The Mayor of Metropolis

If you’ve ever been fishing for radio stations on the return end of a road trip, catching the evening


signal on KCRW means you’ve re-entered the L.A. orbit, with all the spacey connotations that it entails. I started listening to


, hosted by

Jason Bentley,

in my latter high school years, and the show’s limitless ceiling of electronic music arrived as a welcome antidote to my otherwise stale social prison. Björk, Roni Size, the Chemical Brothers and Matthew Herbert together established an auspicious nocturnal world I could escape to while mired in some dreary homework assignment, and portended a future I couldn’t wait to meet. The beats were phatter than Power 106’s, without all the blaring get-your-man-out-of-jail ads, and the complex and ethereal melodies didn’t insult listener intelligence. I’d inevitably find myself hanging out in the garage with the car still running, listening to the exuberant finish of a new dance track, whose title listeners would all commit to memory as soon as Bentley’s air-conditioned voice uttered it. Over the years, Bentley has tried to carve out a sometimes-comic-but-always-enchanting radio personality, at one point deciding to over-pronounce his T’s and experiment with vaguely German sentence structure, as if to say, “I am your DJ-messenger — dance music has no nationality.” He maintains a Friday residency at Zanzibar in Santa Monica, where you can overhear the


-faithful oohing and aahing over track selection and proclaiming, “He first played this last Tuesday,” or “OMG, this is the new one from [insert name of budding, multi-member Scandinavian electronica band here]!!”

Metropolis, KCRW FM 89.9, weeknights, 8-10 p.m.; Zanzibar, 1301 Fifth St., Santa Monica, (310) 451-2221.

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