Could it be the sounds of liberation…”
Today is the RADIO Z Sommerfest at the DESI. It’s not just a great party but also helps to get a little money for the costs that keep that radio station running.
For me Radio Z is important for a lot of different reasons and I can’t imagine the local scene without it. I still remember how deeply impressed I was when I went to the station for the first time when my first band was invited for an interview for ‘Lokale Leidenschaften’. I couldn’t imagine ever making radio myself. Years later, when I was on air for the first time a little dream came true. With emotions between “fucking wow” and “help, I don’t dare to say something”. Somewhere between a personal courage test and missionary fervour for DIY music journalism. I’m thankful for the people who told me back then that I was able to do that. It’s so much fun to plan a show or structure a report, or picking music for a show. Music that doesn’t get played in all those other stations that hardly play anything but their heavy rotation list.
The radically democratic organisation of everything that has to do with the radio station is quite an experience too. And though it often gets a bit complicated it’s a very good one. I can’t but recommend everybody to invest a little of their time in working with Radio Z, at least for a while.
The great variety that Z offers in its programme is crazy. Of course a lot of it is only interesting for a certain sector of people but isn’t that somehow the point? There’s no place for that kind of differentiation in other media. Where do you get single shows by and for african immigrants, feminists, prisoners, portuguese music and culture, people who’ve been to psychiatry wards, etc. Most media don’t air such special shows as they prefer to (I reject to write “have to”) fit their programme to an audience as wide as possible. That makes most programmes rather shallow and similar. Radio Z is different.
The music sector for example ranges from the finest club DJs in town to the indierock and punk/hardcore missionaries to the best in heavy metal, goth, jazz, experimental noise or world music. Where else do you get the chance to listen to half an hour of SUNN O))) on the radio? Or get introduced to the latest hotness in minimal electronic? All those genres get introduced by people who are true nerds in their niche of music. People who are part of their scene. People who are into it with their hearts.
All these people do these shows for free in their spare time. Radio Z only has very few paid positions, 99% of the work to get the station going for 12 hours every day is done by a lot of dedicated people for free.
I also appreciate that with Radio Z we got a local independent medium that’s free from interests of adverstising partners or others. I don’t give a fuck if Paris Hilton is in jail or not, or if a Gnu baby hatched at Nuremberg Zoo. I want information about a zero-celebrity being threatened by deportation or what’s going in about §129 at the moment. Or if it just appears to my friends that lately there’s a whole bunch of neonazis regularly hanging out and threatening people at the central station or if there really were more incidents. Or what’s true about the rumours that the DESI gets its subsidy cut for putting on some info events about G8. Or what’s true about the rumours that all the workshops and the Musikverein and the Café will get kicked out because they don’t fit in the city council’s future plans for the K4.
It’s not just the on air work that makes Radio Z so special. It also has a great community effect on people that I still enjoy after no longer being on air and that makes events like today’s summer fest really special.
I could write on like this for pages. There are so many things that I’ve learned to love about that wonderful unstoppable little radio machinery. So many shows and people that heavily influenced me. But instead of writing I’ll rather go to the fest and party and hope that many of you show up there too and – hey! – maybe think about becoming a member to help keeping such a great thing alive. I think it’s only 6 Euros a month and that’d hurt hardly any of you. Best you also buy the staff at the Z-stand a yummy cocktail when you drop by to become a member or buy a shirt or a lighter or ask some questions. Best you bring that cocktail for the people who work there from 08:00 – 10:00. Just saying. 😉
Check it out: