Sunday, 29 March 2009

Kylie's Groovy!

Being a DJ, it's all about getting the right vinyl. The party toonage, to deliver happiness. The joy of social networking meant that me old matey (and top DJ) Dean Nightingale, pointed me to a shedload of old vinyl going for cheap on ebay. I got about 20 records for £12. Most of them were naff, but an interesting little track popped up. I must admit, I wasn't thrilled to see a Kylie Minogue record in the pile, but on banging it on the decks, I was loving it. One of my favourite old skool tunes. Yes - it's cheezy, but it's also full of energy and nice Italian piano riffs. Takes me back to the party days when the ecstasy was proper and dancefloors truly rocked. Check out the Youtube above and set your living rooms ablaze with gurns and strange robotic movements... I'm doing a podcast later in the week so I'll slam it on there... And of course - make sure you catch Wez G playing a load of classics at The Tippling, Caldicot for Journeys Through House on April 11th.

Monday, 23 March 2009

This is Serbia Calling

In a previous blog, I discussed the impact of Radio Caroline, how it altered the status quo for British radio. Here, I wish to present to you a book which had a deep impact on me and inspired me to become involved with internet radio broadcasting. The book is 'This is Serbia Calling' by Matthew Collin. It is a factual account of the history of independent Belgrade radio station B92 during the Balkans conflict.

During the nineties, Europe was engulfed by its worst conflict since the Second World War. The breakup of the former-Yugoslavia turned into an horrifically bloody ethnic conflict. Religion separated the ethnic groups of Yugoslavia and the dark aspects of humanity presented themselves to the inhabitants as Serbian and Bosnian orthodox christians fought with Croatian and Bosnian Roman Catholics and Bosnian / Kosovan Muslims. The religious divide went back to the times of the Ottoman Empire and had always been a simmering bowl of contention but during the communist years of Yugoslavia and the protection of the Soviet Union, somehow the population had remained glued together. Political upheavals led to a rise in nationalism during the early nineties and the fragile bonds broke, releasing the full fury of suppressed anger amongst the ethnic populations as they fought for power in the region. To read more about the conflict I highly recommend Tim Judah's book 'The Serbs' which provides a detailed factual analysis of the ensuing war. 'This is Serbia Calling' is a case study of the remarkable work of independent radio station B92. It was run by youth and developed into an active resistance movement as the war progressed. During times of conflict the power of media becomes elevated. The history of warfare has been dotted by technological media movements. Propaganda is an essential part of warfare and masters of propaganda are usually in the boss seat during a conflict. Ideological dissemination is vital to all sides of the conflict. What B92 did was to use their radio station to express the youth's anger with the horrific happenings in their nation. It was a station which transcended the ethnic divides that were ruining Yugoslavia. A discontented youth movement emerged that would shake the very foundations of the empire that Slobodan Milosevic was attempting to create in Belgrade. The voice of the revolution was born and B92 was at the critical cultural edge.

The DJs sought to keep the population in touch with international culture, a voice of reason while the country around them was collapsing into chaos. In Serbia ultra-nationalist 'Turbo-folk' music was encouraged by the authorities. This rather bad form of Europop mixed ethnic sounds with nationalist ranting. Musically 'unique' is a term that may describe the sound but it certainly wouldn't receive any worldwide success. The book title is a bit of a misnomer as Rather than rock n'roll, B92 focussed on electronic music. They saw it as their revolutionary sound and it certainly was more popular than the turbofolk atrocities that was being spoonfed. Bands like the Prodigy and the techno Undergound Resistance system toured Yugoslavia during the conflict. youth could identify with the radical electronic sounds and it helped gloss over the internecine strife. There are stories of post-battle raves going off where soldiers from all sides joined in arms, firing shots into the air. Music has that sort of power.

Politics became rapidly involved as B92's popularity soared. The authorities made several attempts to close them down, some successful. Certainly, in a place such as Britain, tight regualtions would have forbidden the very existence of such an independent broadcast in the very first instance. B92 constantly operated in the shadows of legality. After a significant riot in Belgrade, they were initially switched completely off, then reluctantly allowed to just broadcast music with no speaking from the DJs. To encapsulate the feeling in the capital, DJs hammered the sounds of Public Enemy's 'Fight the Power' and The Clash. Throughout the conflict a cat and mouse pursuit between the station and the authorities was constant and somehow the wily station producers and DJs managed to keep their voice alive. At one stage the station owners had a bust up and split into two divisions, but the main B92 branch maintained its reactionary status. There was also a lot of technical difficulty in keeping the broadcast live. B92 demonstrates how a vital movement can be very adaptive in difficult conditions. These people were not profiteering like so many during the conflict. They weren't arms traders, smugglers or pilferers, they were an organisation with a clear ideology. Essentially an internal peace division, a voice of reason in a deepeningly madder by the minute world. Broadcasts at one stage were transferred to Bosnia and beamed back into Belgrade. A series of unmanned relaying stations serviced the dissemination of the airwaves. As technology progressed the internet became more important to the station and with the rebroadcasting facility it provided, listenership became more dispersed. By the end of the conflict, the station was heavily dependent on internet for its broadcasts.

