Those operating in the fringes of their artistic fields find themselves in strange times. As the world appears to career deeper and deeper into a neo-neo-capitalist mindset, composers, performers, and all artists searching for meaning in the cultural hinterlands exist within a self-satirising universe of self-immolation, self-promotion and precarious self-employment.
To survive we all have to work harder, more psychopathically, inescapably drawn into the corporate mechanics of made-to-order funding bids, artist statement-cum-branding, web maintenance, social media campaigns, institutions funded by dubious sponsors, expensive educations etc etc etc.
It’s an impossible landscape to navigate; maybe that’s why we have a culture secretary who whilst proclaiming his love of the ‘Torture Porn’ films of Eli Roth, also attempted to stonewall the media reporting on his own relationship with a Dominatrix. Maybe.
Maybe the only way to really digest and deal with this is to embrace the inevitable tide, go commercial, commodify yourself and make work to order. Maybe this is the new vanguard, maybe the mainstream is where our own obscure tributaries have been converging all along.
Drivetime Underground is a 5 part radio series which puts into practice a model of artists on the fringes making commercial radio. As part of the project I’ve commissioned 16 practitioners whose work I admire to produce 3-5 minute radio features drawing on common tropes found in commercial radio programmes. This isn’t, however, a political or satirical stance per se, rather, the show positions itself as a hypothetical outcome of the current cultural landscape – a site where artistic and commercial concerns can collide. A dissonant combination of the highbrow and the lowbrow, the esoteric and the exoteric. I still don’t know exactly what the result of all of this will be, but I suspect it’ll be in equal parts biting, grotesque, hysterical and perhaps enlightening.
Each week we’ll also feature live performers in the studio, and importantly hand over a portion of the airtime to YOU, the listener. In an effort to genuinely monetise (in a non-profit sense) the show we are selling off airtime for anyone to advertise and promote their music, events, website, or anything else.
For a nominal cost, send us your advertising copy, get a track in the top 5 countdown, buy shout-outs, or come into the studio as a VIP guest – the show is yours to exploit, use, abuse, takeover, nurture, or troll…
For more information about how to advertise or take advantage of the other offers available, and for a full list of contributing artists, visit the show’s website at www.drivetimeunderground.com
Drivetime Underground airs on Resonance FM Saturday afternoons from May 7th – June 4th, at 3-4pm, repeated on Wednesdays at 1pm.
You can catch the show on 104.4FM (London only), online (www.resonancefm.com) or on DAB.
The show will also be podcast on the Drivetime Underground website.
The show is supported by Sound and Music as part of the Composer-Curator programme.
Blog by Neil Luck.