Tales from the Echobox 002

Tales from the Echobox 002

Tales from the Echobox 002

Launching in 2021, Echobox has been forging a path for community radio by showcasing the diverse characters and concepts that surround them. In this feature, we will be looking into a few of the broadcasts that you can tune into so get locked in and don’t touch that dial.

DJ Madbwoy, DJ Popskull & The Dancehall Explorer


Can you introduce yourself to our readers and let them know what you do when not at Echobox?
DJ Madbwoy: When not at Echobox, I am at my home studio playing and recording drums, bass guitar and other instruments. I produce music in Ableton, make graphic designs, give massages and spend time with my son.
DJ Popskull: Dj Popskull aka Alieu Touray, from the Gambia. Started DJing because of the love I have for music in general.
Angel the Dancehall Explorer: Family first, dancehall explorer, cultural cocktail 🇦🇼 🇮🇳 🇳🇱 🇸🇷, demisexual, high school dropout, vegetarian... that about sums me up! When not at Echobox I spend most of my time working all kinds of jobs which make me very happy.
Tell us about your show Jamrock - What is the general idea behind it?
DJ Madbwoy: The Jamrock Radio show is here to give people a view of Dancehall music in an energetic, playful and exciting way. To keep people updated with new bangers, but also to study the past and to zoom in on certain subjects within Dancehall.
DJ Popskull:  My purpose of being in the Jamrock radio team is to promote dancehall music and allow our audience and dancehall lovers to get used to what we play at parties by bringing out the best of old & new music etc. Echobox Radio is a good tool for that so great thanks to Echobox Radio!
Angel the Dancehall Explorer: Jamrock in general is obviously about Dancehall, however, there is more to it in the sense that we don't follow or set trends, rather we set a culture. The Jamrock Radio show is yet another platform for people to learn about/ enjoy/ engage with this culture outside of the traditional frame.
What effect has community radio (past and present) had on your life?
DJ Madbwoy: Community radio made me realize that there’s a lot out there besides commercial radio. I’ve never been a very frequent radio listener tbh.
Angel the Dancehall Explorer: Growing up in the Caribbean I was an avid radio listener, and didn’t distinguish between commercial or community radio. What I’ve learned at Echobox is that we do Dancehall differently, no badman culture, no hype ’n boase and to appreciate inclusivity and diversity.
How did you all meet and how long have you been playing records together?
DJ Madbwoy: I’ve known Popskull since 2011/12 I think? We used to play at Gyal A Bubble events and in Caprice Amsterdam in the past. Sometimes an evening together and sometimes one of us did an all-nighter from 23:00 - 05:00. We learned how to fill up entire club nights with dancehall and reggae music during those years.  I’ve known Angel for a long time, but I don’t know when I first met her hahaha. It must have been a Jamrock event then. Maybe Angel knows…
DJ Popskull: We all met at the parties, Jamrock XXL and other Dancehall parties. There is where we got to know each other and yeah now we are a team with one goal = Winning together.
Angel the Dancehall Explorer: Not sure when it was (probably 2014 at a party), but when you all share the love for Dancehall, crossing paths is beautifully inevitable!
Best Dancehall acts to watch out for in 2022?
DJ Madbwoy: I think the dancehall artist Skeng is worth keeping an eye on since I hear he’s got potential to not only infiltrate the scene but also keep relevant.
Angel the Dancehall Explorer: I’d recommend the Jamrock Big Chune playlist on Spotify for anyone that wants to stay up to date as we have weekly updates with fresh Dancehall tunes.