B92 is the incredible story of resistance radio. Whether you plan to broadcast from a conflict zone or from sleepy suburbia, the book tells a message. There is hope in even the most dire of times and there is a critical need for good radio broadcasts. Internet radio broadcast capability today gives anyone with the most simplest of equipment the facility to create their own independent voice. KryKey is a platform which will allow you to set up your own radio station. Maybe by reading 'This is Serbia Calling' it will give you the inspiration to make your Personal Radio Station a success.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

I'm an addict

I have an addiction. A proper addiction. It’s untreatable. There is no cure. I am a junkie. I hang around in darkened alleys, change jingling in my pocket, waiting for the dealer’s shop to open. I rush in and start filtering through the shelves. I am a vinyl junkie and record stores are where I score my fix. It’s a strange addiction, I know. People laugh and don’t recognise the condition. But it exists, I swear. Black plastic gives me a buzz. Has done since I was ten years old. All of my spare money goes on this disgusting habit. But it’s beautiful. I love needles in the groove and the sound of dustmites crackling in the speakers. Vinyl is not just a habit, it is a passion. People think that DJing is all about glamour. They read in their glossy clubbing magazines about Paul Oakenfold, Sasha and John Digweed, touring the world, hanging out in swanky nightclubs and getting paid a small fortune for doing so. I tell you – they suffer the same craving as any other proper DJ. They like nothing more than getting their hands dirty, flicking through record racks, in search of that ultimate rarity. The picture disc, the deleted album, the white label.

DJing isn’t just a technical ability. As a technical skill it’s actually quite easy. If you can count you can beatmatch. Simple as. Anyone can flick a crossfader. The art of DJing is to inject passion into your skill. Selecting tunes for the audience, to educate and entertain is the artform. Danny Tengalia wrote quite a few years ago about ‘finding the groove’. He performed marathon ten hour DJ sets and therefore should truly understand a dancefloor. It’s all about seaming tunes together in a constant groove. To do that, you need to know your music inside out. A DJ I once worked with, Anthony Pappa, impressed me a lot. He had risen to stardom by winning the DMC Mix championship. I warmed up for him and was pleased to do the honour. He arrived, same as any other professional DJ, courteous, nice greeting, appreciative nod to the sounds you were spinning. He then cast open his box, to prepare his set. DJs are nosy animals and I couldn’t help looking at his tunes. They were all marked up with stickers. I’d seen BPM labelling previously, but Pappa’s was different. They were all colour coded and Key marked. At an advanced level of DJing, to help stitch the groove, you not only beat match, but also key mix. It was a new concept to me. It seemed a bit anal but on chatting to Pappa he explained to me the reasons. You generally have a feel for what tunes sound similar and how they mix together. Most DJs rely on chance for this, but not Pappa. Certain keys mix with certain other keys musically whereas other keys clash. However, as I soon learnt there is slightly more to it than just that. I had gone home and banged out the keys on my sister’s piano and marked up my vinyl with letters. However – you get on the mixer and try blending, say a ‘D’ with another ‘D’ and it doesn’t quite sound right. Beats are Ok and you’d presume the keys too, but what happens is that as the pitch of the record shifts for beat matching, the key also migrates. To truly understand the theory of key mixing you have to be able to calculate the effect of BPM on a record’s pitch and then match up the vinyl. Listen to Pappa. He’s a DJ’s DJ and is musically superb.

The message I’m trying to send out is that DJs are obsessive. They love their work. In order to be a good DJ you have to respect your tools. These tools, the ones that separate you from the next jock, are your records. It takes years to build a vinyl collection. Years of dedicated shopping. Of searching high and low for the unique sounds that distinguish you and enable you to deliver to the dancefloor.

