Rinse FM

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Rinse FM
Rinse FM logo 2012.png
Broadcast areaLondon
Frequency106.8 MHz
First air date
FormatMusic radio, UK-centric urban dance music
WebcastRinse Player, Stream

Rinse FM is a London-based community radio station, licensed for "young people living and/or working within the central, east and south London areas.".[1] The station plays garage, grime, dubstep, house, jungle and funky and other UK-centric dance music.

The station was founded in 1994 and operated as pirate radio station until it was awarded a community FM broadcast licence in June 2010. Rinse FM was described as London's biggest pirate radio station[2][3] and provided first exposure to grime artists Dizzee Rascal and Wiley[4] and later provided a home for dubstep DJs like Skream, Kode9, and Oneman.[5] DJ Geeneus is the station's head.[5][6]


Early years[edit]

Rinse FM was founded as a pirate radio station in 1994 by a group of 16-year-olds including DJ Geeneus and DJ Slimzee.[7] For a three-year period in the early days of the station the Rinse studio was hosted in DJ Slimzee's house.[2][8] In its early years the station played predominantly jungle music with a particular focus on MCs, a direction which set Rinse apart from competing stations.[5] At the time the broadcasts were being made out of secret, makeshift locations such as kitchens and bedrooms belonging to friends and DJs, constantly moving between these locations to avoid getting shut down by authorities - the first broadcast coming from Ingram House in Tower Hamlets, London.[9] This continued to a lesser extent all throughout the 16 years during which Rinse was a pirate radio station.[3]

Kool FM was the leading pirate radio station within the jungle scene, and it wasn't until Rinse changed its focus to the emerging garage scene around 1998/1999 that it became really popular, thanks to the darker sound that it brought with it from its jungle days.[5] Into the early 2000s, the station became critical for emergence and development of the genres grime and dubstep.[3], and was managed during this time by DJ Uncle Dugs.[10] Rinse broadcast on the frequency of 100.3/100.4FM for the majority of its unlicensed years on air.

In April 2005 Ofcom disconnected a Rinse FM radio transmitter[2] and Dean Fullman, known on air as DJ Slimzee, received an ASBO, believed to be the first of its kind, banning him from every rooftop in the borough of Tower Hamlets.[11][12]

FM licence[edit]

As of August 2007 the station was seeking a legal FM licence.[13] Rinse FM created a petition which received hundreds of supporters within less than a week, including some from countries other than the UK.[14] The station's owner DJ Geeneus at the time said that: "We don't want to be legal to play stupid adverts and make loads of money from advertising. We want to be legal to say: look at our scene, look at what we're doing. We're a business, we're not criminals. We're supplying something that no one else is supplying, and we're professional."[3]

Rinse FM was awarded a community FM broadcast licence by Ofcom in June 2010 for frequency 106.8 FM,[2][3] and commenced broadcasting legally on 7 February 2011.[15] The station is presently managed by Sarah Lockhart.[16].

As part of its community broadcasting remit, Rinse FM is engaged in training young people in broadcasting skills who are considered marginalised, even working with children who are in Pupil Referral Units. These are units for persistent truants and people with special educational needs.[17]


Writing for FACT magazine in 2007, Simon Hampson stated: "Without Rinse, Grime and Dubstep would be very different: indeed, it’s fair to say that they might not even exist at all."[5]

The station has been described as London's biggest pirate radio station[5][13] and "without doubt the world's leading grime station."[4]

Radio 1 DJ John Peel recommended the station in 2004, stating that:

When I'm in London I listen to the pirates as much as I can. There's a station I like called Rinse FM, which is somewhere in the area banded by [ie between the frequencies of] Kiss FM and Classic FM.[18]

Rinse Recordings[edit]

The station first released music under the Rinse Recordings imprint in 2003.[19] Currently the label releases albums and singles from a roster of signed artists as well as mix CDs from DJs associated with the station,[20] the label first saw chart success when Katy B released "Katy on a Mission" with the label in 2010. Currently signed acts include P Money, Katy B, Novelist, Roska and Royal-T. DJs who have released mix albums for Rinse Recordings include Skream, Skepta, Kode9 and Elijah and Skilliam. With the release of the 23rd mix CD (mixed by Richy Ahmed), Rinse has stated that it broadens the concept to include non-residents of the station.[21] The label went on to release Katy B's chart-topping album Little Red and Route 94's chart-topping single "My Love" in 2014.

