Tuning in to AAFM or is that AFM (They aren’t that sure either) General Nonsense | My Life 19 SEP 2012

I’m not particularly into music any more these days – that was pretty much confined to my University days truth be told. However, seeing as I sit with a hour long commute both ways to work, radio still plays a small part in my life.

Up until now I must say that I haven’t exactly been spoiled for choice when it comes to tuning in to a radio station that I actually like mind you. I pretty much frequency hop between 5FM and KFM depending on what DJ or music is playing, sometimes tuning into Radio 2000 if there is some national sporting event worth listening to, or Cape Talk 56.7 if I don’t feel like music at all. (I kind of like Bruce Whitfield’s Money Show starting 18:00 mind you).

However, I’ve recently discovered a brand new radio station on the 91.3 FM band which has quickly become my new favourite, edging out the horrible make-do stations I had been forcing myself to consume all this while. It’s a new kid on the block, grabbing the airwaves spot that the now defunct Radio Houtstok briefly held a year or two ago, appropriately named Afrikaans Alternative FM (or just Alternative FM) – and led by station manager Hein du Plooy (with whom Rolling Stone recently had a nice chat with).

Unsurprising, this new station is Bellville-based, which is after all pretty much acknowledged as the heart of the Afrikaans rock music scene anyway.

I must be honest, the Afrikaans DJs are pretty rubbish for the most part (particularly the two female ones which I’ve come across), but the fact that they don’t have a lot of advertising to push on us (yet) is refreshing, and even better than that – their music selection is absolutely awesome as far as I am concerned, feeding me all the stuff that I truly want to hear.

Finally a station that caters to people who happen to pretty much like rock, alternative and precious little else.

Chantelle is finding it funny that I (a through and through ‘soutie’) now listens almost entirely to an Afrikaans radio station, but if I tune the DJ’s out, then I’m left with pretty much 90% English alternative rock favourites, so it is a pretty much win situation for me as far as I’m concerned! :)

They are pretty new meaning that their playlist is still fairly small, but pleasingly growing all the time. They mostly spend their time playing music from my era, i.e. 90’s and 00’s, but every now and then they do slip in something new. A further plus is of course the fact that a lot of South African music gets a chance at airplay – which is particularly good news for someone who owned all the Springbok Nude Girls material that Arno and the boys saw fit to release once upon a time!

Internet streaming also forms a big part of their broadcasting strategy (as their radio broadcast only really covers the greater Cape Town and Overberg regions), and I quite often find myself tuning in to http://afm.radiostream.co.za/ to listen to some decent tunes while I code at home on a Tuesday and Thursday afternoon.

One thing to note though – for some reason they’ve seen fit to partner up with Darren Scott’s Ballz Radio and switch over to that feed for the afternoon drive time show – which is great if you love your sport, but not so great if you’ve tuned into the station because of their musical inclination.

Nevertheless, thus far they have me hooked, so hats off to this new venture and here’s holding thumbs that these boys do well for themselves! :)

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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.