CLASH FM        
written January16th 2006   c. Peter Brown 2006
to add a comment e-mail:

Last night I spent a wonderful two hours listening to Malaysian Radio.  What? I hear you say - Malaysian Radio?  One doesn't listen to Malaysian Radio - you just have it on and it sort of half irritates you, half soothes you in a sort of miasma of cloudy indifference, until the ads come on and then you switch over to another station exactly the same as the first - the same old dreary ballads and pretend rock music - singers trying to sound sincere and emotionally caught up but failing miserably, interspersed now and then with a favourite from the Cranberries or Phil Collins, to grab your attention and keep you hanging on. 

But no, I say, last night was


oh, so very different.  I was glued to the radio, more specifically one station throughout: Red.Fm.  I had to keep listening.  Because there were these two journalists from The Star actually behaving like DJs were supposed to behave, long before this format radio was invented.  They were introducing the bands, introducing the songs the bands were playing, telling us dear listeners about their history, their musical development, their scandals and misfortunes, playing not one endlessly repeated single but SEVERAL tracks off one album, interviewing another band (Furniture, a LOCAL band) in depth - not asking stupid questions like what's your favourite Malaysian food, or whether they like to wear cowboy boots on stage  - but serious stuff about the serious matter which is the creative music.  And the DJs - they talked in normal everyday voices like you'd speak to your friends over dinner.  They didn't sound like manic salespeople or Donald Duck on amphetamines.  They sounded like people really interested in music and what was more  - having the knowledge to back that interest up.

Yes alright I'll tell you what this program is called:  it's called and introduced by Daryl Goh and Zack Yusof and it happens from 10 until 12 every Sunday night.  Usually when you have two DJs they're cutting in on each other, having a fight as to who can get to spout the most words in the shortest possible time.  But these two supported each other in a very orderly yet natural and relaxed way.  But most important was the music they played.  Where else on Malaysian Radio will you hear bands like Spirokinetic Circus, The Smiths, The La's, Legendary British punk bands like the Jam and the Clash (naturally), the Libertines, Babyshambles and lots of tracks by local acts like Lurks, Furniture and Caposalaam (hope I've got all that right).

So guys, Sunday night - that's when you sit by your radio set like they used to do when Radio was first invented in the twenties of the last century.