Wreck This Mess / Amsterdam: 88.3FM began as an ideological lark in 1988 at anarchist radio station Radio Libertaire in Paris. After 3 years of wacked radio at WFMU and wanting to combine it with RL’s agenda I came up with WTM: a way to scramble the brain waves via a massive mashing of genres, expectations, styles and ways to listen to radio and circumvent mere consumption. The segue, that meeting of 2 sounds, 2 pieces of music became mantra, soma, addictive instant. The radio show is – has always been – an ad hoc non-planned personal nonplace, the unarrived destination of a dérive where memories of old musics get tested for their magical durability and new musics have to butt heads and rub stamens with ethnological digs, where sobriety and gravity are released from their confines. And the rest is, well, something resembling about-to-be forgotten history… The show – after 4 years on both Radio 100 and Radio Patapoe in Amsterdam – continues into its 23rd year at Radio Patapoe and the novel continues to be written in invisible ink on that ephemeral parchment known as the ether…
Wreck This Mess [ether: 88.3FM] was born in 1986 on WFMU [NY/NJ], when i began life as a DJ. A radio DJ on an independent / radical / squat / pirate frequency has a certain different responsibility or priority or focus than say a club or party DJ. While the party/entertainment type are on some level expected to make the world disappear as the music becomes a seamless exit from out there. This is good but only one part of the story. There are also the serious [anthropo/news/info] types of radio people who produce shows that inform usually in a conventional style/manner/format.
There is a 3rd way and that is of the creative DJ at stations not beholden to consumer interests [where listeners and their allied fastfood advertisers dictate the music and rest of the format] nor to taste or preconditioned formats or logic or clarity or themes or lowest common denominators. And this is what third way DJS seek – the palette and canvas to create whatever they want whenever without having to worry about repercussions or reprisals or being fired or suspended. This has its responsibilities as one sorts through all of the joyous and perhaps scary aspects of [relatively] TOTAL freedom.
It is within this broad, potentially agoraphobic-inducing, space that Wreck This Mess and its thousand allies subsist [no remuneration], and thrive [the pay back is taking advantage of the hard-won freedom].
Wreck This Mess has taken this honor, this responsibility seriously by abusing the edges of taste, style, presumption, politics, being noticed but remaining simultaneously almost totally undetected. By traveling under a certain radar as developed by the sycophantic popular culture you are actually able to MAKE and PROMOTE audio art without fear of being detected.
Wreck This Mess: 23 years on WFMU [NY/NJ], Radio Libertaire [Paris], Radio 100 [Amsterdam] and Radio Patapoe [Amsterdam].