"Sideways Through Sound" image

Sideways Through Sound on the CRN

enadmin, 9th April 2013

Winner of the CBAA's 2012 Excellence in Music Programming award, 2SER's Sideways Through Sound is now available to stations and listeners across Australia through the Community Radio Network.

It's a weekly dose of new music that sounds like old music: intimate acoustic reverie, shimmering psychedelia, folk flavored tales of lost love murder and madness, interstellar space rock (stuff that sounds like Hawkwind), lots and lots of guitar picking (stuff that sounds like John Fahey) plus occasional rambles into the psychedelic side of Americana, shoegaze, stoner rock and even a little prog rock.

We spent a few minutes chatting with Sideways Through Sound's inimitable presenter Thee Sonic Assassin...

The show picked up the CBAA's Excellence in Music Programming award in 2012. Congratulations, how did that feel?

It was hugely flattering for Sideways Through Sound to be recognized and awarded by the industry. Thank goodness the event was filmed as my recollection is rather hazy with red wine...

Let's go back to the start. How did the show originate, and was it your first venture in the world of community radio?

Sideways Through Sound began broadcasting on 2NSB in Sydney just couple of months after I emigrated from Manchester.  Community Radio was and possibly still is a low key media platform in the UK and I had no experience of making radio other than being an occasional guest on BBC Radio Manchester. However, Pirate Radio broadcasting from the top of tower blocks was a real force in the city.

Did it take a long time before musicians would start finding you, and sending in their work, rather than the other way around? 

In addition to being on air, constant on-line networking is really effective. Word does spread gradually but I never take my foot off the gas.

You play tunes described as "intimate acoustic reverie" through to "interstellar space rock". On the surface those genres sound oceans apart. How do you plan the playlists in a way that keeps the good ship afloat for your listeners?

From the playlists Sideways Through Sound might seem to be genre hopping and going from a finger-picked guitar piece to a full band in space rock freak-out mode takes some careful planning... but with the right sequence of tracks (and yes I agonize over this part!!) it's possible to create a mood and a flow which becomes a sonic journey and hopefully the listener will travel with the music.

You've also produced some special packages associated with the program over the years. Tell us a bit about those.

One of the magical essences of radio is that it is essentially live entertainment. To capture radio, 'Beyond The Pale' was a 3D sonic snapshot of Sideways Through Sound - a double CD in a ring-bound A5 booklet.  Also listeners who subscribe to the show during [home station] 2ser's annual supporter drive receive a special limited CD, again produced with an emphasis on presentation.

The show exudes dedication - do you have any tips for new presenters/producers out there?

They key word is dedication, plus honesty and sincerity.  Always let your passion be your guide.

What would you like to tell stations that now have Sideways Through Sound available to them for broadcast through the Community Radio Network service?

Something nice is going to happen to your ears!!


Sideways Through Sound is playing nationally on the Community Radio Network satellite service Fridays from 22:00 - 22:56 EST, and is available for DDN capture. For more information email or call 02 9310 2999.

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