2SER goes underground


By Nick Gebhardt

SYDNEY — 2SER is relaunching itself as Sydney's underground music and talks station. After many months of discussions about the station's programming, we came up with the idea of uniting our music and talks programming under the one banner.

Our new format aims to present the best in contemporary music, drawing upon the community of local artists and musicians, and to utilise the ideas, contacts and resources of local community activist, educational groups and individuals for our talk shows. 2SER aims to present a local and proactive perspective on national and international issues and actions.

We have moved programming timeslots around, but essentially maintain the same mix of music and talks.

Early risers can wake up to hard-core sound between 3 and 6am, followed by the Breakfast Show. Our morning magazine talks focus on specialist issues between 9 and 10.30am. Specialist music takes you through until noon, when our electronic music shows continue in two-hour slots until Overdrive at 4pm.

We have moved the evening talks band forward, kicking off from 6pm until 8.30pm. From then on we have a range of specialist music shows — industrial, Japanese pop, drum 'n' bass, reggae.

"Underground Radio" is a unique conjunction of political activism and underground musical styles that is neither mainstream nor alternative, but a definitive end in itself. This is radio that aims to make explicit what has been happening at 2SER over the last four years, but aims to articulate these developments within a broad political, artistic and social framework.

Underground Radio mobilises programmers and listeners alike to oppose the conservative-corporate consensus dominating Australian society, politics and the media. Underground Radio is not a reactive, but an active approach to making radio that aims to attract a politically engaged audience who seek to make critical sense of post-modern conditions.

Underground Radio means breaking with the assumption that 2SER is simply a stepping stone to, or training ground, for public broadcasting (ABC Radio National), alternative radio (JJJ, FBI), or commercial radio. Underground Radio seeks to define 2SER's marketing strategy (and its own commercial interests) on its own terms and not according to those of large multinational firms.

It is time for 2SER to offer an outlet for those social movements which are also critical of current political and cultural forms. In this way we can begin to confront the programming (and marketing) imperatives of a mainstream/alternative media that are too beholden to conservative or corporate dogma.

The concept of Underground Radio demands a radical sense of the political and artistic possibility for combining the various radio elements (musical or artistic, political, social and technical), without losing its distinctive values.

For more information, phone Nick at 2SER on 9514 9514, Wednesdays to Fridays.