For 9 days I presented on 2 radio shows — here’s the story of Griff FM. Part 1: The Electric Hour #1, #2

Every year for nine days on the campus of Griffith College Dublin, Griff FM becomes the HQ of the movements of Journalism and Media Communications students. Run entirely by some 43 clued in minds, Griff FM 107.8 was live all day every day from 28 January until 5 February. Our team signed up for a two hour weekday ‘Late Late Breakfast Show’, and I took ownership of a late night electronic music hour on both weekends.

Photo Credit: Chris Darling/Flickr
Photo Credit: Chris Darling/Flickr

With the combined power of our own imaginations, immovable deadlines, and the ability to turn chronic insomnia into a half-structured running order, we [team breakfast show] produced ten hours of news, current affairs, music and culture content, interviews featuring dog friendly café owners to advocates for the Repeal movement, quirky debates, media and tech ramblings, topical discussions, and one running joke about Rastafarian dogs. I spent four nights with me, myself, and I in the studio trying to squeeze in as much down tempo and high quality, high energy electronic music into the hour as I could, with the added pleasure of interviewing some of the talented heads in the Irish scene. In a series of articles, the story of Griff FM and two of its shows will unfold. There will be swearing, some bad jokes, one or two good ones, and interviews with real live humans.

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Here is a half-structured running order/half-structured memory of ‘The Electric Hour’, #1 and #2, for the 2017 broadcast.

28 January, Electric Hour#1. Mood: Dim lights and a Toffee Crisp

This was my first time speaking on live radio, bar the random reporters with a mic that would jump out of the bushes asking for my opinion on Irish neutrality or sexism in newspapers, to be featured on that mornings broadcast. This time I would be speaking for more than 2 minutes, and I would also be coming back the next day.

I opened the first broadcast with my favourite Leftfield song, ‘Space Shanty’. This, combined with a chocolate bar in my pocket made the next 52 minutes fly by far too quickly. Check out the broadcast below on the ‘for a limited time only’ Electric Hour Soundcloud page.

Some personal highlights:

At 11:05 ‘When Jah Time Come’ by Haji Mike starts — this bit of dub poetry tunage was kindly provided by Warren Roots.

19:04. Black Sun Empire unkindly drops us into mayhem. And I love it.

26:00. Panda Dub — I interviewed this producer for a gig review in 2015, which was also my first taste of a career in journalism. It was one of those ‘turning points’.

54:11. You can’t tell now, but I stammered badly at this point in the original broadcast. It’s great that we live in a time where mistakes can be edited out, and what is real is a actually a file called ‘radio.edit#2’.

29 January, Electric Hour#2. Mood: Positive that I know what day it is

I decided to keep things a bit more chilled out for this broadcast, mostly through an awareness of the fact that it was Sunday, which is traditionally a day of sitting down, and failing that moving very slowly.

This was a show of many favourite moments.

I got to play one of my most loved chillout artists Stereoclip at 7:48. This song is called ‘Easy Field’, and features the vocals of Joséphine Cray. His melodies are never rushed, and you can get a feel of how he plays around with this electro style in songs like ‘Cohiba Smoker’ and ‘Tramway’.

15:14. This is an old favourite from the early days in college, by Mimosa. It has substantial sentimental value to myself, and it’s also a great example of the wonderful things that can happen when you experiment with dubstep and glitch.

23:08. This is the mandatory Blockhead tune. I was very biased in the music I picked for these shows, and this producer features in 3 out of 4 of them. On the spectrum of experimental trip-hop, he’s over at the outer edges building a bridge between himself and some other aspect of sound and instrumentation.

39:02. While Lamb’s Lou Rhode sang I felt a very soothing sense of aloneness in the studio. I am always in awe of her voice, and her solo career gives me a warm fuzzy feeling when I think about women in music.

Next time: Electric Hour #3 and #4.

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