Archive for the ‘audio virology’ Category

Contagious Transmission

September 2, 2007

An article of mine called “Contagious Transmission: on the virology of pirate radio” has just been published in this book. The article attempts to understand what Woebot and Simon Reynolds have seminally discussed as ‘Shanty House theory’ via my concept of ‘audio virology’ against the backdrop of war in the age of digital replication, and Mike Davis’ ‘Planet of Slums’.

Here is the first paragraph. . .
“The summer of 2003. holed up in a small room on the 12th floor of a residential tower block in Bow, East London. . .The sweat is running down the inside of the walls. The floor is carpeted in grime and dust. The room is built inside a larger room, a hastily constructed endo-architecture to cocoon the studio, protecting the pirate transmission and transmitters from intruders. The electrics are sporadic but functional. A decimated fan makes the little air that is in the room circulate, generating a turbulent microclimate of dust and smoke. Wires snake their way out of messily drilled holes (also working as
steam valves), out through windows, trailing and flapping against the outside of the block, leading up to the transmitter on the roof. Inside this pirate radio studio, the megalopolis is screaming through the MCs, at a rapid rate which seems to exceed the limits of the human system of vocalisation. The pressure of millions channelled via a few mouths. They call out the name of their rivals in a lyrical assault and battery so cutting, so acerbic that even the dj winces at the verbal violence as he drags the record backwards, halting the proceedings only to return to the edge and roll again, this time building the intensity level that little bit higher. ”

The station was Rinse, the crew was Roll Deep when Dizzee Rascal was still a member.

The article was accompanied by a sound piece by him called ‘The Last 3 Digits’. I might even ask him to put an mp3 of it online. He might say no however. He’s like that.