Colin Marshall’s newest KCSBeat column for the Santa Barbara Independent goes inside Smoooothe Beatzzz, Michael Martinez’s program that makes people wonder whether lightning has struck the station’s transmitter:

As both a UCSB art student and a die-hard prankster, Martinez can rarely resist the opportunity to catch others off guard. “Startling people is funny,” he told me. “I like messing with people and seeing what they’ll do.” I then turned to Stephanie, who immediately confirmed this. “I try to create as many awkward moments as possible. I go for what’s jarring. In other art forms, it’s like Hans Bellmer, it’s like cheap horror films. I love really awful films, like Plan 9 from Outer Space or Reefer Madness.” How would he define this flavor of jarring, awkward discontinuity he so enjoys? “I know it when I see it — or when I hear it.”

And Smoooothe Beatzzz listeners will hear plenty of it. Since starting what he describes as his “ugly music show” in the spring of 2008, Martinez has accrued a remarkably consistent fan base. He suspects one repeat caller must be a UCSB music professor, and KCSB super-listener Dave from the Grave has deemed the program his “eighth favorite KCSB show of all time.”

Get the complete lowdown on the noise here.