Pump Up the Volume

Broadcasting to every PC and laptop with a tight pair of speakers and a Prince Paul album in the CD deck, PleasuredomeRadio (www.pdomeradio.com) is a cyberspace radio station for the shut-in club-hopper. And this Internet music temple, which transmits on the weekends from right here in Houston, is operated by a group of well-known local DJs who, fed up with corporate radio, decided to establish their own outlet for alternative jams.

"Instead of just sitting there and beating ourselves on the head and wanting to know how can we play all this good new music locally," says programming and operations director DJ Sincere, "why not do it worldwide to an audience that'll appreciate it more?"

It was on overseas Internet radio networks that Sincere got the idea to start his own site. A veteran of broadcast radio (he hosted KTSU/90.9 FM's Kidz Jamm for eight years before leaving earlier this year to work on the site), he rounded up a team of experienced spinmasters -- DJ Baby Cee, DJ Cipher and DJ Melodic -- to shape the site's musical aesthetic. What they came up with is a fluid mesh of underground hip-hop, house, reggae, soul ("not that lovey-dovey stuff you hear on commercial radio") and acid jazz.

"I'm not gonna play the Goo Goo Dolls or nothing like that," Sincere says. "Basically, it's like this: We got hip-hop, you know what I'm sayin'?" But Sincere doesn't focus just on the East or West Coast variety. "It's good hip-hop," he says, or "it's bad hip-hop, depending on who's looking at it."

Launched in April of this year, PleasuredomeRadio didn't broadcast live programs until July. The site has garnered 24,987 hits since then, with an average of 2,000 per week. It's the playlist flexibility that's bringing Netheads to the site. Says Melodic: "We got our own freedom to play what we wanna play and still play good music," unlike the regular radio, which is limited to spinning the same tired thing over and over.

"In the last few years, radio in general has been shot to hell," Sincere explains. "[There has been] huge downsizing and corporate takeovers, monopolies, things like that. So, a lot of DJs are no longer creative on the radio. The whole mission of a DJ is to get out there and break records and make hits. That's what a DJ is there for. But DJs are not doing that anymore."

Sincere and company run the site much like a public radio station, but they especially dig spinning on-line because there aren't any federal limitations on the Web. "First of all, the difference between the Internet and the actual radio, those brick-and-mortar radio stations, is that the FCC does not govern the Internet," Sincere explains. "The only people governing the Internet and the music is the [Recording Industry Association of America], along with publishing companies such as ASCAP, BMI and things like that." With those organizations, he says, as long as you've sent in your application, you can do whatever you want.

Sincere is looking to expand PleasuredomeRadio into a daily operation, broadcasting live shows on weekdays. The Internet station is also working on live weekend Webcasts from a local club. With his band of beat bandits by his side, Sincere is succeeding in playing the kind of music that inspired him to get in this business in the first place. "I want to play the music that I like and bring that to the people, man," Sincere says. "I like making people feel good -- legally."

PleasuredomeRadio broadcasts live every Friday from 6 p.m. to midnight, Saturday from 5 p.m. to midnight and Sunday from 6 p.m. to midnight. To hear broadcasts and/or previously aired shows, download RealPlayer from www.realplayer.com and go to www.pdomeradio.com.

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Craig D. Lindsey
Contact: Craig D. Lindsey