Chris Cobcroft

New Releases Show

amclellan, 3rd November 2015
New Releases ShowAs the Music Department Coordinator at 4ZZZ Brisbane, Chris Cobcroft typically lives his weekly community radio life buried amongst the CDs, download links, and limited edition vinyl that inundates his virtual and physical inboxes.

Armed with reliable headphones to process new music arriving from all over the globe, he exploits an exhaustive listening habit by planning and producing each edition of the New Releases Show, selecting the week's cuts with input from various contributors. Talk is not cheap on the program as each song heard is explored in considered and well-researched depth, presented via a fully scripted review.

Perhaps most importantly, the program works to promote the music that finds its home in the Australian community radio sector: independent, often self-produced and at times quite underground music that is markedly different to any nostalgic or bubblegum commercial radio fare. Hosted by Cobcroft himself, who writes and reads at least a review or two per episode, each show congregates the opinions of many other contributors from 4ZZZ and other stations around Australia. For the last few years, it has been distributed through the Community Radio Network.

We asked Chris to give us some more perspective on what goes into the program each week:

When did you start doing the program?

Shortly after they invented the wireless, back in 2011.

Can you tell us about the other people involved in the show?

There are many people involved with the show, including a bunch of music-heads from Zed and a bunch more around Australia. Actually we're always keen to hear new voices from places far away. So if you can write about music, hit us up at [email protected].

The show takes a very journalistic approach, offering reviews as well as highlighting new music. Is it difficult to decide what releases to profile?

Sometimes it can be, around this time of year there can be a lot of good music coming out and with the Do-It-Yourself / digital revolution going on, there's more interesting, underground and under-represented stuff than ever (especially in Oz).

4ZZZ has a very diverse range of music on air, is it difficult to represent all the different genres that appear on the station?

We're pretty broad, probably a bit broader than most individual shows on Zed. We play everything from afrobeat to zydeco (well I think we played a zydeco song once) and all the indie, metal, urban, EDM and folk in-between.

Do you personally discover music you might not have been otherwise aware of from doing the program?

Sometimes, I suppose. I'm supposed to be the Music Department Coordinator round here at 4ZZZ, so I shouldn't really admit that occasionally some contributor will blindside me with some music I had no idea about, but it's a bit of a pleasant surprise too.

How important is representing Australian and Brisbane music on the program?

It's pretty important to us. We're not in this for the money, we're here for good music that isn't being given the attention it deserves and Aussie music has a big problem with that. We usually feature 50% or more Australian content. This week we had 100% if you count that one New Zealand band. New Zealand was an Australian territory last time I checked.

What are you listening to at the moment?

All sorts of things. A few highlights:

Asdasfr Bawd - great bass / UK garage / footwork melder from Melbourne.

Making - a crushing noise / math rock band out of Sydney.

MKO SUN - an exciting r'n'b chanteuse in Brisbane who's about to release an EP.

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We're saddened to hear of Chris Cobcroft's passing after a long illness.


CRN would like to congratulate all stations and producers recognised at the 2013 CBAA Awards. Amongst them were a number of programs which feature or have featured on CRN over the year. 4EB's Fair Comment won the award for Best New Radio Program - Talks, while many others were finalists in their respective categories.


Community radio in Australia, and community media in general, has received increased attention from academics in recent years. Forde et al (2002) highlight the need for further study into news and current affairs programming in the community broadcasting sector, saying that they are keen to discover more about its format and content, especially in terms of the attitudes and practices of information-based program producers. This paper attempts to clarify some of these issues by outlining the results of a case study of information-based programming at Brisbane community radio 4ZzZ and adopting a modified citizen’s media framework.