Pirate Transmissions

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Image from the Brooklyn Pirate Radio Sound Map, courtesy of David Goren.

Many interesting pirate stations can be found on the radio. Most of these pop up in different frequencies, usually at the very low end of the FM dial. In Brooklyn, listeners can find pirate stations broadcasting in multiple languages including Russian, Yiddish, Kreyol, Spanish and English. Unfortunately many of these pirates often knock out some of the better stations, like WKCR. This reviewer has reconciled himself to living without FMU or KCR, in favor of excellent Haitian folkloric programming, only to have the pirate signal suddenly disappear. For awhile Radio Liberté out of Haiti could be heard through a local relay transmitter out of Flatbush. Most of the programming was in Kreyol, with an occasional English-language show giving scathing Marxist critiques of nationalist ideologies.

We have also heard various pirate hip-hop and reggae stations. Some of these get played in dollar vans, surely one of the best ways to hear music. In Flatbush Brooklyn, we have recently heard pirates broadcasting at 99.3, 99.9, and 95.3 FM. Just as this site was about to go live we learned about the Brooklyn Pirate Radio Sound Map, where you can lots of valuable information on these stations. R Cleffi

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Published by Frequency and Amplitude, an NYC Radio Roundup

Surveying what's left of the analog NYC-area radioscape.

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