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vito0329

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About vito0329

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  • Birthday 03/29/1965

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  1. Goodbye 92.7-wlir!

    To those into Freestyle (Latin Hip Hop) music, some may initially feel that having two Fm frequencies will boost the Freestyle show that the Latin station "Caliente" 105.9FM/92.7FM (hosted by former "Nice N' Wild" member Diamond Boy) is now playing at 12 Noon during the weekdays. That's great if you're unemployed or work at night, but that time slot leaves out many prospective listeners who have to work their 9-to-5 gigs (unless they can play the radio at work). Even then, the rest of the day, the station plays Latin music (from Merengue & Salsa, to Spanish rock, and even some Reggae in Spanish -- Reggaeton). But all that is meaningless to those really into Freestyle. KTU 's Freestyle show, hosted by Judy Torres in Sunday nights, seems to play to same tracks (such as Cynthia, TKA, and of course Judy Torres' own material), but not much else. As a long time fan of Freestyle, the thing I really like about that music were the DJs who made this music. A great DJ would often re-create songs by doing things, like mixing the vocal of one song (such as Noel's "Silent Morning") onto a new beat, which would give the song a "new life". The group "The Latin Rascals" (Tony Moran -- who's a producer in Miami these days; and Albert Cabrera -- who's doing Latin-flavored House music out of Europe under the name "Lee-Cabrera) were pioneers of this technique for Freestyle music. Back in the day, when there were DJs doing this, there was a thriving black market in bootleg tapes with such remixes (often sold in record stores in Washington Heights and elsewhere), and guys with the loudspeakers on their cars would often blast such remixes as they tore through Broadway & other major avenues -- lending "street credibility" to the latest mixes of Freestyle music. When I was living in Miami in the early 90s, there was a great station playing Freestyle music 24 hours a day -- "Power 96" (reflecting the huge Hispanic demographic in that city). What made that station great was the diversity of not only Freestyle, but other types of Dance music, like House music, that the station would play. "Power 96" would play Freestyle artists that were from South Florida to begin with (like Expose -- which eventually went pop; Stevie B, Tolga, Voice in Fashion, Nice N' Wild, Secret Society, Paris By Air, etc.), as well as the Freestyle acts from NYC (from TKA, to the Cover Girls, Noel, Sa-Fire, Judy Torres, Reinaldo, Latin Rascals, to Sweet Sensation, Spirit Matter, Coro, Lissette Melendez, etc. -- just to name some of the multitude of artists coming from the NYC area). They also pushed the early 90s "Latin House" sound made by New York artists like "Two Without Hats" and "Two in a Room" (which was hugely popular in Miami) The key difference between "Power 96" and KTU was that "Power 96" would air a lot of fresh, innovative remixes (to the point where I was making tapes of such shows on a regular basis) at different time slots. It wasn't unusual for "Power 96" to play some Freestyle and other club jams on a Monday evening prime time (8 pm), or during the day. Unlike KTU, "Power 96" didn't have to wait until Friday or Sat. night to play some Freestyle jams. That Miami station was true to its listeners music desires -- even holding live interview with Freestyle artists (both the local Miami talent, as well as the New York acts). Miami had a special reason to pump these groups up -- that city's emerging club music scene, plus the fact that it's a vacation spot (justifying the round-the-clock Dance music format) -- I might add, with very limited commercial interruptions, unlike KTU, where one either hears a ton of commercials for some diet pills, or DJs talking a lot of B.S. on the air without playing music that people want to hear to forget whatever problems they're dealing with (given that we're talking about NYC -- perhaps the "Stress capital" of America, KTU is doing a poor job serving its audience). Even in Miami, though, time took its toll even on "Power 96" -- where some years ago, that station (like the old HOT 97 here in NYC) changed its format to a 24-hour rap format. Perhaps if 105.9 FM's "Diamond Boy" and some other innovative DJs (not the Freestyle DJs on KTU -- who don't have that "street credibiliity" or "edge" to make some serious Freestyle jams that would get even Freestyle-haters dancing) were to set up a Freestyle dance station in the same spirit as the old "Power 96" in Miami, then and only then is Freestyle going to get a second wind here in New York (where it can actually attract new, younger listeners), as opposed to the current strategy KTU seems to be doing, which is content to trying to cater to its original listeners (who, unfortunately, are well in their 30s & 40s today!! -- with many of those listeners, of course moving on to other sounds, from Latin music to rock to R&B, etc.). Let's see what the future holds for New York radio. This radio market is too big & important to fall into the mediocre state it's currently in..... Vito!!
  2. Goodbye 92.7-wlir!

