The mid-2010s were a confusing and changing landscape for music buyers.
As long-established, favourite record shops across the country began to close, and finding, choosing and buying music relocated online for real and forever, it was a time of retraining and implementing new habits for those of us who had discovered and bought music habitually since our earliest teens.
But the DIY ethic of running a tiny record label, and years of organising pirate radio, was deeply instilled in us. We LIKED putting sets and mixes together and sharing them, we liked putting on events in our newly-built space, and we liked a technical challenge.
So we decided to do it: 11 years after our time on pirate radio ended, we set up a new station.
And yes...we 'started' at 6am each day.
Over four bank holiday sessions in 2014, Altar Ego Radio broadcast both on FM and online for 4 continuous days, playing the gamut of musical genres with a dizzying 24-hour schedule of back-to-back guest DJS. A massive technical and creative group effort, it only happened with the incredible creative and physical endeavours of the technician and a team of DJs stationed worldwide, live-streaming their sets to us here in the studio and beamed back out via FM and online.
We even had our own App!
All of the sets were recorded and uploaded, and you can listen to them here - but you'll have to scroll down a bit, as a lot of recordings have been added since. This is me, though, opening Altar Ego's Hallowe'en Weekend Session:
Equipment included a big Behringer mixer, Mac Pro plus an iMac, two turntables, a mic, CD player, an iPad with all the digital music and a cute little mixing app, a Duet signal input, MANY cables, a transmitter and an iPhone, plus VPN software, a TuneIn account, GarageBand for live recording, a Wavestreaming account, and other tiny little apps and plug-ins along with the mysterious 'opening' of a special port on our router.
Oh, and an aerial of course.
For online broadcast we used Nicecast, an amazing little application which sadly is no more. Here's the moment I captured 94 hours of continuous broadcasting!
And we made loads of jingles...
With an eye-wideningly broad transmission area, we were picked up by the UK's pirate nerds on their 'party like it's 1999'-style forum. Cheers for the big-up, Wazza, whoever you were:
Altar Ego still exists in all of these places, if you want to see more.