You may wonder why I emphasize vinyl. Surely these days we have moved on. Technology has improved. We have digital formats. We are in the ipod revolution. MP3s, computer music , Pioneer CD decks. Oh no! I cringe when I hear the ignorance blasted out by pretend DJs about how vinyl is outdated. For technology to improve, the old format must be surpassed in every way. Digital formats were announced to be superior quality to vinyl. This is an urban myth which the music companies have now admitted to being a marketing ploy. CDs were introduced and vinyl was supposedly obsolete. For years DJing kept the vinyl factories in business but then pioneer released their replica technics model CD decks and CD DJing became all the rage. Download sites like Beatport pushed out mp3s, and DJs burned up their CDs and suddenly an entire collection could be built overnight. There is a fundamental flaw in this, well several in fact. There is an art in itself to building a collection. You appreciate vinyl a lot more when you have starved a week to get the latest import. That part of your collection has a certain significance. I browse through my records and each sleeve tells a story. The record has a soul, a character that emits itself when I place the tune on the decks during a set. Each tune has memories, lovingly attached to it. How can you develop such a bond with something that has taken 10seconds to download and exists in a single-sentence data file on your hard drive. It isn’t as romantic. Yes, vinyl is more expensive, and perhaps more difficult to track down, but at least you get something solid for your money. it is an investment. The weight, the sleeve artwork, the labelling, the peculiarities (is it warped? Is there a misprinted label? is it a picture disc?) The generation of CD and MP3 DJs are missing a vital part of the essence of DJing. The rush of shopping for vinyl. I cannot see how a ‘new’ DJ can become knowledgeable about DJing, missing out on such an important part of the lifestyle. As well as the purchasing there is a whole social aspect to record shopping. You meet other DJs, other ‘trainspotters’, pick up tips on hot remixes, rarities, quality gigs, available work and so forth. Until you can purchase mp3s in the dimly lit streets of SoHo I cannot agree that MP3 DJs will ever emulate the emotion of a vinyl DJs work.

The biggest myth buster of all has to be that the actual quality of digital music is poorer than its analogue counterpart. Try it for yourself. Get the same track on vinyl, cd and mp3 and play them one after the other, preferably on a loud sound system. The digital formats eliminate the high and low frequencies of a tune. The sub bass lines and ultra high vox disappear in digital. The sound is condensed. Music producers nowadays are unaware of the intricacies of true sound production as they are working without a true sound spectrum. Not only are DJs being cheated by this, but also the listeners. I have been reliably informed that DJs aware of this who use cds and mp3s for mixing, are buying vinyl, then recording it themselves onto digital format, rather than buy purchasing it in digital format, just so they can replicate the true sounds of a record. There is a backlash and last year saw the first rise in vinyl production since the dip induced by the introduction of the CD. Bands are releasing on vinyl again, realising that it sounds better. It is still an industry in dire straits, however. We need to turn back to vinyl. To keep it alive. Record shops are closing down in their droves. It brings tears to my eyes to see maybe 75% of my favourite stores now shut. Tag in Soho, Woosh in Cardiff and Bang Bang in Bristol. They no longer exist. My most regular haunt, Plastic Fantastic of Covent Garden, are now an online only service ( I wish to preserve the art of DJing, to teach a new generation of the wonders of this exotic and mysterious world. I want to see a new generation of junkies, lurking about dark alleys, seeking their fix. Vinyl is sexy.


Thursday, 12 March 2009

Wez G - Camembert

Wez G – Camembert
Camembert is made from unpasteurised cow's milk, and is ripened by the moulds Penicillium candida and Penicillium camemberti for at least three weeks. It is produced in small rounds, about 350 grams (.55 lb) in weight, which are then typically wrapped in paper and packaged in thin wooden boxes. When fresh, it is quite crumbly and relatively hard, but characteristically ripens and becomes softer and strongly flavoured as it ages.
1. Thugfucker – Knightrider [Reykjavik Massive Music] 2. M83 – Coleurs (Sasha Invol2ver Mix) [White] 3. Depeche Mode – Only When I Lose Myself (Lexicon Avenue Mix) [White] 4. Josh Wink – Jus’ Right [Ovum] 5. Joey Negro – Make a Move on Me (Soul Avengerz Remix) [Hed Kandi] 6. Fabio Gianelli – Trinidad e Tobago [Thirtyonetwenty] 7. Josh Wink – What used to be called used to be [Ovum] 8. Noir – My MTV (The Dolphins Remix) [Toolroom Records] 9. Dire Straits – Flashing for Money (Deep Dish mix) [White] 10. Yoshimoto – Do What U Do (Markus Shulz Remix) [iO Music] 11. Underground Sound of Lisbon – So Get Up (Phunk Investigation Turbolento Mix) [Twisted]

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Liverpool victorious in clash of titans

When the draw for the first knockout round was recently made, a shiver of excitement ran down my spine. Liverpool drew Real Madrid. It was to be a two-legged clash of European titans. Real Madrid are the most succesful side ever in the European Cup, having lifted the ultimate club football trophy on no less than nine occasions. Liverpool rank third in the overall list with their satisfying tally of five European Cups. As a Liverpool fan, playing the big sides inspires me not with fear but with eager anticipation. You cannot gauge your team when they play poor footballing sides. When they play a really decent side, you see the true game of football, where players are fired up and the beautiful game flows. This would be the biggest game in European football for many years, perhaps even eclipsing the two finals Liverpool have played against AC Milan in recent years. Milan are sandwiched between us and Madrid in second place of the overall European Cup League. Milan are seven times winners.

Real Madrid last met Liverpool in the 1981 European Cup Final in Paris which Liverpool won to lift their thrid European Cup. Matches between these two giants are therefore rare and something to be cherished. Rafael Benitez is a lifelong supporter of los Blancos and used to work for them so the fixture took on extra importance for him.

Madrid came into the fixture with an impressive run of domestic form under their new coach, Juan de Ramos. They were unbeaten in nine games. Liverpool's league form has been faltering since Christmas and they have all but surrendered their chances of winning domestically to Manchester United. This placed the importance of the European knockout stages at a premium. Our season's business this year is the European Cup. it's the only realistic trophy we are able to still win. Appetite whetted, the first game took place at the legendary Bernabeu a fortnight ago.

At the Santiago Bernabeu, Yossi Benayoun scored an 82nd minute winner to score a landmark victory in one of the toughest places to visit in world football. Real Madrid had to now brave the gauntlet that is Anfield on a European night, in order to salvage their European season.

Tonight's match saw the mighty redman set out their stall from the start, putting immense pressure on los Galacticos and defending their lead. Fernando Torres scored his first Champions League goal of the season early on. Liverpool captain, Steven Gerrard added two more goals before Andrea Dossena scored his first ever Liverpool goal to put the icing on the cake and make it 4-0 on the night, 5-0 overall on aggregate. the match was a breathtaking display of football and a very memorable night in club history.

Liverpool now travel to Old Trafford on Saturday on the back of this result's high and shall hopefully demonstrate their capacity to beat the top European teams. If only we could get results against the Middlesboroughs, Tottenhams and Evertons of the football world and perhaps we'd be able to lift an elsuive Premiership trophy! Still - It's a European year this season and we've KO's one of the strongest teams left in the competition. Let's march onto Rome and make our season a success!

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Wez G - Taliban House

Taliban House

Shuffle are always at the cutting edge of house music. Here we have created a new genre ‘Taliban House’. My boss who sidelines in tech warfare is off to Afghanistan on a sortie in a couple of weeks so I thought I’d prepare him for the trip and give him something to play in the helicopters and humvees. He’s been blown up four times in Iraq and I know Afghanistan is pretty damn dangerous so I thought I’d prepare him properly with a fired up mix. During the first gulf war, Iraqi troops at the front line were tortured with incredibly loud renditions of Bruce Springsteen – Born in the USA. I’m hoping that the Wez G Taliban House will go down a bit better with the enemy and maybe help bring peace to the region. They might lay down their arms and get grooving in the caves. Who knows? It’s worth a try. Look out for a Wez G Shuffle gig at Bagram Army base in the very near future…

1. Jim Morrison – To Come of Age [Elektra]
2. The Disco Evangelists – De Niro (The Journey – 93 E.Q.) [Positiva]
3. Fluke – Atom Bomb (Atomix 3) [Virgin]
4. The Chemical Brothers – Galvanise [Virgin]
5. Thievery Corporation – Warning Shots [ESL Music]
6. Indeep – Last Night a DJ Saved my Life [Becket Records]
7. Black Box – Ride on Time (Original 12” Mix) [S12]
8. Adamski – Killer [P&C]
9. Meeker – Save Me (Futureshock Mix) [Underwater]
10. Superchumbo – The Revolution (Volta Vocal Mix) [Twisted]
11. David Guetta feat JD Davis– The World is Mine (Deep Dish Remix) [Virgin]
12. Ladytron – You Destroy Everything You Touch (Sasha Invol2ver Mix) [White]
13. The Doors – This is The End (Dirty South Mix) [White]
14. Trafik – Surrender (Trafik’s No Retreat No Surrender Mix) [Global Underground]
15. Slacker – Scared (The Lonely Traveller) [Loaded]
16. Lost – Final Faze Mix [White]
17. Dee Patten – Who’s the Bad Man (Sound System Mix) [Hard Hands]
18. 2 Bad Mice – Bombscare (Original Mix) [Moshed]
19. The Doors – The End [Elektra]

Ladytron - Destroy Everything You Touch (Sasha - Invol2ver remix)

I featured this track on the Wez G Podcast episode, Fire and Brimstone

about a month ago. It's just such a catchy track and I cannot get it out of my head. Much better than the original Ladytron version. It gets right into your head, this one - follows you everywhere! I thought I'd blog it up so I ain't the only fool wandering around 'destroying everything I touch'

If you want to buy it on vinyl try where they have it on exclusive white label.

