Kool FM

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For the radio station in Phoenix, Arizona, USA, see KOOL-FM.
For the radio station in Bonneville, Alberta, Canada, see CJEG-FM.
For the radio station in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, see CFCA-FM.
For the radio station in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, see CHBE-FM.
Broadcast area London, Worldwide
Slogan Kool with a K
First air date 1991
Format Jungle, Drum n Bass, Old Skool
Website koollondon.com

Kool FM is a London pirate radio station that also broadcasts as an internet radio station, started on 28 November 1991.[1][2]


Kool FM has stated that it has been "the very first pirate station ever to play Hardcore Jungle".[1] Simon Reynolds called it "London's ruling pirate station" in an account of the beginnings of jungle music in the early to mid 1990s.[3] Similarly, Billboard magazine referred to Kool FM as "leading jungle station" in a 1995 report about the genre.[2]

In January 1996, Kool FM Midlands started broadcasting to the Midlands on 105.6 FM, based in Birmingham; by then dedicated to drum'n'bass.[1]

In the same year, Kool FM featured in a BBC documentary about pirate radio.[4]

In 1998, U.S. magazine Vibe compared it favorably to Kiss FM (a former London pirate radio station which had become legal): "Meanwhile, U.K. pirates like Kool FM and Hard FM continue to broadcast even better music without interference from authorities."[5]

A 2002 article in the Evening Standard reported that Kool FM was making profits from advertising and organizing raves.[6]

In 2005, a Kool FM transmitter broadcasting from Wapping (in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets) was seized in an Ofcom operation against London pirate stations.[7]

In 2007, Kool FM was featured on a BBC London News report about pirate radio station interference to the emergency services and their use of the airwaves.[8]

Kool FM was still operating illegally in February 2008, broadcasting on 94.6 FM from Tower Hamlets, when three of its phone lines were disconnected during a series of raids led by Ofcom.[9][10]

The station celebrated its 21st birthday in 2012 and now broadcasts 24 hours a day, 90 percent of which is live[11]

The station has won "Best Radio/Internet Station" at the Drum n Bass Awards numerous times, most recently in 2012. ( 13th time )[12]


From August 2010, Kool FM was rebranded and now operates as an internet radio station, Kool London, providing a live audio stream of radio shows on its relaunched website.[13] The site appears to be under active development with new features being implemented. Kool FM have also launched the Kool Archives, a Mediafire account that is regularly updated with recordings of the live shows and has recordings that span from 1992 to the present day.[14]

In June 2013, Kool London broadcast live for eight hours a day from the Royal Academy of Arts as part of the RA Schools Show, forming part of a graduate's final year project.[15][16]


  1. ^ a b c h i s t o r y on the home page of Kool FM Midlands (archived by the Internet Archive on 25 December 2001)
  2. ^ a b Kwaku: Pirate UK Radio Propels Rising Soulful Jungle Style. Billboard, July 29, 1995 p.39
  3. ^ Simon Reynolds: Energy Flash. Picador 2008, ISBN 978-0-330-45420-9, p.245.
  4. ^ 1996 BBC Documentary on YouTube
  5. ^ Vibe, issue 6, no.9, November 1998, p.110
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ Ofcom tackles illegal broadcasting Ofcom News Release Archive, 3 November 2005
  8. ^ 2007 BBC London News on YouTube
  9. ^ Victoria Huntley: Pirate radio sunk from airwaves East London Advertiser, 23 February 2008
  10. ^ Ofcom, police and London Boroughs take action against illegal broadcasting Ofcom News Release Archive, 19 February 2008
  11. ^ 20 Years of Kool with a K
  12. ^ Drum n Bass Awards 2012
  13. ^ [2] Kool London new live online stream
  14. ^ [3] Kool Archive (Mediafire account).
  15. ^ Royal Academy of Arts
  16. ^ Kool London at the Royal Academy of Arts, London

External links[edit]