Free Radio Berkeley (1997-1998)

Posted on June 1st, 1998 by s&S.
Categories: collage, Latest Additions!, live-mix, vintage s&S.

Free Radio Berkeley was an unlicensed community micro-power FM radio station operating in Berkeley in the latter 1990′s. It was the most notorious micro station at the time as it’s unofficial head, having generated murky waters and institutional sympathy with the project, was constantly and admirably embroiled in legal stand-offs with the feds.

s&S had a show there in 1995-96 (just one of us) and 1997-98 (dynamic duo!)….sandwiched between a well done show called Slave Revolt Radio and another featuring the local bike Nazi something or other.

The revolution notwithstanding, FRB was at any given time an abysmal technical wreck (broken decks covered in duct tape glue, buzzing broken turntables that sounded like B-24 air-raids underneath all your tracks, microphones that literally smelled like alcoholic hippie kitchen puke mixed with incense…) but it was time of early ritualistic show making for s AND S that gave us an excuse to happily freak out a little in between proper sound-editing jobs. Lord knows why they gave us, these impostor sound clowns the key.

Because of the chronically trashed state of affairs at FRB, and tired of finding that we couldn’t use the source material we’d brought because the decks were all broken, we enacted two tactics: the first was the assemblage of the original s&S noise kit, a self contained second-hand hard suitcase wired and fitted with CD players, a cassette deck, effects, a mic, mixer, power, etc…All we needed was an outlet and inputs to plug into and we were good to go! As our shows became more sonically ambitious, I started pre-editing sources until we ultimately reached a point where we simply did the entire live show in one take 90 minutes before air-time at my more reliable home bedroom studio, made some sandwiches, then jumped in my pickup-truck toward the station to play the resultant DAT tape and layer a few more things on top…. Yeah, we were cheating, but hell…nothing ever worked at that joint! Plus too many FRB weirdos ;) would drop in to check out what we were doing…thus breaking the spell.
Anyway… FRB… really though – very fond memories! Thanks for putting up with us.

While the motherload of shows from s&S’s Free Radio Berkeley days are not available to me to post in the Archive currently, behold an action-packed list of clips and intros.

ALSO: a 30 minute edit of s&S moments from FRB in 1995 aka “episode 24″ can be found in the Archive HERE

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Jane Doe

Comment on December 11th, 2007.

These are so great! I really hope you guys don’t work for MKULTRA, that would be sad. But the Music is still good.


Comment on December 11th, 2007.

Thanks Jane Doe. If we were MK-ULTRA, we were more likely reject subjects than operatives. “We’re like, the real victims, man!”


Comment on November 1st, 2011.

Wonderful! Thank you

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