The entire Sasha Invol2ver album can be bought on CD at Amazon

Saturday, 7 March 2009

KryKey Website translation blurbs

I've been using linguistic skills and writing up blurbs for the international KryKey websites. Here are some (in addition to Chinese already posted): French, Spanish, Italian, German. Translating is an area where I aim to do a lot more future work... If you might be interested is using my services please get in touch.

Bienvenue à vous! Nous nous appelons KryKey et nous sommes un nouveau service internet où vous pouvez créer ou écouter à votre propre station de Radio. En ce moment il existe à KryKey les stations de radio partout dans le monde: aux États-Unis, en Australie, en Grande Bretagne, en Russe, et en Chine. Naturellement, nous voudrions prendre le service de KryKey à la belle France; aux emissions et aux auditeurs, tous les deux. La radio sur l’internet est un service qui se développe rapidement. Nous sommes contents et fiers d’introduire le KryKey à la France et les pays francophones.

¡Bienvenido a KryKey! Somos un Nuevo servicio de web donde se puede crear o escuchar su propria emisora de radio. Ahora, en Krykey, hay emisoras por todas partes del mundo: los Estados Unidos, Australia, Inglaterra, Rusia y China. Sobre todo, queremos dar el servicio KryKey al mundo hablante español, por ambos los oyentes y locutores. La radio sobre el internet progresa de prisa. Estamos contentos y orgullosos de presentar KryKey al mundo español.

Benvenuto a KryKey! Siamo un nuovo servizio dell’internet dove Lei può creare o ascoltare la sua propria stazione radio. Adesso, a KryKey, sono programme dappertutto il mundo: I Uniti d’America, l’Australia, il Regno Unito, la Russia e la Cina. Soprattutto, vogliamo offrire il servizio KryKeyal mundo Italiano, ai entrambi ascoltatori e trasmissione. La radio all’internet sviluppare rapidamente. Siamo soddisfatti e fieri de presentare KryKey alla Italia.

Wilkommen zu KryKey!Wir sind ein neu Dienst im Internet wo Sie können Ihr eigenes Radio schaffen und hören. Jetzt es gibt zu Krykey Sendung in die ganze Welt: die Vereinigte Staaten von Amerika, Australien, das Vereinigtes Königreich, Russland und China. Vor allem, wollen wir dem KryKey Dienst zu die Hörer und zur Rundfunkund Fernsehpersönlichkeit ins Deutschland bringen. Das radio im Internet entwickelt schnell. Wir sind glücklich und stolz. Wir stellen KryKey ins Deutschland vor.

Friday, 6 March 2009

A New Dawn?

I conduct a lot of research into esoteric knowledge on mind control techniques, psychic ability and centralised one world government system control. The internet is a minefield for this type of research and based on a lot of my personal experiences I have been drawn into the murky world of information mining. This article is presented with a few of these thoughts in mind. It hopes to awaken some of the reader’s ideas, encourage him to conduct further research and prepare himself for the dangers indentified for today’s world and tomorrow’s future.

We live in a technological age. That is for certain. New technologies have, since the last century, developed at an accelerated rate and the rate of change just keeps increasing. My grandparents grew up in an age where globalisation was limited. They lived through the Second World War, survived rationing, relied on traditional media such as books and newspapers and saw the emergence of radio as a commercial medium. The world was a lot smaller a place. Travel wasn’t as cheap and easy, and technologies, although significant, didn’t allow for the communication as we see it presently. The world was not an ideal place. As I mentioned the Second World War dominated the mid century. Conflicting ideologies had arisen and men across the world shed their blood in the name of freedom. After the war we entered a nuclear era and a cold war which sparked a rapid succession of technological developments. Aside from the nuclear weapons technology, man developed the ability to travel to the moon and consumers saw their lives changed with the advent of television. By the 1980s, the computer age loomed.

We have skipped on 30 years with computers becoming a dominant force in our lives. New tech such as mobile phones, sat nav systems and laptops are now essential consumer items throughout the world. The ability to communicate has never been wider. When I grew up, we just started learning about computers in school and most people had access to old machines for gaming and simple programming. The youth of today is surrounded by this new technology and absorbs it at an incredible rate. Their education is now reliant on computing and new technologies. Tomorrow’s world is daunting as adults today who are only just becoming computer literate will be far surpassed by the next generation’s tech abilities. It may appear scary, it may appear enlightening.

