Drone Radio Stations

Drone music, drone-based music, drone ambient, ambient drone, or simply drone, is a minimalist musical genre that emphasizes the use of sustained or repeated sounds, notes, or tone-clusters – called drones. It is typically characterized by lengthy audio programs with relatively slight harmonic variations throughout each piece compared to other musics. La Monte Young, one of its 1960s originators, defined it in 2000 as “the sustained tone branch of minimalism”.

Music which contains drones and is rhythmically still or very slow, called “drone music”, can be found in many parts of the world, including bagpipe traditions, among them Scottish pibroch piping; didgeridoo music in Australia, South Indian classical Carnatic music and Hindustani classical music (both of which are accompanied almost invariably by the tambura, a plucked, four-string instrument which is only capable of playing a drone); the sustained tones found in the Japanese gagaku classical tradition; possibly (disputed) in pre-polyphonic organum vocal music of late medieval Europe; and the Byzantine chant’s ison (or drone-singing, attested after the fifteenth century). Repetition of tones, supposed to be in imitation of bagpipes, is found in a wide variety of genres and musical forms.

The modern genre also called drone music (called “dronology” by some books, labels and stores, to differentiate it from ethnic drone-based music) is often applied to artists who have allied themselves closely with underground music and the post-rock or experimental music genres. Drone music also fits into the genres of found sound, minimalist music, dark ambient, drone doom/drone metal, and noise music.

Pitchfork Media and Allmusic journalist Mark Richardson defined it thus: “The vanishing-point music created by drone elders Phill Niblock and, especially, LaMonte Young is what happens when a fixation on held tones reaches a tipping point. Timbre is reduced to either a single clear instrument or a sine wave, silence disappears completely, and the base-level interaction between small clusters of “pure” tone becomes the music’s content. This kind of work takes what typically helps us to distinguish “music” from “sound,” discards nearly all of it, and then starts over again from scratch.”[18]

Drone Zone – [SomaFM]

Bernal Heights, San Francisco, CA, United States

SomaFM is an independent Internet-only streaming group of radio channels, supported entirely with donations from listeners. SomaFM originally started broadcasting out of founder Rusty Hodge’s basement garage in the Bernal Heights neighborhood of San Francisco, as a micro-power radio station broadcast at the Burning Man festival in 1999. Read more…

Tagged In drone,electronic,experimental and noice