News & Reviews
Grime/Electronic radio station Rinse FM awarded broadcasting license
By Sean Michaels
London's biggest "pirate" radio station is going legit. Rinse FM has
been awarded an FM broadcasting licence, giving it further opportunity
to bring dubstep, UK funky and other new urban sounds into the
mainstream. Founded in 1994, Rinse FM played a pivotal role in
introducing London listeners to grime, garage and other homegrown
sounds, when mainstream radio was still mostly concerned with Take That
and S Club 7.
Rinse FM has showcased dubstep producers such as Kode9 and Plastician. Initially an unlicensed
radio broadcaster, Rinse has been available as an online stream since
Rinse FM hasn't always had a satisfactory relationship with Ofcom, the
body that oversees radio licensing. In 2005, regulators cracked down on
illegal broadcasters, disconnecting one of the station's transmitters
and landing DJ Slimzee with an
Asbo. The station's fans have included the late BBC DJ John Peel, EMI
Publishing's Guy Moot, and Dizzee Rascal, who called Rinse FM
"inspirational and influential".
Feargal Sharkey, CEO of industry lobbyists UK Music, praised Ofcom's
decision. "I am hugely impressed with Rinse FM and their groundbreaking
work," he said. "With a community licence in place, we believe the
station can take that role forward – engaging with a young, dynamic
audience and nurturing the next generation of inner-city talent."
Rinse has been petitioning for an FM licence since 2007, organising an
international petition. According to Spoonfed, the push for legitimacy
may have also affected the station's music programming, moving toward
to the "more radio-friendly" genre of UK funky. But Rinse FM has no
intention to dilute its music.
"The [FM] licence will allow us to continue our mission," said a
spokesperson, "broadcasting in the pirate format that we and our
listeners know and love."
Check out the Rinse FM
website for more information about their mission. Click here
to listen to their live studio stream.
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