Tell us about repeater radio?
Repeater Radio was initially conceived by the wonderful Repeater Books author Carl Neville who approached me for advice during lockdown. I had launched an online radio station called The Neon Hospice at the beginning of the pandemic and had been broadcasting a diverse mixture of pre-recorded and live shows daily for over a year. Whilst migrating many of the musical shows over from my previous station, Repeater has a very different mandate due to our conceptual ties to Repeater Books (who also fund the station). As Carl so eloquently phrases it, 'we are alive and we don't agree' and this informs our attitude in exploring philosophy, film, gender, music and politics. Whilst not opposed to mainstream entertainment as such, we set out to build an online radio community longing for serious inquiry aside from the superficial saturation of commercial media. As Jhon Balance of Coil once screamed, constant shallowness leads to evil. I should probably qualify that we do actually have a sense of humour.
Can you speak about Mark Fisher AKA K-Punk and how he inspires you to develop this new programme?
Mark was one of the founders of Repeater Books and remains one of the most important critical thinkers of this century. His anger (and joy) in raising class-awareness, in politicising mental-health issues and in exploring the embedded horror of capitalist realism inform everything we do. But more than that, Mark (especially as K-Punk) wrote prolifically and magically about music, film, art and literature making the most familiar artifacts seem brand new again. His unfinished work Acid Communism perhaps closest encapsulates what we are trying to do with Repeater Radio in terms of seeking out a global online community who subscribe to the ideal of 'solidarity without similarity', a phrase that has attached itself to Mark's later writing over the last couple of years.
What do you think radio can mean at this point in history and how do you see Repeater Radio challenging what radio means now?
I'm not really convinced that western culture itself has actually moved on and we still seem to be caught in some endless naff bland mobius loop of recycled crap (and you don't need to look any further than British politics and other recent cultural events to see this in play). I believe in the power of radio. Whilst we do archive everything, our commitment is to broadcasting in real-time and holding a conversation (via our chat room) in real-time whilst it unfolds. It is a shared event. This is what I am in it for. And to argue that everything has been done before comes from a place of massive privilege - when marginalised voices lack access or are silenced across the globe then there are still stories to be told, music to be heard, ideas to be scrutinised. This is what we aspire to and we're not even 1% close to what we want to be. But that's the challenge and that's the thrill.
And now with you wonderful people at Antenna, we can look at collaborating at bringing Repeater in to a physical space and see where the next part of the journey takes us. All doors are wide open!