Presenting: Ambient Zone
Grant is some bloke whose friends were so tired of him playing his tunes at their house all the time that they suggested he go on radio. So he did.
How did you become involved?
Back in the dark ages of the pre-RTR days in the twilight of 6UVSFM, a guy called John Smith invited me to join his bunch of hippies on a psychedelic music program called Still Dreaming, which mostly played the left field prog space rock and kosmische (I had been one of those teenage Captain Beefheart/King Crimson/Hawkwind kind of kids). This was from the very first day of RTR until the end of 1994. In about ’92 I also joined a Saturday night show called Crossover, which played electro dance tunes, mostly of the hard electro style that was kicking at that time (eg. Early Afx, Squarepusher, mu-ziq etc). I moved to Sydney in ‘95 and when I returned from being an international hobo I started on Ambient Zone in 2005 with Gav, whom I had previously played in a band with. In a sort of full circle, in this last year especially, I’ve been getting right into the new kosmische sound that is emanating from the ambient music world.
If stuck on Mars, what five albums could you not go without?
Not in any order:
- Sam Prekop – Sam Prekop (probably the best album ever made)
- Proswell – Carrot Dossier (it’s an outrage that this album isn’t on everyone’s top 5 list!)
- Freescha – Head Warlock Double Stare
- Julian Lynch – Mare
- Philippe Poirier and Stefan Schneider – Automne Six
And 5 runner ups (because I’d make sure I packed my bag full of tunes before getting shipwrecked – I mean who really travels with only five albums):
- Black Moth Super Rainbow – Cobra Juicy
- Scientist – Scientific Dub (this would be awesome on the tropical beaches of Mars)
- Moodymann – Black Mahogani
- Repo Man movie soundtrack
- KWJAZ – self titled
What is the best thing about being involved with the station?
Getting to play ambient tunes on radio is the best thing ever. I rarely hear the music that I’m wanting to hear on radio, and the fact that AZ exists makes me really happy. These are good times! I love the camaraderie of the Ambient Zone crew – youz guys are tops – as well as the wider community that is RTR and its listener base. It makes me proud to be a Perthian [oh ohh, tears are welling up].
What is the strangest thing that has happened to you in the RTRFM studio?
When a guest once had an epileptic fit in the middle of an interview. I was somewhat uncertain as to how to continue the show at that point! I seem to recall putting on a really long track until things settled, and we continued the interview. More recently, I once did a show where Joe from Midland DIDN’T call in to say hi – it felt like the sky had fallen!
If you could present a show that is not your own, which show would it be? Why?
I’ve always loved Soulsides and Black and Blue – if I ever gather enough funky records I’d love to join their ranks. But methinks it’ll be a few years yet of collecting wax and wisdom-getting before I up my funkage high enough to their standards. Also, I’ve harboured dreams that one day I’ll resurrect the theatre organ show, or at least a show that has the same sort of psychic impact that that did.
What do you do in real life?
I’m a government stooge who saves the world daily, but my role is so secretive that I’ve already said too much and I might now have to change my identity for fear of some Jason Bourne type of crisis developing.