Rinse:18 Mark Radford


Rinse FM might have just celebrated its 17th birthday, but it’s fair to say that in the last few years the station’s reputation has truly exploded. Finally achieving legitimate FM status in June 2010 only confirmed what most already knew – that Rinse has been, remains and will continue to be a critical part of London’s radio community.

Other long-running pirates like Passion and Kool have been in the game for 17 and 20 years respectively, but have never received the kind of publicity that Rinse has in the last five years alone. And that comes down to one crucial difference: brand marketing.

Through the unwavering dedication of station owner, trailblazing DJ and veritable tycoon, Geeneus, Rinse has established itself as a formidable brand through numerous enterprises. Alongside its regular roadblock events of monumental lineups, a UK-wide tour this Winter/Spring and the burgeoning Rinse academy, one such enterprise is the Rinse mix series.

Begun in 2007, and fittingly launched with a mix from Geeneus himself, the series kicked off with a simple yet effective agenda: embodiment of the sounds of the station. Five years and 17 CDs down the line and the collection has become synonymous with the diverse, forward-thinking music that dominates London’s airwaves.

It should come as no shock then that Rinse:18, mixed by tech-house and minimal DJ Mark Radford, once again represents a slight change of direction and a continued expansion of the station’s repertoire.

The mix itself may not be the most technically skilful nor pioneering of the series but it certainly represents an ambition to internationalise the station and close the gap between local and global sounds.

That’s not to say it disappoints however. It’s a high-octane journey through well-trodden paths of minimal techno, with tracks from long-established luminaries like Carl Craig, Steve Bug and John Tejada showing its grounding in familiar yet vibrant territory.

Particular highlights lie in the inclusion of tracks by UK producers No Artificial Colours and Subb-an, cashing in on the in-vogue sounds of contemporary house and demonstrating Rinse’s principal virtue of culture-clashing British sounds with those from the rest of the world.

There’s no doubt though that the mix does feel and sound like something new for Rinse and whether that’s a good or bad thing really boils down to your own perspective. Either way, the end result is unquestionably a refreshing selection for the UK’s most progressive broadcaster.
Onwards and upwards!

Adam Tiran