Saturday, December 1, 2012

Déjà vu

For the second time in my life I am witnessing the demise of yet another electronica/dance/techno radio station. The first was 102.1 when I was in high school and now it seems that 107.1 is going to change as well. Currently they are in "stunting" mode but it only signals the beginning of the end for what I thought was a most promising radio station.

The first station, 102.1, came at a time when most electronica/dance/techno music existed in a sort of underground scene where you had to know where to go to find it. The popular music at the time consisted of boy bands, aging artists producing experimental stuff and grunge bands. People had no idea what a bass drop, dubstep, or techno was. Before the station existed, I used to stay up past 11pm on weekdays just to listen to an hour long set on 93.3 simply called "Eleven" (which has also changed formats to just a three hour set on thursdays) The radio station played great stuff and a lot of the airtime was commerical free. Instead of having to hunt for the music or go to a club, they made it available all day long and exposed the music to the masses (although the broadcast signal was somewhat weak and spotty due to location of their signal tower). I made many tape recordings of their hour long sets but one day their format flipped. There was no warning or announcement, it just happened, literally mid-hour to become a country station. It was heartbreaking and I mourned the loss. I never expected another station like it to exist in Denver again.

Fast forward to today. The tapes are all worn out but the music has become popular enough to attract mainstream attention. It started out with small bits and pieces inserted into new artists songs but eventually it breached the pop songs top 10 lists. Suddenly people were listening to music that was kinda like what I had listened to and were talking about it. Thanks to the internet, you could find whatever type of music you wanted to hear and listen all day long. Life was good again for the music that I enjoyed and my return to the Denver area brought with it a nice surprise of a new radio station broadcasting something similar to the old 102.1 (including similar broadcasting signal weaknesses). It was more club dance then I would have liked but there were many other songs and sets to make up for it. Between pandora and this new radio station, I had more then enough music to listen to but good things never last and on Nov. 30th. things changed. I hope that the stunt mode will end soon and it returns to what it was but I know in my heart that it wont. Stunt mode is just a cover up for changing formats or firing people, the station stunts long enough to for people to forget their favorite DJs and what the station was like. Once that happens, the stunt cover comes off and they reveal the "old" station or something entirely new but either way it is bad news.

edit update: The station was sold to another company that used to operate a station in Denver and it has reverted to the new owner's old format which is as crappy as it was when they pulled out of the Denver area. 

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