28 Sep 2011

Syndicating Free Lab Radio to Iran

Our Saturday night music programme Free Lab Radio has been running for over a year now. Highlights of the first hour, a show focused on dance music, have been 80's pirate radio and Brazilian fringe icon Patrick Forge live in the studio, not to mention the reams of great and very global music thrown up by research. We've played tracks from Chile, Bosnia, Venezuela, Serbia and so on. We featured tracks by 14 year old American school kids as well as latest album releases from reputable labels. We've played tracks from computer games, composed with Baudelaire poetry, mash ups of cartoons, up tempo, down tempo - an unpublished playlist as varied as each and every one of our listeners.

The news is we've begun sending out the first half to a largely Iranian audience via the web. Pirate Radio Arazel is a well established internet station based in Canada but collating shows from all over the world. In Iran censorship is such that modern music is banned, even some forms of classical and folk music are banned and women still cannot perform in public solo. I find this interesting as although rock music and electronic dance music continues to be banned in Iran, the instruments for making said musical styles remain on sale in full view in the capital Tehran, or perhaps they imagine a classical orchestra with drum kit and electric guitar? Good for them, why not?! With internet and satellite filtering, musical styles have only reached Iran sporadically, resulting in some rather overbearing genres dominating the underground band scene in Iran, and little else coming out.

Perhaps with music stations like this going in, we'll find some more exciting and innovative styles coming out. Click the image below to grab the first episode.