BBC’s Radio 1 has long been a bastion of exploration and taste on the airwaves emanating from across the pond. The first broadcast (recording of course) I ever heard archived from the station was Jimi Hendrix, back in the 90’s when a friend of mine worked for Chicago radio station WXRT and raided their archives, dubbing all manner of goodies onto then plentiful cassettes. After that it was simply a matter of history – everybody from Al Kooper to Danny Rampling has spoken about Radio 1 in one interview or or another. I’ve never been an aficionado, but the fact remains that especially as I began to get into electronic music in the late nineties/early aughts Radio 1 was a presence.
And so was Mary Anne Hobbs.
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I lost radio when I was younger. Really, is there any wonder why? Once you develop any kind of taste of your own traditional radio is – for the most part – a joke, unless of course you have a fairly decent college radio station or two you know of at the left of the dial. However there was a time when radio was an important machine and process in the lives of both musicians and their listeners – a really smart, progressive, risky DJ had the power to make or break a band or even a ‘movement’. Now of course almost all radio is corporate and controlled by ‘sponsors’, which is really just a less threatening way of saying ‘advertisers’. Hey, that auto-tune douche bag beat up his girlfriend – that’ll sell some albums. Or that little fraud with a bowl haircut makes ten-year old girls’ bat their eye lashes? Boom, blow him up and we’ll sell a million happy meals.
But Britain is, as I often say, better. Sure there’s definitely some bad (and in some cases worse) protocols in place over in good ol’ Albion there are also some truly great people and places worked into their radio tradition, and Mary Anne Hobbs spent the better part of fourteen years becoming one of those. And now she’s moved on from Radio 1 and to commemorate who should come to see her out? None other than the man many of us scour the internet for new re-mixes and tracks from on a regular basis; the enigmatic ghost who calls himself Burial and has thus far released two of the most mind-bogglingly awesome electronic records of the last twenty years, arriving out of his self-imposed exile to make music. And along with Burial comes Kode9, who I know next to nothing about other than I love his music and believe (if I am not mistaken) he is Scottish, both men arriving to see a peer off by throwing down a 35 minute set for her farewell. And believe me when I tell you, it is one fucking awesome set.
Godspeed in whatever you do Mary Anne Hobbs, and thanks for one killer mix track to remember you by.
Cheers and here’s the link: