There has been electricity in the air at dBs Berlin these past months. Students and faculty, artists and producers, musicians and film directors have been putting their heads together to relaunch an inspiring organisation for music students and the surrounding artist community: Etikett Radio. Originally started five years ago, the student-run platform has continued to evolve its core values with new management members, bringing a unique style that allows for diversity and an openness to performers and radio hosts.
Potential audiences might be curious – what is Etikett Radio? In the below video interview with the school’s marketing lead, Christina Gaither, I explain how Etikett Radio is not only a platform for students to showcase their artistry, but a real-world, professional radio station. Spanning rock, techno, reggae, house, ambient, podcasts and more, there are more than 27 shows. They explore all sorts of media – such as voice acting, DJ sets, live electronic-acoustic sets, jams and even films – to convey a multitude of themes and creative ideas.
Christina pointed out that there was something special about the location of Etikett Radio. After doing some research, I learned that the Funkhaus was once a thriving broadcasting community that held the title of world’s largest radio station during the GDR era. Upon first glance, the Funkhaus building (‘funk’ meaning radio) reflects the raw history of growth and adversity that has given shape and soul to those that occupy its halls nowadays. Walking through the dBs campus, one can imagine the old times. Ice cream shops, markets, fully booked venues, and hundreds of workers created a world-class radio station, in a facility that still has a unique acoustic quality. Renowned artists use its delicately designed studios to this very day. By creating Etikett Radio, we are following in the large footsteps of our predecessors, inspired to carry forward a legacy of artistry.
Hosting a radio show is a unique process to each artist. As I discuss in the interview, my show has its own challenges and approach. To create a sonic landscape and ambient progressions that narrate geographical experiences, I perform a live set using acoustic, analog, and digital instrumentation. It is thrilling to perform live, as I have to delicately navigate through multiple loopers that I layer using six different instruments. Those include electric cello, Seaboard RISE, modular synthesizer, and synthesis tools such as sequencers and FM synthesis. In order to create a basis for my compositions, I use clips that generate a groove out of the most unlikely timbres and rhythms, evoking a contemplative space for listeners.
Tonight (Tuesday February 26th) at 20:30, I will host my show ‘Frontier,’ the first of Etikett Radio’s official launch line-up. Tune in via the Etikett Radio website. I am thrilled to bring a highly crafted live performance that will cater to orchestral listeners while also capturing interest from those in love with sound design and sonic art. The live-streamed sonic journey will be just the beginning of many wondrous events hosted by Etikett Radio.
On March 7th from 21:00, Etikett Radio will join forces with the collective Der Fliegende Teppich (The Flying Carpet) to host a special club event at the Fiese Remise. Etikett Radio hosts Nine Oxes, Selective Memory, WalaBoy, Durnan, Silvestre, Lotus Wash, Red Verse, and myself will perform. Endless thanks can be given to Etikett director Matt Migliazza for coordinating with the established collective to bring all of us together in one evening. The night is the perfect example of Etikett Radio’s core mission to create a community of diversity. A week later, on March 15th, is the big event: the official Etikett Radio Launch Party. Check out the Facebook event here for all the details.
This blog is one of several that will spotlight the hosts and behind-the-scenes occurrences. Stay tuned for interviews with the hosts to gain further insight into the world of Etikett Radio; a passionate and collaborative sonic space that envisions no borders, limits nor creative constraints.