Monday, June 30, 2014

The Crazy World Of Stuart Maconie

I read recently that Arthur Brown of infamous 1970s must-own LP "The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown" once presented a radio program the BBC. I really wanted to know who'd let him do that. The man just isn't right and shouldn't trusted alone with expensive equipment. There were no fatalities.

It turns out that Stuart Maconie is responsible. He had bounced around the BBC for a decade before things got freaky. He had already been a music reporter for BBC Radio 1, live satirical news with a program called "The Treatment", on BBC Radio 5, and he hosted an overnight northern soul music show called "All Singing, All Dancing, All Night" on BBC Radio 2. But things got much more interesting in 2002.

The channel BBC Radio 6 debuted in 2002 and Maconie was on it's original staff. It was there that he started The Freak Zone radio show. His playlist often has a theme, but sometimes not. He might play or interview contemporary living recording artists like Julian Cope, or deceased classic rockers like Frank Zappa, or obscure lo-fi pop artists such as Keel, indie electronica like Matmos . Rock music, Caribbean, psychedelic, instrumental rockers like Hedvig Mollestad.. and in a word.. the Swans. Diverse is an understatement.. random would be more accurate. Arthur Brown taking the mic for 4 episodes in 2003 seems to fit right in. [source] The program airs on Sundays from 8:00 PM to 10:00PM.

 Starting in 2010 he added a supplement of sorts called The Freakier Zone, which airs from 12:00 AM to 1:00 AM on Saturday nights. I guess that's for those music geeks working 3rd shift. That program I've never had the pleasure of hearing but the two episodes I heard about were as follows:

  1. A Moog-centric program that riffed on Sun Ra, Wendy Carlos and Tangerine Dream.
  2. A special on the U.S. record label Siltbreeze, which specializes in experimental noise.
I find myself at a loss for words.