By Shi Davidi
Everyone’s selling out these days, and Energy 108 is no different. Dance music fans in toronto breathed a collective sigh in disgust when the radio station added rock to its programming.
The transformation of Canada’s first dance-only radio station into a more middle-of-the-road format has left its listeners jilted as they search for a true dance radio station.
Only last year, Energy 108 was voted best dance music station in Canada. But recently the station has moved away from dance and adopted a Top 40 dance-rhythmic music format. Bastardized dance acts such as Hanson, OMC and Meredith Brooks are now spun while house, techno, reggae and Latin beats have become casualties of the switch.
The thought of rock on 108 was once as unfathomable as the possibility of dance on CFNY 102.1 The Edge. But now it’s become a reality, as the station had metamorphosed into a Top 40 radio station with rock in its programming. Pop-rockers like Third Eye Blind and Chantel Kreviazuk are now in rotation.
Energy 108 is best known for its ground-breaking Pirate Radio Broadcasts with Chris Sheppard, one of the leading DJs in Canada, if not North America.
The station also gave a mainstream voice to music often shunned by commercial radio. The Mastermind Street Jam gave 108 listeners a chance to listen to hip hp not heard on other stations. The reggae show proved to Toronto listeners reggae is much more than just Shabba Ranks. Late night techno, acid and house gave those forms of music a home away from raves.
For a station that has done so much for dance music, going Top 40 is a terrible loss. But now that they’re sold out, fans like me are forced to get used to it or tune out.