Misplaced Objects - Anahit

Can you introduce yourself to our readers and let them know what you do when not at Echobox? 
My name is Anahit, I have been based here in Amsterdam for almost five years now, having previously lived in Armenia, France and Luxembourg. When not at Echobox, I stare at computer screens and shout at them when they don't do what I want 24/7. In other words, I work in IT security and technology consulting. Because of the highly digital nature of my work, I grew to appreciate manual activities and analogue technology; the reason why I got into analogue photography, record collecting and perfume making. To go even further and avoid network connection altogether, I travel once a year to settlements above the Arctic circle to escape the 'comfortable' life and to discover the modes of living of the local indigenous peoples. After being properly introduced to modular synthesizers, I am entertaining the thought of venturing into Eurorack as well and who knows, maybe into creating my own musique concrète one day.
What effect has community radio had on your life? 
Growing up in a post-Soviet country, it always seemed to me that the raison d'etre of the media, radio included, was to spread propaganda, conformism, and a uniform way of thinking. With capitalism flowing into the post-Soviet countries, it was still the same but with Colgate and Coca Cola commercials interrupting the broadcast every 5 minutes. While there were interesting programs every once in a while on Radio France or BBC, they were rare. A lot changed when I discovered that radio could also be decentralized, self-managed, non-profit and above everything else provide a new space of freedom, create a diverse community and let people share and explore new concepts, ideas, music. Berlin Community Radio was my go-to radio up until the end of its existence. I cherish the dedication and determination that goes into running community radios and it feels great to put in my two cents as a radio maker.   
Tell us about your show Misplaced Objects - what is the general idea behind it? 
First off, a little bit about the name of the show - Misplaced Objects and why it was the perfect name for a radio show about electroacoustic music. As I have already presented during the very first show, the atrocities of the Second World War left the fields of philosophy, art and music dispirited. New forms of expression and thinking were required, and the 12 tone music was being challenged. What if random everyday objects such as saucepans could also produce equally beautiful and important music? In a sense, objects that were used in producing music were misplaced - those were no longer the conventional musical instruments - violins, pianos, flutes and so on.
The purpose of my show is to introduce my audience to everything that can be characterized as electroacoustic music by not just playing the music for 60 minutes but by also discussing its origins, history and blending it with other disciplines such as philosophy, psychology, architecture and art. As I prepare and do research for my show, I discover a lot myself. It is also the perfect opportunity of getting in contact with amazing artists who make musique concrète or individuals who are involved in electroacoustic music.     
Could you tell us a little more about musique concrète and where your fascination for it came from?
When studying in Paris and doing an internship at INA (National Audiovisual Institute of France), I discovered the names of Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry and quickly became interested in their work and in musique concrète as a whole. Although I already had some knowledge of the avant-garde music of the likes of John Cage, Edgard Varèse, musique concrète was somewhat different and I caught myself reflecting on whether it was music at all or not. Even if it was not music, I was actively listening to it and reading anything that was at hand. It is fascinating how many genres we listen to and love today branched out from musique concrète while it remains largely obscure and unknown. Most people might think that it is music from the past, from the 50s, 60s but the fact is that it hasn't died out and there are still artists who make musique concrète.
What is a misplaced object you wish you could get back? 
My soldering iron that was borrowed from me for a hardware hacking conference, and has never been returned.

Surface Show - Son of Sesh

Can you introduce yourself to our readers and let them know what you do when not at Echobox?
  My name is Sean Miers. I'm originally from Te Whanganui a-Tara Aotearoa (Wellington New Zealand) and I've been living in Amsterdam for nearly three years. I first mixed on a radio show my father still hosts (The Session on Radioactive.FM) 10 years ago and since then I've performed throughout Aotearoa as Son of Sesh. Before and after I graduated from University I lived in Japan for several years, first as a student and later as an English teacher on the JET Program for the Japanese Government. While I lived there I DJ’ed in clubs in Osaka, Kyoto and Wakayama. When I'm not on Echobox Radio I like to spend time producing music and listening to records, I also work as a Bike Mechanic at the VanMoof Service Hub Amsterdam.
Tell us about your show Surface Show on Echobox - what’s the general idea behind it?
  Surface is a project I started in 2017 back in Wellington as a live art/electronic music night and radio show. Surface has always been dance music orientated without being restricted by one genre; at events, the audio would be curated to match or juxtaposed to live street art and graffiti. While on air it is a platform for local DJs to mix and promote electronic music. The Surface show on Echobox presents dance music in different dialects from the South Pacific and Asia. Dance music is massive here in Europe and it's a unique opportunity to share different sounds and perspectives from other parts of the world.
What effect did community radio (past and present) have on your life?
 My father Andy Miers has been hosting his show The Session on radioactive.fm for 35 years now so I grew up listening to and later contributing on community radio. It's always been a big part of my life and something I missed so I was stoked when Echobox set out to fulfill Amsterdams need for a real community radio station. Being able to share and promote music and guest mixes from close friends or artists I really respect in Aotearoa, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan and further afield on echobox is truly special. Surface show focuses on dance music from Asia and the Pacific and provides a platform for artists from this area to have their productions heard here in Europe.   
What’s your favourite recent release to have come out of the Pacific area? 
Halfway through last year Wellington based artist Thomas E Richards aka Mongo Skato released the Active Intent ep on his Buzzy Point label. The ep contains 6 amazing tracks from Tom, some of which I have played on the Surface show already, my personal favourites are Empty and Gut Dub, definitely worth checking out on the Buzzy Point page.
A little birdie told us you had an unapproving Oma… any pearls of wisdom she left with you that our readers could benefit from?
I wouldn't say she was unapproving but neither my Oma or Opa like electronic music and they weren't happy. when I tried to introduce them to a LTJ Bukem CD I had borrowed from my father while I was at their house when I was quite young. I must have been about 4 or 5 years old and I vividly remember being confused when they turned it off and wondering how my dad and I would like music like that and my dutch grandparents didn't. I suppose it taught me very early on that music and art are alway subjective. 

Tune in to Echobox - broadcasting from below sea level every week, Thursday until Sunday.