Tales from the Echobox 003
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 Marcelle - The Vinyl Train
Can you please introduce yourself and tell the readers what you do when you are not at Echobox?
I'm DJ Marcelle/Another Nice and my profession is DJ/producer, and I have been doing this for a long time. I never record at Echobox, since I pre-record my shows. In general, I play gigs, all over the world. I make my own music, I have released three albums, on German labels, in the past three years, My forthcoming lp is called 'DJ Marcelle: The Musical'' will be out in a couple of months
Besides that I love reading novels, going to flea markets, following politics (I am a member of Bij1), riding to the beach on my Vespa scooter and doing nothing!
What is the concept behind your show The Vinyl Train?
It's a ''train ride'' through my extensive vinyl collection, with ''stops'' at certain shelves in the collection, so it combines all kinds of music, drum n bass, the first wave of punk, dub, techno, avant-garde, African etc. from all corners of the globe. all tracks are linked/mixed with train sounds.
What has community radio meant to you over the years?
I have been doing radio shows since the early eighties, so I have done thousands of shows. It is about sharing (new) cutting edge music and putting different styles of music in a different context.
You have quite a large and diverse collection of both records and mugs. Could you tell us some of your favourites of each?
It's more of all them together, my record collection serves as a diary of my life. My favourite artists have been Muslimgauze, The Fall, The Bug, Lee Perry, Simon Grab but with 20,000 records it's impossible to pick favourites. I am mostly interested in new music coming out. I have been following this very closely all my life. Favourite mugs cannot be separated from favourite/specials places I have played: Uganda, Tel Aviv, Dubai, Reunion Island for example. But also here it's more all of them together which makes it special for me.
Now events and venues are finally opened up again you must have a busy calendar. Where are you most looking forward to playing over the next few months?
There are plans to play in Japan, USA and Brazil, but in general, I look forward to playing any gig, wherever I am. I was gonna play again in Kyiv, Moscow and St. Petersburg; I doubt this will ever be possible again. I always like to play in Barcelona so I look forward to playing at Sonar. Also, love to play at Garage Noord.
Mehran & Hani - Diaspora Radio
Hi Mehran and Hani, can you introduce yourselves and tell us what you do when not at Echobox?
Hani: My name is Hani, I was born in Iran but left the country together with my parents when I was four years old. My parents always had the idea of going to England. My mom had a brother who lives there which could have made the whole process of integration a little bit easier for us. However, at Schiphol Airport we got caught carrying fake passports. So, by chance, life brought us here. After living in asylum for a year, a house was appointed to us located in a small village, in the ’Bollenstreek’ known for its Dutch tulips. This environment was predominantly white and not always welcoming and even sometimes hostile towards coloured new-Dutchies. So eventually, almost 11 years ago, I left my parental house to live and study in Amsterdam. This is also where I started organizing my parties and working freelance as a marketeer & communications specialist in the music and events industry. It was here, in Amsterdam, where I could start to embrace and express my Iranian culture, something which I was sometimes embarrassed by before coming to Amsterdam. Being more in touch with my cultural background eventually resulted in Doogh Life; an Iranian focused event where Iranian artists were given a platform to perform their form of art. Unfortunately, due to corona, our second Doogh Life event was cancelled – and this was also the moment Diaspora Radio was born.
Mehran: Hey, I am Mehran, born in Tehran in the early 90s. I grew up near Rotterdam and have been living in Amsterdam for the past few years. In 2009 I started dj-ing and organizing events and this is what I’m still doing. Music has always been a way for me to escape reality and a way to create my own. In past years I started to feel the urge to get in touch with my roots so we started organizing an event called Doogh Life to build a community.
Can you tell us a little bit about your show Diaspora Radio?
A Radio show hosted by Mehran & Hani about the diaspora from West Asia and North Africa, scattered over time and space, connected through music – this is our bio on Echobox. But to be a bit more specific, what we do is invite individuals who we have met through music to talk about their cultural background, music that brings back memories, their life story and their families, the beautiful and the less beautiful parts of being part of a diaspora.
What does the diaspora mean to you?
Diaspora means the dispersion of people outside of their birth country, but what it specifically means to us is finding recognition and acknowledgement in a group of people or individuals. Diaspora for us means telling why, without explaining why.
