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Oliver Laing

Presenting: Ambient Zone Giant Steps Drivetime

I’ve been obsessed with music from a very young age – firstly my grandmother’s classical tastes, then moving onto punk and hip hop in my teens. These once polar opposites have informed the broad remit of my musical interests ever since…Why not avail yourself of Shirley Collins and Dillinja in the same day?

How did you become involved?

My now Ambient Zone compatriot Gavin E introduced me to the secret world of community radio at 6NR, back in the day. After a long sabbatical, I had a weekly show in Sydney on 2SER from 2005-09. Upon moving back to Perth, I just stuck my foot in the studio door until I was let in, mostly thanks a few guest slots on Posted with a, pre-Music Director’s gig, Dr Adam Trainer.

 If stuck on Mars, what five albums could you not go without?

  • Royal Trux – Singles, Live, Unreleased (Drag City, 1997)
  • Slint – Spiderland (Touch & Go, 1991)
  • LTJ Bukem – Mixmag Live! Vol. 21 (DMC, 1996)
  • Anti-Pop Consortium – Tragic Epilogue (75 Ark, 2000)
  • Harmonia – Musik Von Harmonia (Brain, 1974)

Isn’t this question a bit redundant with digital technology? Would I be taking a record player to Mars, or a memory stick?

What is the best thing about being involved with the station?

Being involved with a community of similarly passionate music lovers, from presenters to listeners. Having an outlet for over twenty years of musical journeying is most excellent – call it community service for the inquisitive of ear.

What is the strangest thing that has happened to you in the RTRFM studio?

Having a posse of ‘techno bogans’ descend on the studio in the dead of night. Or maybe the time I was doing Out to Lunch and had a live interview sprung on me at the last minute with a Sydney two-piece who I had not even heard of, now that was real radio!

If you could present a show that is not your own, which show would it be? Why?

Well, from the above show list, you can probably see that I’m up for most of the genres across the station (within reason). Posted and the Ambient Zone are my staples, but I’m always just super-stoked to present a wide-range of shows, from Hip Hop through to folk, always willing to give it a go…

What do you do in real life?

I’m a former international playboy turned homebody…


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