I like Stuart Maconie. I really do.
His weekly radio show on 6 Music is called Stuart Maconie’s Freak Zone. It’s a ridiculously eclectic celebration of music that is often far from freaky just down right beautiful. Take a look at the 59 songs he has published on his Freak Zone playlist that you can access via Deezer, Spotify and Youtube. (Here’s the Spotify link seeing as it’s my music sharing platform of choice.)
In it you’ll find music that is thrillingly beautiful like Hana by Asa-Chang &Junray, 1969 by Boards of Canada, Final Day by Young Marble Giants, O Superman by Laurie Anderson and Jesus’ Blood Never failed me Yet by Gavin Bryars but it is sat beside songs that most might call ‘challenging’ like the outstanding Nag, Nag, Nag by Cabaret Voltaire or My Pagan Ass by Brain Donor or N/Jz?Bm by derek Bailey.
Frank Zappa adds yet another dimension, as does William Shatner.
It’s this very contrast that sets Maconie up as a custodian and curator of music based only on its artistic merit. It’s this that makes Maconie the very distillation of not only 6 Music but of British radio itself. He has the rare distinction of contributing at various tines to Radio 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6 as well as NME and Q. Both, in their time, his time, the vanguards of music publishing in the UK. Sadly both have now fallen on fallow fields; most notably the NME.
But in The Freak Zone we have a musical treasure trove to protect, cherish and celebrate.
Bravo Mr Maconie. Keep up the great work.