Catalyst's (formerly dBs Berlin) student radio station Etikett Radio was founded in 2014. Electronic Music Production & Performance student Samaquias Lorta writes about the 2019 relaunch.
"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"
There has been electricity in the air at Catalyst 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 my below video interview with the school’s storytelling 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 Catalyst 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.
Meet the Etikett Radio selectors
Each year, Etikett Radio presents a new roster of student selectors. Get to know the 2019 hosts.
Electronic Music Production & Performance student Raphaël Faure produces under the moniker Apothekk. He is a member of the post-punk band The Most Dangerous Gay and the experimental art and music collective Music For Eggplant. Plus, he curates the contemporary art platform Sharivari. Learn more about the multifaceted creative and his loud and spacey Etikett Radio show – also named Sharivari – below.
They say exploration is the engine which drives innovation, and that couldn’t be more fitting to Creative Audio Production & Sound Engineering student Lorenzo Bove, aka Nine Oxes‘ approach. His Etikett Radio show, The Exploration, does what it says on the tin: scanning curiously through a wide spectrum of electronic music to create an unconventional sound. We chatted to Lorenzo to find out more about the show and how his background in mathematics translates to his music production.
When broadcasting institution Berlin Community Radio closed down in February 2019 due to lack of funding, it shook the city’s music scene. Radio may not be the commercial powerhouse it used to be, but as Electronic Music Production & Performance student Harry Card, aka Red Verse, stresses, platforms such as Catalyst's Etikett Radio are a chance for the passionate community to bounce back. We caught up with the DJ, producer and founder of the burgeoning label Loose Fit Records to learn more about his show.
Keivan & Stanislas
'Not Yet Decided'
’70s disco, ’80s electro, house and just a little bit of techno. Electronic Music Production & Performance students Keivan and Stanislas’ Etikett Radio show Not Yet Decided is a play on their eclectic style. Like a musical Venn diagram, their wide-ranging tastes meet in a fantastically funky sweet spot.
"My show has its own challenges and approach," explains Electronic Music Production & Performance student Samaquias Lorta. "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."