NME 24th July 1982
Whether brushing up for the London night-time, getting down at a discriminating party or just winding down after the working/workless week, Dread Broadcasting Corporation has consistently offered the most exciting Friday night hours of musical radio around.
Besides the excellent choice of reggae with Lepke and the rest of the crew there is a boadly based blues programme, which stretches to include swing and bluebeat, and an hour of hard funk from the very wonderful Lady Di. The most militant in both old and new soul, be it Gil Scott-Heron or The Valentine Bros, is mixed with an admirably generous selection of George Clinton Productions (Flashlight! Bootsy! More!) and lots of music from the new funk generation.
But even given the very high quality of the music – music virtually ignored on other radio stations – DBC’s real success must be put down to its presentation. Initially it can sound genuinely surprising and perhaps even a little threatening. The sound of a voice dubbed beyond hum, in the middle of the night can be quite a shock! an recognition, toasting over a tough dub in the middle of the night can be quite a shock! But then, DBC is not interested in sedating or patronising its listeners.
Where most radio programming is prepared to hide behind records, where DJ voice-overs generally effect a dissipation of energy and excitement, DBC force constant changes. Unlike most radio, disc and DJ feed off one another, instead of stumbling dozily into each other. Even in sleepy London, they can make you believe that there is something going on out there: they could make you want to move again!
Whether or not you are still interested in moving at 11 p.m., the approach of DBC’s presenters makes the music sound more powerful and dignified than it otherwise would. It certainly made this soul-boy reassess his attitude to reggae music.
With cities like Paris and New York offering such a great diversity of music and comment, and with London offering so little, it is incredible that a station like DBC should be illegal.
While they can, DBC broadcasts on 103.8 FM in the London area on Friday nights. They got up and used it. Why shouldn’t others?
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