List Of Rinse Mix Albums

  • Rinse 01 - Geeneus (2007)
  • Rinse 02 - Skream (2007)
  • Rinse 03 - Supa D (2008)
  • Rinse 04 - Skepta (2008)
  • Rinse 05 - Paleface (2008)
  • Rinse 06 - Plastician (2008)
  • Rinse 07 - Spyro (2009)
  • Rinse 08 - Alexander Nut (2009)
  • Rinse 09 - N Type (2009)
  • Rinse 10 - Marcus Nasty (2009)
  • Rinse 11 - Oneman (2010)
  • Rinse 12 - Kismet (2010)
  • Rinse 13 -
  • Rinse 14 - Youngsta (2011)
  • Rinse 15 - Roska (2011)
  • Rinse 16 - Ben Ufo (2011)
  • Rinse 17 - Elijah And Skilliam (2011)
  • Rinse 18 - Mark Radford (2012)
  • Rinse 19 - Icicle (2012)
  • Rinse 20 - Uncle Dugs (2012)
  • Rinse 21 - T.Williams (2012)
  • Rinse 22 - Kode9 (2013)
  • Rinse 23 - Richy Ahmed (2013)

Internet radio[edit]

Rinse began broadcasting on the internet in 2006. Once broadcast, all shows get uploaded to both the website and Soundcloud as podcasts.

Rinse France[edit]

In early 2014, a sister radio station Rinse France was opened in Paris.[22]


  1. ^ Community radio licence: key commitments
  2. ^ a b c d Michaels, Sean (18 June 2010). "Rinse FM awarded broadcasting licence". The Guardian. London.
  3. ^ a b c d e Hancox, Dan (18 June 2010). "Rinse FM finally gets the recognition it deserves". The Guardian.
  4. ^ a b "Pitchfork Feature: Column: The Month in Grime / Dubstep". Pitchforkmedia.com. Archived from the original on 13 January 2009. Retrieved 23 August 2011.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Interview: Geeneus". FACTmag. 1 January 2009. Archived from the original on 7 April 2010.
  6. ^ Webb, Adam (18 October 2007). "Is GarageBand top of the pops?". The Guardian. London.
  7. ^ Miranda Sawyer. "Rinse FM: 'Radio, not the internet, gave me my break,' says Katy B". the Guardian.
  8. ^ "Slimzee Interview - NTS Live". NTS Radio. Archived from the original on 10 September 2014. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
  9. ^ "Plastician Interviews: DJ Slimzee - Rinse FM". Rinse.fm. 6 September 2013.
  10. ^ "Rinse FM - Artists - Uncle Dugs". Rinse.fm.
  11. ^ "Asbo bars pirate DJ from the rooftops | News". Thisislondon.co.uk. Retrieved 23 August 2011.
  12. ^ "Ofcom Tackles Illegal Broadcasting". Ofcom. 3 November 2005. Archived from the original on 4 July 2010. Retrieved 23 August 2011.
  13. ^ a b Quirke, Antonia. "Big shout-out to the Finland crew". New Statesman. Retrieved 23 August 2011.
  14. ^ "FM Radio Licence Petition - Rinse FM". Rinse.fm.
  15. ^ "Community Radio Stations Licensing: Rinse FM". Ofcom.
  16. ^ Sawyer, Miranda (30 September 2012). "Rinse FM: 'Radio, not the internet, gave me my break,' says Katy B". London: The Guardian.
  17. ^ "Rinse FM - London and Worldwide". Rinse FM. Archived from the original on 15 September 2010.
  18. ^ Shimmon, Katie (25 July 2004). "My media". The Guardian.
  19. ^ "Geeneus Vs Wizzbit - Rinse Recordings Vol 1". Discogs.
  20. ^ "Label - Rinse FM". Rinse FM.
  21. ^ Reviews: Richy Adhmed - Rinse 23 Resident Advisor
  22. ^ "Rinse Paris". Inverted Audio. Retrieved 20 August 2016.

External links[edit]