|Slogan||Kool with the K|
|Frequency||94.5 / 94.6 FM (as a Pirate)|
|First air date||28 November 1991|
|Format||jungle, drum and bass, old skool|
Kool London, also known as Kool FM, is a former London pirate radio station that now broadcasts as an internet radio station, playing jungle, drum and bass, and old skool. Kool is generally regarded as being instrumental in the development of the jungle music scene.
Kool first broadcast on 28 November 1991 on the frequency of 94.5FM, from Hackney, East London. Kool has stated that it was "the very first pirate station ever to play hardcore jungle". Simon Reynolds would call it "London's ruling pirate station" in an account of the beginnings of jungle in his book Energy Flash, whilst in State of Bass, Martin James would consider it "The single most important pirate station in jungle".
In July 1993, its then-neighbouring station also broadcasting from the Nightingale Estate, Rush FM, was subject to a high profile raid by the authorities leading to media accusations of drug dealing at raves promoted by the two stations.
In April 1996, Kool was featured in a BBC First Sight documentary about pirate radio in London, in which its Kool Skool club night also appeared. In the same year, it branched out by launching a sister station, Kool FM Midlands based in Birmingham, which continued until 2002.
In May 2007, Kool FM featured in a BBC London News report about pirate radio station interference to the emergency services and their use of the airwaves.
In August 2010, Kool relaunched as Kool London and now operates as an internet radio station, providing a live audio stream on its website as well as archived shows.
Kool DJs and MCs past and present reads like a "who's who" of jungle and drum and bass, including DJ Brockie, MC Det, DJ Ron, SL, MC Co-Gee, MC Five-O, MC Moose, MC Navigator, The Ragga Twins, Skibadee, Mampi Swift, Devious Dee, DJ Dextrous, Shabba D, Bryan Gee, Funky Flirt, Fearless, DJ Trace, Nicky Blackmarket, Stevie Hyper D, Billy Bunter, and Crissy Criss.
In recent years, Kool has been involved in two live broadcasts in association with the artist Eddie Peake. The first in 2013 as part of his graduate final year project at the Royal Academy of Arts, and again in 2018 at the White Cube forming part of his Concrete Pitch show.
The station celebrated its 25th birthday on-air in November 2016.
- Jamie Clifton (6 August 2015). "Jungle, Raves and Pirate Radio: The History and Future of Kool FM". Vice.
- "Kool London History". koollondon.com. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
- Simon Reynolds: Energy Flash. Picador 1998, ISBN 0330350560, p.245.
- Martin James: State of Bass. Boxtree 1997, ISBN 0752223232, p.50.
- "The return of Jungle Fever brings together the best in old and new raving". The Guardian. 22 July 2016.
- "Bold Frequency: Exploring the Legacy of Pirate Radio Culture". Vice. 10 November 2016.
- "Rush FM raided, 1993 - The Radical History of Hackney". Hackney History. 21 January 2013.
- "Kool FM Midlands 105.6". koolfm.co.uk. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
- "Pirate radio 'risk to aircraft'". BBC News. 2 May 2007.
- "Welcome to Kool London". koollondon.com. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
- "Features - Eddie Peake And Kool London At The White Cube". TheQuietus. 11 February 2018.