    I couldn't believe what happened with WLIR recently (mid-January 2004). On WLIR's old website, a press release by its owners (The Morey Corp.) announced that it sold WLIR's 92.7 FM frequency to the Latin station 105.9 FM (giving that station a second frequency to cover Long Island) for $60 million. The Morey Corp.'s press release said that WLIR moved to 107.1 FM, where it claimed that it would continue WLIR's long-standing format of alternative rock on that frequency. So far, that hasn't happened -- the station, now called "The Box", is playing a mixture of lame Top 40 and (ironically) R&B music. Ironically, since just a couple of notches up the frequency spectrum is the long-standing R&B station "WBLS" (107.5 FM), whose powerful signal virtually drowns out the 107.1 FM frequency. What was The Morey Corporation thinking about? Obviously, with $60 million in their pocket , they could care less about listeners like myself who have been loyal listeners to WLIR for years (since the 80s, when WLIR was pioneering the New Wave rock artists -- from Depeche Mode to New Order, etc. that was being championed by MTV itself during its early years). Them, as well as then-emerging groups coming out of the UK and other parts of Europe (whether it was Big Country, Blacqmange, Thomas Dolby, etc.) -- these groups brought a unique sound that no other stations were really pushing, which helped make WLIR unique, along with the alternative rock (from No Doubt to Matchbox 20 to Red Hot Chili Peppers to Staind, etc.) that they played as the 90s moved along into the new millenium. That, and WLIR's rightful experimentation with the now-emerging "Electronica" (a.k.a. Trance) sound that's coming out of Europe and underground clubs & raves in New York, Miami & California. Trance is the next step in the evolution of the 80s New Wave sound. Trance music DJs that WLIR was starting to expose, like BT from Washington D.C., Darude from Finland, ATB and Paul Van Dyke from Germany, as well as DJ Tiesto from Holland (just to name a few such DJs) were influenced by the electronic foundation that 80s groups like New Order, Depeche Mode and Kraftwerk itself laid out -- their music was the future that is starting to come into fruitation now. All this, just for WLIR's owners to "sell out" (both literally & figuratively), which leaves New York listeners like myself left hanging. Since it appears that the new "Box" station does NOT plan to maintain WLIR's recent mix of 80s New Wave, more recent alternative rock, and the now emerging Trance sound, and no other New York station is planning to pick up where the old WLIR left off, those like myself have no alternative but to turn to the Internet to find the music that I really want to hear -- which is out there. There are a growing number of stations (both real stations, as well as "Internet only" stations) -- mainly from Europe and scattered outlets in the U.S., that play either the "alternative rock" or "New Wave" format, or Trance/House music unto itself. In particular, there are "Internet only" stations like "PureDJ" (www.puredj.com) -- based in Holland, that plays such Trance music (especially material from Ferry Corsten -- another popular Trance music DJ, and DJ Tiesto as well); as well as actual European stations with live "Real Audio" links, such as "C-Dance" in Belgium (www.c-dance.be), "Ministry of Sound Radio" in London, "Radio NTI" in Nantes, France, and "Beat 106" in Scotland that play the cutting-edge Trance music; while those going for the old school & even Latin-flavored House sound can hear a variety of European stations live -- such as "Radio Italian Network" in Milan, Italy (www.rin.it); "Mix FM" in Lisbon, Portugal; "Radio Nova Era" - also in Portugal; as well as "Radio FG" in Paris, France (which is pushing some of the "French House" sound from groups like "Stardust", "Daft Punk" & famed French DJ David Guetta), and even another station called "Mix FM" in Lebanon (of all places) that's playing the latest European Dance music that WLIR was just starting to expose in the New York area. Dance music made popular by the popular European vacation spot Ibiza (where I had the pleasure of going to last Summer) and the line-up of DJs that were spinning out there every Summer -- music that former WLIR DJs Andre and DJ Theo aired on their previous show "In the Mix" (and also "Chris the Greek's" own show on WLIR). WLIR seemed well on its way to being a cutting-edge trend-setter in bringing the happening Dance music from Ibiza and European clubs (where all the happening music is now coming from -- since the big money for the DJs are out there, not in America). No doubt, I will miss the old WLIR. It's also a shame that the owners of the old WLIR didn't have the vision to pioneer even more of this Dance music (which, by the way, Dance station KTU barely plays, and very infrequency -- favoring Top 40 and 70s Disco music). If they were smart enough to at least pioneer the "Ibiza sound" to bigger heights here in New York, they surely could have been a top station in the tri-state area (airing on a regular basis jams from such Dance DJs, both the Europeans I mentioned, as well as American DJs like BT, Voodoo & Serrano & others). Ironically, Andre & DJ Theo's "In the Mix" show on WLIR helped introduce me to the Trance /Techno sound coming out of Europe -- where they were playing artists like Faithless, Voodoo & Serrano, Robbie Rivera (the Miami-based Trance DJ), Kernkraft 400 (their hit "Zombie Nation"), Ian Van Dahl, ATB, BT, and even the Italian DJ Benny Bennasi (who has a global hit "Satisfaction" -- which French dance stations in particular, are making spin-off songs & mixes based on his trademark electronic sound). The most successful stations are one that represent a lifestyle, which was what the 80s New Wave sound was about, and what the current Trance/House sound is about. Paul Van Dyke's concert at Central Park's Summerstage, for example, merely reflected the reality of this emerging culture. Perhaps some entepreneur will come along and invest in a station playing this sound inthe tri-state area. I'm not holding my breathe. Thank God for the Internet -- otherwise, forget about it!!! Vito P.S. I personally have no problem with Caliente 105.9 FM's Latin format, but why two frequencies!! If other pre-existing radio stations start taking two or three FM frequencies each, diversity will surely die on FM, ushering even more the necessity of seeking diverse music thru the web.
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