Altered State Lion 90.7 FM [Radio]

I stumbled upon Altered State radio via Twitter.

Airing over on Penn State Student Radio, it is one of the better more eclectic radio shows airs. What follows are some Penn State Student Radio facts, just the facts and only the facts as we found them, on the Internet.

Transmitter coordinates

40°47′58.00″N 77°52′11.00″W

DJ Tim Kai is out there riding the rails, wandering the wires collecting the best and most interesting of the new and eclectic and experimental and funk and bouncy and serving it up weekly.

Considering the bland and the grey served up like prison scrambled eggs by other radio stations. Tim’s show is or should be a feathered flagship show for WK Penn State.

Sadly the Blair Witch did not know she was trapped in there, with Tim.

I caught up with Tim Kai for some information on the show.

"I started at The LION 90.7 FM in 2007 on the electronic music block called RPM. I graduated from PSU in 2008, and then proceeded to never leave town. Several years into my tenure, the station re-branded RPM into BPM, and I became the staff head of the station's electronic music shows, responsible for 3 days of programming and 9 staff members.  Several years into that, most of the staff members graduated and left town, left the country or went on the run from the law (not a joke).  
In 2011, the student officers decided that they wanted to re-focus on the 'student' portion of 'student radio' and I was replaced as staff-head of The LION's electronic music block. Part of the reason for this was my inclusion of abstract electronic programming in the BPM show, which was a sticking point for the program director at the time.  In exchange, I was given a 3 hour time slot on Sunday evening, related to but independent of the BPM programming block, to do with what I wanted.  And of course, I wanted to continue to bring weird electronic music to the airwaves.
Altered State hit the airwaves on June 3rd 2012 with an interview with Jay Gambit of Crowhurst, and has been continuing on its course ever since." - Tim Kai

Check out the first broadcast

I listen whenever I remember, whenever I have time.

It is a gold mine of the left of mainstream.

If you’re a business or military contractor looking to place subliminal advertising for those adept at lateral thought and bending reality. You can support college radio and Altered State by purchasing advertising.

Some numbers for Penn State…

  • Academic staff: 8,864
  • Students: 99,133
    • 46,606 (University Park)
  • Undergraduates: 84,686
     • 40,500 (University Park)
  • Postgraduates14,477
     • 6,106 (University Park)

It’s not enough to just say the things anymore. Stuff does not get supported…so there’s the numbers…

"My vision for Altered State involves both practical and esoteric angles. Practically — I want Altered State to be a place for Electronic Weirdos to be able to have a voice, to have representation of their work, and to have a vector to interact with others. Esoterically, I want Altered State to be a mode of gentle subversion of expectations and our shared, created reality. My intentionality, always, is for the show to be an open beacon to bring people together in this time of extreme division and strife." - Tim Kai

More than just the slices embedded here, a selection of Altered State shows and playlists are available on Tim’s Mixcloud

Tim Kai also makes music as interesting and eclectic as the stuff he plays on the radio.

More Tim. After credits roll ‘In the Mouth of Madness’.
happy sounds
"I knew almost nothing about electronic music at the beginning in 2007.  I actually joined The LION intending to start a broadcast block devoted specifically to Anime soundtracks.  That didn't happen." - Tim Kai
"My first broadcast was supposed to be as co-host with the then-RPM host, who I never actually met.  He never showed up, and I had a very interesting first broadcast - for instance, my microphone wasn't live for the first 20 minutes, and this after I was locked out of the station for about a half hour." Tim Kai
More Tim. The following scene was censored.

Tim has a good radio voice, it manages to never stray into the annoying. This is a station you should be putting into your work rotation, a sort of sponge bath for the brain. Whatever your work is. Ease this into the background rotation. Look Janice, that’s what a fucking democracy is, you can either like it or wear plugs.

Amongst Tim’s tracks there’s a broad mix, though at the moment I find myself veering more toward his melancholic glitchy drone pieces. There’s a lo-fi urban decay folk thing to them that appeals.

"Not knowing anything about electronic music, I turned to bittorrent, and downloaded a 10Gig psytrance torrent which helped me out for the first year.  My induction into 'weird' electronic music involved looking for techno CDs at a local used music store and stumbling onto copies of the Venetian Snares albums 'Find Candace' and 'Doll, Doll, Doll'. It went downhill from there, and I remain firmly ensconced in the underbelly of the Electronic genre to this day." - Tim Kai
Also does remixes
"I started producing electronic music right around the time Altered State became a reality, through a self-described process of Trial and error, mostly" - Tim Kai
Tim’s first attempt at electronic music

The bass noise early bits are great.

"Over the years, I have methodically worked on my own brand of electronic music. I grew up playing the Trumpet, but I was not particularly motivated in that regard, and did not study music in college. For that reason, I am often shakey when it comes to music theory and traditional music composition. My methodology involves working with frequencies that ‘feel’ good to me. I take a lot of inspiration from nature, old technology and abandoned places. I try to sonically express the amorphous emotions that have no other outlet from my self." - Tim Kai
"I don’t really draw inspiration from other electronic artists’ styles, but Jay Gambit of Crowhurst, during the taping of the interview that would be the backbone of the first Altered State broadcast, left me with an idea about music that I have internalized and maintain to this day. This concept is “Fuck Genre. Genre is dead. There is no reason to allow yourself to be tied down by Genre; make the sounds that speak to you” - Tim Kai
Not Tim.

Over the years, Tim has honed a good ear and now is settling into a position as a parser of culture. Something of vital importance in a time where there’s so much and the more visible actors on the scene have often been revealed to be full of shit.

“The only artist that I have ever felt the need to emulate is the Russian shamanistic collective Phurpa. it was my exposure to them that led me to work on reverse engineering throat singing, which can be heard in some of my recent work as Once & Future NoOnƎ” - Tim Kai
"I've evolved from using only audacity to a combination of iPad apps and field recordings, although I still use audacity to assemble most of my music." - Tim Kai

There’s a lot here for you to mull over…

Make some coffee…tea…or gin based drink…

You might be some time.

Unsure if this is Tim. [All photos provided by Tim Kai]


Hosted by @djtimkai:

Sundays: 1700–2000 US ET

Studio Phone: #814.865.9577