Tag Archives: Radio On Berlin

Once Again: Radio On (The Works and Workings of Adrian Shephard and Me)

The collaboration between Adrian (Shephard) and me started in the east of Berlin in the year 2006. Initially we were transmitting via a secret link on a big important cultural server in the center of Amsterdam. Those programs evolved around musics we got from artists living in or visiting Berlin. But we left that formula pretty fast when we decided to focus on interviews instead, or on interviewing ourselves.

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Especially the interviews with ourselves lead us to unknown regions of our fantasy. We avoided any actual item such as one can read in the news, and never got into any existing theories. We were interested in the absurd and the unreal. We were also interested in making everything up.

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The collaboration or friendship, or both worked also very well on a sonic level. We discovered we had the same sense of timing, and the same taste when it came to playing together for short intervals during our shows. Adrian on various self-built or custom made electronic devices, old synths or occasional objects, me mainly on tape and voice, that I used for singing as well.

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Once we came to a point that sourcefabric gratefully granted us the use of their resources we could finally establish our radio, that over the years got a growing number of collaborators to whom we offer Radio On as a laboratory, or as a place to transmit their live programs. You can find out by simply tuning in at any hour, or follow the tweetline for the latest news.

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The -Early but not late Radio-On show * Rinus and Adrian Return from the past- radio show offers a fine example of our collaboration. The show itself was made last year. There are some references to the actual situation in Europe back then: the crisis in Greece, a new King in the Netherlands.

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The show starts of with the announcement that it will be all about the Dream Machine and dreams, and then, typically, never gets to that point. Instead there is a long conversation on fishing with icecubes with maggots in it; we buy the Greek TV and put it in the back room; The story of Yodel Onassis who is refused by the Swiss to stall his money on their banks (ends with a tremendous rant against everything Swiss by Yodel): Joan Baez gets interviewed in a paranormal way (She answers through excerpts from the lyrics of one of her albums). There are songs, sound effects, spontaneous improvisations and an avalange of associations that takes us, and thus the listener in ever deeper waters of misunderstanding.

Just try.
Shephard/Van Alebeek -Early but not late Radio-On show * Rinus and Adrian Return from the past- broadcasts All through Oktober on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday 22:00-24:00 Berlin time on Radio On

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PUNK IS DADA – revisited

They say “hha” in a very cute way. As opposed to the interrogative “huh” where the pitch changes to an higher end in order to create a little void to be filled in by an explanation, this “hha” starts in the torso, like a sigh, but has nothing of its weariness, on the contrary it expresses an inviting recognition to an observation; it encourages and rewards the agent for her/his sharp insight by this sign of approval.

“Hha.”

The sound of “hha” has also a very retro quality about it, as it alludes to adventure films or serials for the older kids, aged 11 to 14. The heroes of those movies or TV-serials were kids in that age. They were very popular in the 50s and 60s at the other side of the sexual revolution. The kids were always running, talking in an agitated whispering voice, and on their way to solve a mysterie or to expose the nice gentleman as the villain. At key moments, and there were a few of them to keep them running from one scene to the other, there was always one girl or boy who had solved a piece of the riddle. The other kids would say “hha.”

Youth is a beautiful conspirational moment in life.

Punk is Dada came to the Oranien Studio with two guests. They were in their mid-twenties. Each one of them brought their laptop. Viewed from a critical distance, the kind of distance that wears a wig and carries the load of tons of religious and philosofical books, one could think these kids were hanging out on Facebook, watching Youtube and throwing one-liners at each other, in short, that they were having fun.
If you avoid the narcist post-modern approach and stay away from easy commenting you could notice that something else was going on. I come to that.

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The radio show itself, of which I sensed it would be a radio experiment given the planned involvement of various social media by P.I.D., evolved around topics as ‘mash-up,’ ‘appropriation,’ ‘contextualisation.’ It had hilarious and serious moments, jokes, parody, popular youtube songs, star-bashing, short live performances and a guest appearance by Obama watching twerking black asses from his terrace while drinking pineapple/orange juice. Tweets and links were send out to invite the listener to open an extra tab on the computer and watch or read along with the trio in the studio.

It was a big outburst of energy, a wave to which I had to resist, because I was born before the wall fell; I was even born before they built it. But it was rewarding, though I have to admit I got into it when I listened the second time and had thrown away my wig and smashed the mirror. To repeat the things that were discussed would go too far. The show was wild and controlled at the same time. The topics changed with every two minutes. Flaws in conversation were filled by the bedroom producer guest crooning away over the sounds he had harvested from the internet. Punk is Dada had a great radio voice.