What does all this changing tech actually mean? There is a basic philosophical point of wisdom: ‘There is nothing new under the sun.’ Meditate on this point for a minute. Everything new is just a new form of something that is old. The same material is present on the earth at all times. We can shape and manufacture different items with our standard raw materials, but the essential components are constant. Silicon can be used to make the silicon chip, which can be used in most of the modern electronic inventions. What is a computer? Nothing but an advanced abacus. The underlying language of computing is nothing but mathematics. Every ancient civilisation from the Egyptians, to the Maya, to the Khmer, all used mathematics, although maybe in slightly different forms, for the building of temples and calendric systems, the tech of their era, their way of balancing their society. In the early twenty-first century we are on the cusp of a paradigm shift in global awareness and are truly creating a different language, a different means of existing.

Human beings do not biologically alter instantaneously. Well perhaps they do when you consider evolution theory. There has to come a point where the old dies out and new methods exist. Perhaps old style thinking has to change and a new man has to evolve. Is man’s nature affected by his inventions? Does technology become the factor which influences evolution? Hunter-gatherer man requires different evolutionary skills to the settled agriculturalist. Does new tech man of the twenty-first century fire the engines of human evolution?
One of the points I’m trying to make here is that although knowledge changes according to the tech, the old knowledge doesn’t dissipate. It may become less or more relevant depending on the circumstances but it still exists. New knowledge is not necessarily more advanced. Today, even with our technology we would not be able to construct amazing edifices such as the Pyramids or Angkor Wat. But the ancients probably couldn’t have built the skyscrapers of Manhattan also. One thing is for certain, in order to be evolutionarily adept and to benefit from new technologies and philosophies, it requires a certain level of intelligence or mental development. Ancient societies relied on their priesthoods or military tacticians. Good leaders relied on their intelligence networks and surrounded themselves with good advisors so they could maintain control and balance in their societies.

A strong method of leadership required an element of secrecy or good information management. Another golden philosophical constant is: ‘Knowledge is Power’. In the Egyptian Priesthood, they maintained the knowledge of hieroglyphics so that inscribers could record important information. The priests had advanced astronomical knowledge which scientifically enabled them to predict, for example, the seasonal flooding of the Nile. This was the most important event in the Egyptian agricultural calendar as it affected famine and plenty. It determined when to sow and when to reap. The priests set up devices in the pyramids to record the movement of stars. The heliacal rising of Sirius, the Dog Star, in spring, was seen to coincide with the Nile’s inundation. The Pharoah waited for news of Sirius appearing in the Queen’s shaft of the pyramid and when his high priests disclosed the occurrence, he went out in ceremony before his people and declared that he, the living God, would bring them plenty by causing the great river to flood. As the science was correct, the Nile did indeed flood, and Pharaoh represented himself as a deity before his followers, thus an element of mind control made them loyal and the Egyptian grain stores were full.

Across all civilisations, the leaders at the top have all depended upon occult knowledge to preserve their power and govern effectively. Psychic abilities and mind sciences are important and always have been. They form a core of the critical occult knowledge required for good governance. The Shaman, or tribal medicine man, has always been revered. Either standing as a priest-King himself, or a semi-deity at the supreme leader’s immediate right hand, the shaman stands as man’s interlocutor with nature. He is a spirit guide, who seeks out the ethereal worlds and journeys deep into them, to gather information that will help his people. He consults spirits of dead ancestors, animals of the forest, and non-living entities. Through the battles he fights in the spiritual realm, he determines the power of his tribe. Often shamans used inherited occult knowledge about the ingestion of sacred plants in order to achieve the ecstasy required for their sacred visions.

The common man has dreams which he can seek to interpret in much the same way as the Shaman has subconscious visions. Recently, I’ve been spending more and more time in front of a computer screen and have noticed that my dreams are being affected. Sure – logging into twitter from your pillow in the middle of the night is hardly the most exciting revelation. But I believe it’s important. Information technology brings you closer to people who are at a distance. You can really stay in touch with close friends, family and complete strangers through a variety of internet means. Facebook, Twiitter, MSN, Myspace, Skype and Blogger are all standard bearers for today’s methods of advanced communications. Even though we are sat at home or in our offices staring at an LCD screen, our consciences are being affected by the information we process. Thoughts occur and psyhic driving results. I’ve heard of the strange paranoid theories of computer chip implantation into people’s brains and my dreams started to scare me. I wondered if it was possible for artificial intelligence to be inseminating itself into humans? Surely this technology can’t exist. But look how radical some of our new inventions are. If computer chip implantation is not a future reality I would be very surprised. The general consciousness is being affected by digital technologies. Behaviours are being modified. Ipod culture isolates people in their digital havens as they travel about. Public transport is more eerily silent as people choose not to strike up conversations but maybe plug themselves into their favourite downloads or podcasts. The whole method by which we gather, assimilate and process data is changing our whole psychological system.

