Presenting: Ambient Zone
I was lucky enough to have an eclectic musical upbringing courtesy of my parents, but I knew I was on to a good thing when I discovered Brian Eno, Jean-Michel Jarre and Gary Numan all by myself. From the age of three I spent many a happy hour in quiet solitude with my portable record player, spinning Oxygene and the soundtrack of Star Wars until the stylus wore out.
After wasting my high school years pretending to be a guitarist, I was taken to a rave by my next door neighbours and I discovered a whole new world of turntable worship. Although the madness of the dancefloor was a revelation, it was the chill-out rooms and the morning-after-come-downs where I found my true inspiration. Now 20 years later I am recreating some of those hazy memories by trawling through the ambient archives and discovering the new vanguard of spaced-out artists.
How did you become involved?
I had been a long time RTR listener to shows such as Ambient Zone, BPM, Difficult Listening, Auditory Spiral, Full Frequency and Ben Stinga’s Strictly Rhythm. I had always wanted to jump on board but wasn’t sure how. Luckily I met Gavin through DJing at Grant’s wedding and he asked if I wanted to join the Ambient Zone crew. We then worked out we had lived parallel musical lives without meeting and already shared many mutual musical friends. Funny how these things work out.
If stuck on Mars, what five albums could you not go without?
I’ll cheat and give you two Mars lists -one based around my Ambient Zone inspirations and the other based on everything else in my collection:
Ambient Zone five:
- The Orb – Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld
- Brian Eno – On Land (Ambient 4)
- Boards of Canada – The Campfire Headphase
- Jean-Michel Jarre – Equinoxe
- Kraftwerk – The Man Machine
Everything else five:
- Air – Talkie Walkie
- Talking Heads – Remain in Light
- Gary Numan – The Pleasure Principle
- Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique
- The Cure – Standing on a Beach
What is the best thing about being involved with the station?
- The camaraderie of being part of the RTRFM community
- The eerily relaxing solitude in the studio late at night
- Turning the JBLs up super loud in the studio to really hear the nuances of the music
- Randomly dropping in when the other AZ guys are hosting
- Joe from Midland calling up every week without fail
What is the strangest thing that has happened to you in the RTRFM studio?
Phone calls late at night in the studio…
“Hello, RTRFM, this is Kael.”
“Hey man, what do you think about 9/11?”
“… uh not much to be honest.”
“I’ve got this amazing DVD about it.”
“Yeah it was the American Government for sure. No question.”
“OK… hey my record is just about to run out so I gotta go…”
“Did you just start recording this call?”
“No, definitely not. Bye!”
“Hello, RTRFM, this is Kael”
“Wow how drug f***ed are you man?”
“Um, not at all, got to keep it real on the radio.”
“Really? Cos the sh*t you are playing is really f***ed up man!”
“Yeah it’s just the music. Got to stay in control in the studio.”
“Oh yeeeeaaaahhhh sheeeeeiiiiiit! Whooooooooo!!!!!”
If you could present a show that is not your own, which show would it be? Why?
I love listening to Underground Solution and I usually end up buying at least one record played by Ben and Simon in every show. I’d love to explore that side of my record collection more often.
What do you do in real life?
Librarian, synth-player, DJ, husband, father to two lovely little girls. Plenty to keep me busy really.