Radio 100’. A CD of a radio show in the Bay Area, San Fransisco. How music travels, keeps on suprising me. "Pirate Fuckin’ Radio has turned 100 (editions). Five years of low-watt, batterey-powored, indie-as-fuck, HipHop slam rebellion, flying below the FCC scanner an above the city’s power structure, uncensored beat banging airwave anarchy." That is what this tape containes, scratching and breaks. Breaks and scratching only.


Taken from the booklet:

The punk-turned-turntable provocateur Billy Jam kinda end his shinning career as a college radio with a bang. And that bang was the start of his mission for free radio. "In 1994, I got an advance release of Public Enemy’s new album ‘Muse Sick-N-Hour Message’ which I played in its entirely on KUSF without bleeping out all the curses." He says. Oops end of the show.

But when Jam met international pirate radio avatar Stephen Dunifer and his chief technician Captain Fred, the leaders of bedroom station in the Berkeley Hills on Sunday evenings, destiny was sealed. "Captain Fred told me that micro-powered radio would be the perfect home for HipHop Slam… a place where the art of HipHop would no longer be censored or tampered with in any way."

Under the FCC-free slogan, "Fuck The Bullshit", Jam revived HipHop Slam. "Taking example from something I’d seen the folks at ‘Maximum Rock-N-Roll’ do, I started dubbing off these ‘Pirate Fuckin’ Radio’ shows onto cassette and mailing them to any stations that would re-broadcast them." The show was "picked up" across the country including stations like San Francisco Liberation Radio, Free Radio Santa Cruz, Steal This Radio (NYC), Pirate radio Seattle, KBUD (Mendocino, CA) and 808 The Bomb (Miami).

Free Radio Berkley was finally forced off the air by the FCC (Radio Control) in June 1998. "In a show of good faith we decided to give the FCC time to create a low power radio service for local communities," says Captain Fred. "They don’t care that we have no access to the media, which has been bought up by huge corporations. They don’t care that freedom of speech has been sold to the highest bidder in government sanctioned auctions." The Free Radio Berkeley crew’s push for legal low-power station is still being discussed in the sterile halls of federal agencies (check for info www.fcc.gov). Many of the former F.R.B. volunteers can now be heard on the Berkeley Liberation Radio (104.1 FM) HipHop Slam continues on D’z Nutts, the rap pirate station in Vallejo, CA.

On March 13, 1996, Jam organized a whole day of ‘Pirate Fuckin’ Radio", the first HipHop event of this kind, broadcasted from the oily scaffoldings of an auto shop two doors down from San Fransisco’s DNA Lounge. On the club stage, the Invisibl Skracth Piklz, The Coup, DJ Shadow and Latryx, and the Conscious Daughters were broadcast worldwide via transmitter and over the Internet. "I wanted to make the point that there should be an all rap station that plays uncensored music," says Jam. He succeeded. FCC vans cruised up and down 11th Street all day and night. But never found the signal source. Another victory for the little guys.

In thruth, there’s nothing like the rush of a good pirate radio broadcast. Free radio is the sound of the edge, skirting outside society’s rules, penetrating inside your private space. "No censorship, no commercials, no silly rules," says Jam. "It’s total artistic freedom… the way radio as an art should always be!"

This CD, a document of Pirate Fuckin’ Radio 100th anniversary show, capture the best of HipHop Slam’s five fuckin’ great years on the illegal pirate airwaves. Enjoy it and go do it yourself.

By Jeff "Zen" Chang.

How to build your own pirate radio station

It’s easy to do! You’ll need the Veronica 1 watt PLL Transmitter, 40 watt RF Amp (to boost your FM signal), limiter, meter, filter, RGB 50 ohm low loss coax (about 50 feet with connectors), and also some tuning tools (inexpensive). A good filter will flatten those harmonics that might invite an unwanted visit from the Radio Control or Feds. Meanwhile, antenna height can make up for lots of watts so the type of atenna you chose (Comet is recommended) and the location of it will determine how far your signal will travel. Next up is the studio part which can vary depending on what you want. Most popular with HipHop pirates is the DJ set up. Advise to prevend that everything is taken from you by the police, record the show live and broadcast the recordings. Now they can only take the transmitter and your MD player. And not your record collection and turnatbles. Whichever you choose, it is advisable to bridge your music source to your transmitter with a compressor on the output of your audio. This wil prevent over modulation which can cause signal slatter to adjeccent frequencies.

By Mac Ran, D’z Nutts Pirate Radio, Vallejo, CA.

For all the Turntablist and underground heads check the CD.

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