Wars will be fought in the future not over oil, or physical territory, but over information. Society is now globalised. Although nations still exist, borders are being dissolved. Even language barriers are falling down as internationalised English becomes standard. Information pings across the world at a touch of a button and people have never been closer or indeed more isolated. An old geography teacher of mine predicted a future world where everyone would sit at home and have no need to leave their house. Shopping, work and entertainment will all be conducted electronically. This day is here. How will our human nature deal with the new world order? Evolution is in action.

What about governance? It is all very well the technology emerging. Who controls this technology? Who are the most knowledgeable about it? Which leaders do they advise? There is a tendency for today’s politicians throughout the world to gravitate towards larger and larger political units. International treaties and alliances are more predominant and Economic areas are growing. Europe, for example, is a continental political entity which has more or less one economic voice. In my grandparents lifetime Europe was divided as nations fought over it. The UN is gathering more and more momentum and the US is the only relay superpower so no real poles of power exist. We are moving or maybe being pushed towards one world governance. What will this mean? Is it good for the planet? I see that maybe for issues such as climate change, a centralised power system could be excellent for doing exactly what is correct for environmental preservation. However I am certainly not convinced that a one world governmental system will be perfect. Power is a corrupting force. Always has been, always will be. To have a government with absolute power over the planet is a scary concept. It is undemocratic as democracy at the level a one world government might anticipate would be impossible to arrange. The select few at the top, the uber-powerful who desire control over the masses in the same way as Pharoah in ancient Egypt, are potentially very dangerous to mankind as a whole.

Currently information is disseminated fairly freely over the world wide web. Knowledge although not always truth, is available to one and all at a level of volume not seen since the days of ancient Alexandria’s library. How will the powers that be react to the masses organising their information? Will an intellectual elite emerge who will be naturally destined to govern? Rather I’d say that the current powers will not relinquish control but seek means of preserving it all that they can. I fear that the internet will become censored completely and dumbed down with propaganda. I notice that despite all the advances in technology in the past fifty years, the standard of the education system worldwide has fallen. The powers don’t want people to have knowledge and independent thought.

One of the scariest forms of centralised control that we witness today comes in the form of psychiatry. Children across the world are now being diagnosed with imaginary new diseases and drugged with powerful psychotropics in order to control their behaviour from a young age. Going back to the shaman who took hallucinogenic plants to gain visions… Are the pharmaceutical industry giants behind the psychiatrists training up an intellectual elite of young tribal visionaries to help the planet? I think not. I think that these drugs are designed to limit the capability of man’s brain, his facility to think independently and rise to a position whereby he dislodges the current status quo of the governing elite.

What other forms of cutting edge technologies exist? Military weapons are becoming more robotic. In the war, for example, in Afghanistan of recent years, US unmanned drones have flown sorties, bombing enemy locations, reducing the need for pilots to endanger themselves. A generation of computer gaming enthusiasts can now put their skills into hard-faced reality. The front line of warfare is tech today. Military investment and research goes into ways of disarming information networks and harming and protecting electronic infrastructures. New microwave transmissions are being used by civilian authorities to control crowds and preserve security in public places. Weapons are said to exist that completely reverse electro-magnetic fields and mind control technologies and new methods of propaganda and controlling the masses are more Machiavellian than at any other time in history. Electronic chips are now in passports and there are plans for tightened security everywhere with the mass introduction of essential identity cards. All the use of electronic equipment leaves a vaporous data trail, marking all our activity. CCTV images monitor every public move, massive data monitoring centres gather every iota of our credit transactions, our web browsing habits, our social networks. Will the future have any privacy and will freedom exist? We will no doubt redefine what it is to be free. What happens to those who wish to preserve an isolated more traditional life? Will the hermit achieve his peace or will the noise of the electro hubbub disturb us eternally?

