Rinse FM is a London-based community radio station, licensed for "young people living and/or working within the central, east and south London areas".[1] It plays garage, grime, dubstep, house, jungle, UK funky and other dance music genres popular in the United Kingdom.

Rinse FM
Broadcast areaLondon
Frequency100.3/100.4 FM (pirate)
106.8 FM/9A DAB (legal)
FormatMusic radio, UK-centric urban dance music
First air date
WebcastRinse Player, Stream

The station was founded in 1994 and operated as a pirate radio station until it was awarded a broadcast licence in June 2010. Rinse FM has been described as London's biggest pirate radio station.[2][3] It provided first exposure to grime artists Dizzee Rascal and Wiley[4] and later provided a home for dubstep DJs such as Skream, Kode9, and DJ Oneman.[5] DJ Geeneus is the station's head.[5][6]



Early years


Founded by Geeneus and DJ Slimzee, Rinse FM's first broadcast was in September 1994.[7] For a three-year period in the early days of the station the Rinse studio was hosted in DJ Slimzee's house.[2][8] In its early years the station mainly played jungle with a particular focus on MCs, a direction which set Rinse apart from competing stations.[5] At the time the station broadcast from secret, makeshift locations such as kitchens and bedrooms belonging to friends and DJs, constantly moving between these locations to avoid getting shut down by authorities. Its first broadcast was made from Ingram House in Tower Hamlets, London.[9] This continued to a lesser extent throughout the 16 years during which Rinse was a pirate radio station.[3]

Kool FM was the leading pirate radio station within the jungle scene, and it wasn't until Rinse changed its focus to the emerging garage scene around 1998–1999 that it gained a substantial following, thanks to the darker sound that it brought from its jungle days.[5] Into the early 2000s, the station became critical for emergence and development of the genres grime and dubstep,[3] and was managed during this time by DJ Uncle Dugs.[10] Rinse broadcast on the frequency of 100.3/100.4FM for the majority of its unlicensed years on air.

Radio 1 DJ John Peel recommended the station in 2004, stating that:

When I'm in London I listen to the pirates as much as I can. There's a station I like called Rinse FM, which is somewhere in the area banded by [i.e. between the frequencies of] Kiss FM and Classic FM.[11]

Sarah "Soulja" Lockhart joined Rinse as their station manager in 2004 and launched their weekly party nights FWD>.[12][13]

In April 2005 Ofcom disconnected a Rinse FM radio transmitter[2] and Dean Fullman, known on air as DJ Slimzee, received an ASBO, believed to be the first of its kind, banning him from every rooftop in the borough of Tower Hamlets.[14][15]


As of August 2007 the station was seeking a legal FM licence.[16] Rinse FM created a petition which received hundreds of supporters within less than a week, including some from countries other than the UK.[17] At the time, the station's owner DJ Geeneus said: "We don't want to be legal to play stupid adverts and make loads of money from advertising. We want to be legal to say: look at our scene, look at what we're doing. We're a business, we're not criminals. We're supplying something that no one else is supplying, and we're professional."[3]

Rinse FM was awarded a community FM broadcast licence by Ofcom in June 2010 for frequency 106.8 FM.[2][3] It commenced broadcasting legally on 7 February 2011.[18] The station is presently managed by Sarah Lockhart.[7]

As part of its community broadcasting remit, Rinse FM is engaged in training young people in broadcasting skills who are considered marginalised, even working with children who are in Pupil Referral Units. These are units for persistent truants and people with special educational needs.[19]

In October 2015, it joined the London Trial DAB MUX.

DJs and presenters


DJs and presenters to have appeared on Rinse include:

Rinse Recordings


The station first released music under the Rinse Recordings imprint in 2003.[20] Currently, the label releases albums and singles from a roster of signed artists as well as mix CDs from DJs associated with the station.[21] The label first saw chart success when Katy B released "Katy on a Mission" on the label in 2010.

Currently signed acts include P Money, Katy B, Novelist, Roska and Royal-T. DJs who have released mix albums for Rinse Recordings include Skream, Skepta, Kode9 and Elijah and Skilliam. With the release of the 23rd mix CD (mixed by Richy Ahmed), Rinse has stated that it broadens the concept to include non-residents of the station.[22] The label went on to release Katy B's chart-topping album Little Red and Route 94's chart-topping single "My Love" in 2014.



