Rataplan is an alternative Dutch radio station which specialises in playing independent and dance music, and that transmits from the town of Nijmegen in the South East of the Netherlands. Its radio frequency is 91.6FM,and transmitting with modestly powerful equipment, it can be heard up to thirty kilometres beyond Nijmegen-in its sister town of Arnhem in the North, and across the German border in the East.

The Rataplan radio station is now twenty years old, and transmits on Mondays to Thursdays from 2pm to midnight, on Fridays from 2pm to 10pm and on Saturdays and Sundays from 12pm to midnight. One of its DJs is Pennyblackmusic writer, Maarten Schiethart who, as well as appearing onhis own radio show several times a week under the nom de plume of Ritmo, also has his own web pages as part of the official Rataplan website (www.rataplan.com/ritmo).

Maarten uses the Ritmo pages to edit his own monthly webzine, or webmagaz, the bulk of which he writes in English himself and which has in itfeatures, radio polls, and reviews, many of the latter of which have also been published on the Pennyblackmusic site. The feature below is taken from the December edition of the webmagaz and reflects on the year 2000 in music.


Hello and welcome to the last issue for the year 2000 of this fresh new magazine. A time to look back and to welcome again some of the music I have been featuring during the year. In January, I was still getting excited about Egoexpress , who should get a mention this year, despite having put their last album back in the autumn of 1999. At that time also Merge Records issued the second album by ... And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead , who had some misfortune recently, when their equipment was smashed by Dubya's bastard sons.

The year 2000 really got going with the only Beta Band release, a 12" single that wasn't eligible for the charts, Yo La Tengo picked up the thread in February with a nice return to top form, while before delving into anniversary frenzy, Ninja Tune put out the much anticipated album by Kid Koala . Fresh from the Cave of Golf inhabited by Aladdin, Clinic finished the recording of their full-length debut for Domino, resulting in a streak of excellent singles, which only The Wedding Present have matched in recent history. After a dispute over the sleeve artwork. Asian Dub Foundation managed to release the excellent 'Community Music' .

Kosheen dominated the waves throughout the summer of 2000 and the Bristol Trio had a huge Benelux hit. The autumn was very muchin the hands of England's balladeers, who proved to be reliable guardians of melody. In the end Badly Drawn Boy won the Mercury Award but with nominees like The Delgados, the UK seems to have gone through a good year for the roses. Tension built, as the US of A went windowshopping for a new prez. Johnny Cash is still a bit off the mark as a candidate, but with two Ween Brothers being able to read and write, my bet would be that it'll them succeeding Dubya upon his brief reign. Now, how many of you fancy actual punishment for Dubya, or would the sheer stand down alone be sufficient? It's one of those
things we -over here in Europe- can't really estimate. We're glad Dubya's in charge. Satire will be so much more tantalizing with him, rather than with Al Bore, but at some stage, the world's largest everything will need a government instead of a fraud. Several Americans stood up to be counted, like Mike Ladd and Datach'I, but at no stage did any innovative musicians seem fit for the White Hoax. Freddy Fresh put out a three track twelve inch and two 7"'s and kept things brisk and sharp,until 'Withering Strands of Hope' by Benümb arrived , while, back on the continent, Étienne de Crécy, rounded things off.

Pop Staples died, having spent his whole life singing . The announcement of his death came as a surprise to me since I once had bragged he'd live to become the first over one hundred year old to have a hit single. When Tito Puente died in May, Mr Bongo put great effort into bringing out the best of Tito Puente's own songs and also those in which he played with Benny More and Ray Beretta. Zed Bias stunned with his remixes for Kosheen and Architecs, while aided by Wookie and MJ Cole's quality dancing , 2 Step Garage proved to be much more than a summer's frenzy. In mid November the breakbeat scene suffered a severe loss when Vini Medley passed away. He would have celebrated his 33rd Birthday on New Year's Eve . A reminder of his excellent taste in music can be heard on his own 12" upon which Oum Khaltoum's sampled voice appears, and will be shown on the January release of the 2001 remix of 'The Original Nuttah' which, physically distributing it himself, he single handedly moved into the charts back in 1992. It should be a great tribute to Vini so go on buy it.

2000 was a prolific year for all things labelled sonic. The Youth released the much acclaimed 'NY Ghosts & Stories" and various members of the band were also involved with various other excellent releases. Melbourne's Hungry Ghosts brought to us a fine mixture of western sonics and polynesian grace, recording it at Steve Shelley's studio. Kim Gordon, DJ Olive and Ikue Morin created a cinematic and untitled album for Sonic Youth Records, upon which Kim's singspeech succesfully experimented and merged with the perfected, twisted, beats of DJ Olive and Ikue Mori. Some of the best moments captured from White Out's recent performances were subsequently also put out by Thurston Moore. All we are waiting for right now is the Sonic Family to embrace The Trail Of Dead.







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