Some releases to recently come out of the Middle East and North Africa that you are excited about?
Hani: KOAST – Belek; Feddini x KTYB – Ardh Ardh; Abyusif – El Hob Ebn Wes5a; Otagh; Band – Baghaa; Tardast – Khalas; Sote – Majestic Noise Made in Beautiful Rotten Iran (ALBUM); Hiphopologist x Chvrsi – Mashallah; Cheb Runner – Marbou7a; Ho3ein ft.; Masin ft. EpiCure – Be Mula; Pozx x Darabi – Darooneh Man; Moscow x Rafiek – Kaptain; 200 Shams – يا ريت نبدأ (definitely go check out all of his other releases too)
Mehran: Sounds from the Iranian Ultraverse is a compilation curated by Sepehr and released on his label Shaytoon Records. An Iranian connecting Iranians all around the world on a beautiful album.
Dream guest to invite to your show?
Hani: I think my dream guests are my parents. The stories of the first generation are often so versatile and it seems that their stories have no ends. That generation has been through a lot; beautiful, funny and also sad experiences. These experiences have made us who we are today, and that’s why these stories are so precious.
Mehran: I would love to have Nabihah Iqbal as a guest one time. She has been a big inspiration for me and helped me find inspiration to get in touch with my roots.
Rozaly - Behind the Mountains
Hi Matheo, can you introduce yourself and tell us what you’re up to when not at Echobox Radio?
Yes, my name is Matheo, my music name is: ‘Rozaly’, I am 23 years old and come from Curaçao. An island in the Caribbean. I started out collecting music during my teenage years and eventually moved to Holland on my 18th to study. I also felt this was the place for my musical activities to grow and musically enrich myself. After a few months of studying, I decided to fully dedicate my life to music. Back when I was still living in Curaçao the internet had a big inspiration on me with radio stations and festival recordings, but I finally had the opportunity to experience the Dutch music scene when I moved here. If I am not finding music and making selections for my Echobox show, I am busy with the documentation of lesser-known artists and their music from the ABC and SSS-islands or working at Radio Radio and Garage Noord.
What does community radio mean to you?
The radio community is something really special for me. It has always been a place where you can meet all sorts of people with diverse interests within the cultural landscape. I have made some really good friends at several radio stations over the years, but what I find most appealing is the platform it creates for new and lesser-known talent! Super inspiring artists and hosts. The radio community in Amsterdam has such a profound focus on synergy and growth. What would this environment look like in 10 years? Do we as radio makers and radio creators have an independent island in the Ijsselmeer that is dedicated to audio people?
What is the concept behind your show ‘Behind the Mountains’?
Always when I listen to music I love, I wonder about the opening scene of Bob Marley’s documentary. A birds-eye view over the mountains of Jamaica. This reminds me of the landscape back home and allows me to wander away. You can’t stop watching as you always want to know what is behind the next mountain, and the next mountain and the next mountain. That mystical and adventurous feeling is representative of my music and selections. BEHIND THE MOUNTAINS. The show is mainly curated by music collectors who share that same Romanesque vibe and have a strong focus or taste.
You’ve got some exciting projects coming up right?
Yeah! Currently building a platform for non-compliant sounds from the ABC and SSS-islands (Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao and Sint-Maarten, Sint-Eustatius, Saba). Mainly music from before 2010. I have been travelling between Holland and home over the last four years for research and tracing artists. The first release is set for mid of April this year. A 7” and digital release by Konkie - a steel pan extremist from Souax, Curaçao. He broke all stigmas around steel pan sounds in my opinion and his sound, and Konkie personally, deserve a huge platform! More releases, but also stories will be released shortly! Like profound documentation of a forgotten non-compliant music community from the islands. Konkie’s release party is taking place on the 16th of April at Mezrab. My radio show is dedicated to electronic music from around the globe and once in a while I am showcase the projects I’m working on.
Will we ever discover what is behind the mountains?
Haha, keep listening I would say. I think the best way to describe the development of the show, is that it is a broad reflection of all the music I find and genres and movements I dig into during my search. The genre and style have been changing over the last years, but the message has stayed the same: unknown and mystical. It’s an endless enriching search.