If you don’t know your Acid House from your Dub Techno but love electronic music regardless, Otago Access Radio’s Friday night programme The Strobe Room could be just the thing for you.
The show’s host James Mather would prefer listeners simply enjoy the opportunity to sample from his huge collection of tracks, without splitting hairs over the many sub-genres of dance music that would confound even the most dedicated of train-spotters.
An Austria-based listener recently took him to task in an email over whether the music on the show was strictly house and techno.
“This is where the Internet warriors kick off,” Mr Mather said.
“I don’t care whether someone considers it house or techno; to me it’s more the vibe of the electronic music with a regular bass beat, synth sounds and percussion.”
A former “metalhead”, Mr Mather became a convert to dance music in the early 1990’s after helping organise a warehouse rave in an industrial estate in Cornwall, England. Resistance to the then Criminal Justice Bill’s proposed crackdown on anti-social behaviour saw civil liberties groups join forces with sound systems, groups of DJs and engineers working together as one, to organise unregulated dance events.
“We didn’t feel that we were doing anything wrong. We were just getting together and dancing,” he explained. “I was blown away. The music was such a physical force, it went right through the chest.”
Relocating permanently to New Zealand in 2006, Mr Mather found there was little in the way of a club scene to nurture his interest. But by that stage he had already “dialled back” the late nights and had turned instead to collecting electronic music and listening to it at home, focusing on the work of emerging underground artists and bedroom DJs.
The Strobe Room was a means of sharing his growing tracklist with the rest of the world.
“This show is for anyone with an interest in electronic music, from the harder end to the more melancholic and subdued side. There’s really too much choice.”
The Strobe Room airs Friday at 10pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM. Podcasts are available from www.oar.org.nz.
Photo: In the house: James Mather is the host of The Strobe Room on Otago Access Radio.