One thing is for sure, we do live in exciting times. If we act responsibly the our future should be intact and we will build a new world of peace and prosperity and understanding for all. We must not lose the knowledge bequeathed to us by our ancestors. They left us cryptic messages that tell of their shortcomings and successes. We must use this information wisely and continue to develop without severing our heads and charging around the coop.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Radio Caroline - Pirate Radio

Radio Caroline – Pirate Radio

The sixties saw a massive boom in popular music. It was the golden age of Rock n’Roll. The youth of the world had a voice, and despised as it often was by the authorities, rock and roll redefined global culture. The birth of Pop music created a huge broadcast requirement. Vinyl making factories boomed as billboard artists fought for market share. Consumer society had a new outlet and the music industry seized control. In order to generate sales and introduce new music to the masses, a strong, effective medium was needed. Radio came into its own and Rock and Roll stations sprung up across America, beaming the controversial culture to the enthralled audience. In the UK there was no pop music radio station. Yet Britain was a country at the cutting edge of the revolution with the Beatles riding on a global crest of a wave. America had an easier time with its expansive commercial radio networks, though seizing the airwaves for pop music was not without its own battles there. In Britain the radio network was in government hands and tightly regulated. Radio Caroline looked for the loophole and found it in setting up an offshore broadcast, thus avoiding terrestrial regulations.

Ronan O'Rahilly and Oliver Smedley set up radio Caroline, named after President Kennedy’s daughter, and began broadcasting in international waters 5km off Felixstowe on 28th March 1964. It was not the first maritime radio broadcast. The Americans had conducted maritime radio stations since the 1930s. Also, in the North Sea, the Dutch and the Swedes had set up maritime radio during the 1950s. However, Radio Caroline was the first English language broadcast in the area and was specifically a pop music broadcast channel. Quickly dubbed ‘pirate radio’, Radio Caroline battled with the technologies and began to rapidly acquire a huge listenership. Logistically, running maritime broadcasts was a costly affair, in terms of finance, equipment, staff and dealing with constantly changing regulations. To generate income, Radio Caroline relied on advertising revenue and also subbed itself out to evangelical and religious broadcasts. As a business it was more a cutting edge technology, a disruptive technology, a people’s technology, rather than a money-making venture. As a cultural enterprise it was very successful. It gave birth to the careers of such legendary DJs as Tony Blackburn, Johnnie Walker, Dave Lee Travis and Tony Prince.

From day one, Radio Caroline had battles to fight, just to keep its very existence. Firstly, broadcasting from a ship was not technically easy. Broadcasting equipment was very expensive, required a lot of power and had to fit into a tightly governed network. Complaints were that the Radio Caroline signal interfered with other frequencies, thus being dangerous to maritime activity. There were staff issues at the station with DJs in the early days literally being at each others’ throats. The government fought hard with tighter regulations, driving Radio Caroline further offshore and even to broadcast in Dutch or Spanish waters. Throughout its history, various regulation breaches have been cited by the authorities and Radio Caroline has been shut down with equipment seized. One of the more obvious difficulties that arises from broadcasting from aboard a ship is that maritime conditions, especially further out in the international waters of the North Sea, are very hazardous in themselves. When the budget means that your ships are old and rickety, it only takes a storm and the very lives of the Radio Caroline staff are in jeopardy. Many times throughout its history has seen broadcasters rescued by the RNLI and problems with ships has seen them run aground and even sink. Just to keep a broadcast signal alive is a near mission impossible.

The authorities had to counter this disruptive technology and seize back some control. Radio Caroline soon faced competition. BBC radio caved into the listeners and set up Radio 1, a new terrestrial pop music service. This was competition for listeners for sure, but Radio Caroline had created its niche in the market and was well liked. Programming gave it a character of its own with anthems being a regular feature and specialist shows, for example the progressive rock trend it keenly supported, kept it ahead of the less adventurous government-sponsored alternative. When taken off the air for whatever reason, Radio Caroline always bounced back.
Nowadays, the station no longer conducts its maritime broadcast, but is based terrestrially. It broadcasts via satellite, DAB and internet. It is widely available across the world and is still as popular as ever. Radio Caroline is an interesting tale and is an important groundbreaking radio service that has pushed the boundaries and set the agenda for all broadcasts that have followed. We now move into an age where a definitive radio revolution, the internet radio revolution, promises to expand the Radio Caroline dream even further out to sea. KryKey is part of this new wave of internet radio and offers a radical solution to broadcasters who want to set up their own PRS (Personalised Radio Station) from the comfort of their own home and reach the ears of listeners across the globe. Unlike Radio Caroline, there are no expensive broadcast costs, regulations aren’t as strict and more importantly by broadcasting you won’t run the risk of seasickness and sinking! Transmissions will increase as the web radio phenomenon booms. KryKey is the new disruptive software for radio, the Radio Caroline of the electronic seas of the twenty-first century. We hope that in forty years time, our story will be as rich a read as the Radio Caroline adventure.