Mix/compilation albums

  • Rinse 01 - Geeneus (2007)
  • Rinse 02 - Skream (2007)
  • Rinse 03 - Supa D (2008)
  • Rinse 04 - Skepta (2008)
  • Rinse 05 - Paleface (2008)
  • Rinse 06 - Plastician (2008)
  • Rinse 07 - Spyro (2009)
  • Rinse 08 - Alexander Nut (2009)
  • Rinse 09 - N Type (2009)
  • Rinse 10 - Marcus Nasty (2009)
  • Rinse 11 - Oneman (2010)
  • Rinse 12 - Kismet (2010)
  • Rinse 13 - no release
  • Rinse 14 - Youngsta (2011)
  • Rinse 15 - Roska (2011)
  • Rinse 16 - Ben UFO (2011)
  • Rinse 17 - Elijah And Skilliam (2011)
  • Rinse 18 - Mark Radford (2012)
  • Rinse 19 - Icicle (2012)
  • Rinse 20 - Uncle Dugs (2012)
  • Rinse 21 - T.Williams (2012)
  • Rinse 22 - Kode9 (2013)
  • Rinse 23 - Richy Ahmed (2013)
  • Various - "Dubstep Drama - OST" (2007)
  • Various - "I Love Dubstep" (2008)
  • Various - "I Love Funky" (2010)
  • Various - "I Love Grime" (2012)

Artists singles/albums

  • Geeneus - "Volumes 1" (2008)
  • Roska - "Roska" (2010) / "Roska 2" (2012)
  • Katy B - "On A Mission" / "Lights On" (2010)
  • Royal-T - "Presents Royal-T" (2012)
  • Faze Miyake - Faze Miyake (2015)

Internet radio


Rinse began streaming its shows online in 2006. All shows are available both on the website[23] and SoundCloud.

Rinse France


In February 2014, Rinse launched Rinse France based in Paris.[24]

Kool FM


In January 2023, Rinse announced that it was taking over management of London drum and bass station Kool FM.[25]



The station has been described as London's biggest pirate radio station[5][16] and "without doubt the world's leading grime station."[4] Writing for FACT magazine in 2007, Simon Hampson stated: "Without Rinse, Grime and Dubstep would be very different: indeed, it’s fair to say that they might not even exist at all."[5]

Rinse celebrated its 20th birthday in 2014.[26]


  1. ^ Community radio licence: key commitments
  2. ^ a b c d Michaels, Sean (18 June 2010). "Rinse FM awarded broadcasting licence". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 15 February 2017. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e Hancox, Dan (18 June 2010). "Rinse FM finally gets the recognition it deserves". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 15 February 2017. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Pitchfork Feature: Column: The Month in Grime / Dubstep". Pitchforkmedia.com. Archived from the original on 13 January 2009. Retrieved 23 August 2011.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Interview: Geeneus". FACTmag. 1 January 2009. Archived from the original on 7 April 2010.
  6. ^ Webb, Adam (18 October 2007). "Is GarageBand top of the pops?". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 15 February 2017. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  7. ^ a b Sawyer, Miranda (30 September 2012). "Rinse FM: 'Radio, not the internet, gave me my break,' says Katy B". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 7 August 2016. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  8. ^ "Slimzee Interview - NTS Live". NTS Radio. Archived from the original on 10 September 2014. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
  9. ^ "Plastician Interviews: DJ Slimzee - Rinse FM". Rinse.fm. 6 September 2013. Archived from the original on 28 March 2017. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  10. ^ "Rinse FM - Artists - Uncle Dugs". Rinse.fm. Archived from the original on 27 June 2013. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  11. ^ Shimmon, Katie (25 July 2004). "My media". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 6 November 2016. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  12. ^ Davies, Sam (10 May 2024). "Rinse FM at 30: an oral history of the notorious London radio station". Dazed. Retrieved 12 June 2024.
  13. ^ "Sony Music Relaunches Epic Records With Sarah Lockhart As President". sonymusic.co.uk. 27 April 2023. Retrieved 12 June 2024.
  14. ^ "Asbo bars pirate DJ from the rooftops | News". Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 19 July 2009. Retrieved 23 August 2011.
  15. ^ "Ofcom Tackles Illegal Broadcasting". Ofcom. 3 November 2005. Archived from the original on 4 July 2010. Retrieved 23 August 2011.
  16. ^ a b Dan Hancox (30 August 2007). "Big shout-out to the Finland crew". New Statesman. Archived from the original on 17 March 2008.
  17. ^ "FM Radio Licence Petition - Rinse FM". Rinse.fm. Archived from the original on 4 May 2010. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  18. ^ "Community Radio Stations Licensing: Rinse FM". Ofcom. Archived from the original on 8 September 2018. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  19. ^ "Rinse FM - London and Worldwide". Rinse FM. Archived from the original on 15 September 2010.
  20. ^ "Geeneus Vs Wizzbit - Rinse Recordings Vol 1". Discogs. Archived from the original on 2 September 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
  21. ^ "Label - Rinse FM". Rinse FM. Archived from the original on 26 May 2013. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
  22. ^ "Richy Ahmed - Rinse:23 · Album Review ⟋ RA". Resident Advisor. Retrieved 5 May 2024.
  23. ^ "Podcasts - Rinse FM". Rinse FM. Archived from the original on 3 February 2013. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
  24. ^ "Rinse FM Brings Its Ethos To France In Support Of Local Scene". Inverted Audio. Archived from the original on 22 August 2016. Retrieved 20 August 2016.
  25. ^ "Rinse FM announces acquisition of legendary London station Kool FM". DJ Mag. 30 January 2023.
  26. ^ Macpherson, Alex (27 November 2014). "Jungle, garage and grime: 20 years of Rinse FM". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 30 November 2019. Retrieved 9 October 2019.