Meet the Mad Scientist Operating Pirate Radio Station KUNT out of a Denton Dorm Room

kunt.jpg
KUNT, 88.9 FM
The Mad Scientist is 19, his breadth of technological knowledge seems somewhat prodigious, and he wishes to remain anonymous. From his dorm room he broadcasts his pirate radio station, KUNT, which he describes as a pulpit for great local bands mixed with some regional, national and international acts. But mostly local.

Attached to the head bedpost in his room is a roughly six-foot long antenna that is always on, and always live. He says that if you touch it, you'll get a wicked electric jolt, and the question seems to be: Isn't he scared that he'll shock the shit out of himself when he sleeps?

"Oh yeah, me and my girlfriend are terrified of it," he says. "But it's for the cause, man."
The Mad Scientist has been broadcasting KUNT from Denton since October of 2012 on 88.9 on the FM band. He selected 88.9 because it's the least used segment on the entire range of possible frequencies, and this serves two purposes. It doesn't alert any other broadcasters to his scent, and there's not much bleed from other stations into his frequency.

KUNT can't be heard too far away from UNT, and that's because of the low wattages he broadcasts through, but within that range are a lot of music listeners, and he's got some fans, including Gutterth, the infamous DFW record label and booking/promotions syndicate.

He says he gets a little flak sometimes from other radio subcultures. "There're entire cultures of people who do radio," he explains. "Like CB people and H.A.M. radio people, and AM pirates and FM pirates. FM pirates are kind of the most looked down upon by all the groups, because CBers and H.A.M.s and some AMers, they all have licenses. So when they see an FM pirate [operating] they get kind of flustered about it. I don't know why. I guess they're just jerks."

The Mad Scientist broadcasts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, expect during school breaks, when he has to pack up and briefly return home.

Forced hiatuses aside, KUNT plays all manner of great local bands. The Mad Scientist lists some of his favorite bands to broadcast as Two Knights out of Arlington, Empire Empire out of New Hampshire, The Angelus, Dear Human, Eccotone, Deer Vibes, New Science Projects, Big Fiction, The Harlem Renaissance, Record Hop (a band that he wishes would get back together), Fishboy and Ryan Thomas Becker ("You gotta mention him!"), just to name a few.

A typical broadcast day for the Mad Scientist involves simply letting his computer playlist do its thing, interspersing Stephen Hawking-sounding station identification bumpers every 10 songs or so. Occasionally he'll put on his headset and mention a particularly cool song or band in his own voice, but it's not something he does often, mainly because he doesn't want to say anything that might get him into trouble with anyone.

Rarely, KUNT will go off the air due to technical problems, but when that happens, he simply reboots his computer and the station is back on within minutes.

The Mad Scientist agrees to do a range check with me in my car to see how far from his dorm room 88.9 broadcasts, and as we drive toward the square, the station is sometimes clear, like when we crest hills, and sometimes static, like when we drive beside tall buildings. The sound gets spotty as we pass the square and cruise toward City Hall. Once we reach the county courthouse building, a half mile east of the Square, the broadcast is nearly pure static.

We head back to his dorm room, and as we reach the north side of the Square, the station kicks in clear again. Sarah Jaffe is playing, and The Mad Scientist says he really likes her music.

He has goals of reaching out much farther than the Square and areas equidistant all around the perimeter of his dorm-room broadcast point, but for now, he seems satisfied enough that it reaches as far as it does, and that he is able to play the music he loves for the people in the area who care to listen.

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10 comments
TheMadScientist
TheMadScientist

Hey everyone! Mad Scienctist Here!!! Were currently down for the rest of summer but will certinly be back, BETTER THAN EVER! we have a 100w transmitter and tons of good stuff, like new software to set up automated, but diversely organized programming, action alerts with info on all where all the undergound shows are gunna b! BTdubs i honestly don't care what garlandsucks says... honestly i kinda agree sometimes that theres some poser/hipster stuff on the playlist (witch is totaly diffrent now) but thats radio man... to effectivly get people to listen to your stuff, to get their attention you have to play some mainstream in the spotlight stuff.. wether or not its hipster, punk, hardcore or watever man.. that way when the crap is done playing they can hear some two knights!!!! but anyways like i said BETTER THAN EVER THIS AUGEST! BE READY KIDS!

garlandsucks
garlandsucks

To all the offended hipster twats on here, go die, please, the world will be a much friendlier, more pleasant place

yomama
yomama

hey @garlandsucks i hate them hipster mofos too... this stations legit, i know the dude who runs it! hes been around in the punk scene a long time! hes a hardcore kid man... you should go easy on this shit.... i read all your past comments and they have all been about how hipsters are ruining shit... go with the times man... you FUCK!

garlandsucks
garlandsucks

if this music wasn't godawful force fed hipster shite this article would be much more interesting

LDR4
LDR4

Maybe he should move to the top of Kerr if he wants the signal to go further.

brnrash
brnrash

@garlandsucks I am so sorry to hear that I have offended your genius-level musical sensibilities. Please feel free to enlighten anyone that might enjoy this station as to what, in fact, is good music. I'm sure the hundreds of DFW musicians that are played on KUNT would also love to be educated on how not to play "godawful force fed hipster shite."

garlandsucks
garlandsucks

@brnrash @garlandsucks step one - thow away your fun, mumford, etc albums

step two - quit trying to look prettier than your girlfriend

step three - quit buying your jeans at the petites section of jcp

step four - put a kyuss record on "repeat" for three days

then you will be cured of your horrible douchebag affliction

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