Trance-formation: Radio & EDM in the 1990s



Chief Investigator: Dr Chris K Wilson (RMIT)

Timeframe: 2015-2018

Trance-formation: temporary community broadcasting and the development of electronic dance music culture in Australia in the 1990s

This project forms part of the broader Governing for Innovation research program. It examines the impact that spectrum liberalisation generated by the 1992 Broadcasting Services Act specifically had on the development of local electronic dance music (EDM) activities.

In particular, it seeks to account for the emergence of 12 temporary EDM/Youth community broadcasters in Australia’s mainland state capitals and examine the impact these stations had on the broadcasting landscape and electronic dance music cultural activities more generally (such as music events, retailing, and music production).

This research will:
1. Account for the formation of temporary EDM community broadcasters in Australia’s mainland state capitals during the spectrum review period.
2. Identify and describe non-broadcasting activities engaged in by these temporary EDM community broadcasters.
3. Examine the impact temporary EDM community broadcasters had on programming by commercial and national broadcasters.
4. Examine the impact of temporary EDM community broadcasters on EDM as a cultural practice in Australia.
5. Trace happened to temporary EDM community broadcasting organisations that did not receive permanent broadcasting licences.

The research consists of three key components:
1. Semi-structured interviews with people engaged in organising roles at the 11 temporary EDM community broadcasters (see below) that operated in metropolitan Australia between in the 1993 and 2002.
2. Semi-structured interviews with the at the ABC’s Triple J in the mid-1990s and two program/music directors employed at metropolitan commercial FM music radio stations during this period.
3. Archival research analysis, including: federal, state and local government policy documents, publicly available institutional documents (promotional documents, meeting minutes, annual reports, webpages), electronic, broadcast and print media and trade press, and EDM community broadcaster licence applications.

If you were involved in the operations of an EDM station operating on a temporary licence in the 1990s or early 2000s and would like to be involved in the research please contact me: