More than 700 episodes of the long, long-running and totally unpredictable Over The Edge radio show have been archived online.
The brainchild of Negativland’s Don Joyce, who hosted the show from its inception in 1981 until his death this year, Over The Edge aired weekly each Thursday on Berkeley’s KPFA 94.1 FM, bringing experimental sound collage, freeform performances, live listener contributions and untold unplanned weirdness to lucky Bay Area listeners.
While a number of archived episodes of the show have been available on the internet in the past, a huge update to The Internet Archive has now consolidated over 700 episodes in one place – dig in anywhere you like, you can never guess what magic you might find. It’s not easy to work out what’s what, but that seems only fitting.
Joyce’s Negativland cohorts told the story of Over The Edge in an obituary for their bandmate in July, writing: “Don was a DJ at the station when a mutual friend, Ian Allen (who died this past January) introduced him to a group of Contra Costa County noise/music artists called Negativland, who entered the station one night, armed with stacks of recordings and electronic gear, and immediately transformed Don’s “normal music show” into a free-form collage sound odyssey, totally blowing open Don’s idea of what a radio program could be and what a DJ could “do”.
“And in Don Joyce (whose initials were conveniently also “DJ”), Negativland had found its “lead vocalist” without even realizing they were looking for one. It was Don who took the idea of reshaping previously recorded words – in a pre-sampling age – and ran with it to an extent and depth never before heard, and never equalled. “Recontextualization” became his weapon, with the 1/4” tape machine and razor blade his ammunition, and the radio “cart player” – an entirely forgotten piece of broadcast history using endless-loop tape cartridges, which he used until he death – his delivery system.”