The atmosphere was very pleasant. One thing stood out from the discussions: conflict is an out-dated concept. Points were brought forward, and met with questions. I could sense the power of soft persuasion. The creation of a comfort zone, or a bubble, maybe even a cell, was the most important. Such a situation is not static, is without well-defined borders; it could change with every new constellation, or with every new day. This explains the use of words as ‘concept’ (to replace the much harsher and static ‘definition.’) and ‘context’ (to replace the much harsher and static ‘idea.’) De Saussure would have eaten his shoe.

There are voices that predict the end of the browser. Safari, Chrome, Mozilla, Opera and the likes will disappear with time. People, funny enough called “Users” will get access to the internet through an App. In metabolist architecture habitats were the working cells in a changing society, that was seen as an organism. Nowadays, internet has become the habitat. Habitats develop and get organised. The metabolist architects thought ‘buildings,’ but they couldn’t foresee they illustrated what the internet would look like.

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PUNK IS DADA SPEAKS was broadcasted live by Radio On on 8. April. PUNK IS DADA was the host, and brought the following concept for the show:

The first show will be titled An Informal discussion on the contextualisation of original source,” found” art and the bedroom producer with regard to social media marketing and its impact on the codes and ethics of authorship.

With Special Guests Grey Market Mixtape and SFTSTPS

DUE TO TECHNOLOGY, THE INDIVIDUAL IS NOT JUST AN ONLINE PARTICIPANT, BUT AN ACTIVE CO-CREATOR IN MAKING, REMIXING, EDITING, AND REPOSTING AT AN INCREDIBLE PACE. GREYMARKET, SFTSTPS AND PUNK IS DADA HAVE TAKEN TO SCOURING THE INTERNET IN EXPLORING/APPROPRIATING DIFFERENT ASPECTS OF AUDIO-VISUAL AESTHETICS.”

SFTSTPS couldnot come. He was replaced by Elvia Wilk.

PUNK IS DADA.Fb
GREY MARKET MIXTAPE.Fb – Cloud
Elvia Wilk.web
Radio On.web

Radio On will re-broadcast the show on various days and hours of the week.
Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, 16. 18, & 19. April from 04:00 -06:00 and 20:00-22:00 (Berlin time) (-5 to -9 for the America’s) (+7 for Japan)

Inside Journalism

A few weeks ago I got intrigued by the mass demonstrations and fights that were going on in Kiev. A friend of mine, a soulmate in the matters of amplified noises, was born  in Soviet Kiev. He still lived in the same city, that was now the capital of Ukraine. I was curious to hear his opinion, listen to his eye-witness reports. One reason was that I wanted to find out how he was; the other reason was to hear a voice that was not filtered by journalists. We agreed on transmitting the conversation via Radio On, the radio of which Adrian Shephard and I are the administrators.

After the first interview, we also did a second one, Adrian in Berlin, me in Calabria, Dmytro in Kiev and skype above us. We discussed almost everything there was to discuss, from his participant point of view, as someone who spoke to many people in the protesters zone, to his pre-occupied citizin of Ukraine point of view, a person who followed the political moves with a critical eye.
The second interview was during a relatively quiet period. However, the square was turning into a warzone and people were very nervous. The situation can change any moment. He said. It did change.

I had a short email contact with Dmytro the day after the police tried to clean the square. That was the day more then twenty people died and hundreds were injured. In his mail he wrote about a massacre, about never having seen so many deaths and about strange grenades used by the police, that stuck to the body, exploded and made people lose their hands or legs. I asked him if we could do a third interview. Moments later I realised I was inside journalism, thinking more about the importance of such an interview then about his state of being, which must have been one of shock.

I felt disturbed by my short visit inside journalism. Dmytro disappeared from the internet. I was sure he was on the square almost day and night. I read the articles in the newspapers, looked at the pictures and I was very much worried that something could have happened to my friend.  Kiev was not Stalingrad yet. But he was involved in street fights, on the look out for snipers, careful not to be cut of from the others.

I read about a journalist in a room with two televisions and a constant eye on the tweet stream and I thought of a Dutch writer who was in Berlin when the wall came down. He watched the street scenes on CNN in his hotel room, and then the great traveller wrote about it in a book.
I read about Tony Blair and his friendship to a Murdoch lady who was involved in the telephone hacking scandal. They were still friends, and I thought Tony must have had a very intimate relationship with the Murdoch press, which secured him his premiership and Murdoch the tasty stories and first hand information.
I read about an ex-deputy prime minister in the Netherlands who talked about giving the press the tasty bits they write about, rather then the long dry discourse no-one would read. At least that would give him press coverage and maybe a few extra votes.
I read about the French journalists who presented a kid in the desert as a lonely child on the run for the civil war in Syria, while his parents were just a few meters away.
I discovered a website where stories and video’s with the latest shocking news were up on sale for 100$.

And then I came across an article in the New York Review of Books. It was written by Timothy Snyder who was a professor at Harvard University. The title was ‘Fascism, Russia and Ukraine.’ I read it three times, because I didn’t understand the insertion of the Holocaust notion in the conclusion. The article explained very clean and clear the events that lead up to the day of violence, and described in equally clear and unsentimental words what Ukrainians expected from their government.
But then he introduced the Jewish faction in this sentence, which was not free of Hollywoodian pathos: “Young Jewish men formed their own combat group, or sotnia, to take the fight to the authorities.” I could almost see them march towards the barricades, with close-ups of some of those brave men, of which at least one would get killed, one found on the sidewalk heavily bleeding from his head; the hero would get entangled in a love afair with a girl who supported Yanukovych.
Snyder, who had published a book about Hitler, Stalin and their Bloodlands didn’t play this dvd. He went to his library instead and changed his voice. After a third read I wanted to know why. Snyder introduced eurasianism and Aleksandr Dugin. The things he stated were so extravagant that I wanted to find out a bit more about Dugin. You can do as well. I think this phrase says pretty much everything about Dugin’s philosophy and his vision of Putin.
“Sovereignty in our theory of Multipolarity belongs to the intellectual elite of civilization. It is a kind of platonic vision. So, philosopher should be the king, the tsar, the Caesar. Only the person that embodies the spirit of the history, of the culture and not the most prolific, the most effective manager. The decision should be taken by the intellectual elite in dialogue with the people. The people through the intellectual elite.”

There is a very strange parallel with the hallucinative drug inspired visions of peace and love of the neo-hippies of the last twenty years with their incense fuelled talks and practices around chakra’s, cosmic powers and direct contact with the universe.

There is also a direct connection with the man in this picture dreaming away about Germania, the center of the Aryan civilization.

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Dugin understood post-modernism as a license to shop for ideas in whatever political direction, and use them without their ethic or moral context. ‘One Civilization, One People, One Ceasar’ therefore didn’t sound like ‘Ein Reich, Ein Volk, Ein Führer.’ The insult ‘Nazi’ can be used in a marketing strategy, sorry, power play, as Snyder pointed out.

Snyder is moved by the Maidan as idea -maidan- sees it as a place where people deliberately meet and create a political society, through speech and discussion. At the end of his article he writes:  “The history of the Holocaust is part of our own public discourse, our agora, or maidan.” I don’t feel very comfortable with that comparison; it makes me feel I walk on top of thousands and thousands of skulls. And I don’t see why I should walk those killing fields while trying to find out something about the situation in Kiev.  And if I do, I must assume that Putin and his intellectuals are just one step away from setting up camps for mass extermination. I won’t do that. I don’t have a book to sell, nor an interview.

I started writing this article when the three European ministers of foreign affairs had reached an agreement with the president. The Polish minister shouted that the radikals should accept it, otherwise they would get martial law and that would mean they were all going to die. At the end of the day after, the president and not a few of his political friends had fled to Russia. Never mind the women and children, bank account first.
Those European ministers must have stared in disbelief at that little cloud at the horizon, not noticing how one and the same dog pissed against their legs. Of course the now former president yelled at some microphone that the Nazis had taken over parliament: “Machtsübernahme!” And thanks to Snyder I now understand that a lot more Nazi-Nazi yelling will follow from the other side of the border.

Dmytro must find himself in the middle of a historic whirlpool, amidst twittering, texting, facebooking, youtubing, selfie-ing, flag-waving, drinking, singing, crying, celebrating, smiling happy people. No world cup can probably equalize that feeling.

No-one can foresee what will happen next. There are still heads of state, region or village who use their position to accumulate shitloads of money. In Ukraine the people can live for at least another twenty-four hours with a sparkle of hope to have changed the course of history. I have learned there is this kind of platform, somewhere between heaven and hell, called maidan. And I surely hope that Adrian in Berlin, me in Calabria and Dmytro in Kiev can meet again soon. Maybe someone wants to buy that interview.

Timothy Snyder’s follow up articles:

Ukraine, the Haze of Propaganda

Crimea: Putin vs. Reality