11th Radio is one of the largest Drum & Bass projects in St. Petersburg, whose team consists of the brightest «Bass» artists, obsessed with the culture of broken rhythms. It was created in 2015 and a year later, found its permanent home within the walls of one of the film studios in St. Petersburg, the project popularized a new video broadcast format at that time and de facto set new standards for online broadcasting in Russia. Now 11th Radio is the engine of the trends in the Northern capital.
Tell us about the history of the emergence of the 11th Radio (where did this name come from?). Where and how long ago did the radio station appear, the ideas of the radio station?
Mikhail Krasov, founder of 11th Radio.
“Sometime in the 90s … From a very young age I have been passionate about electronic music. MTV and my older cousin, who was a DJ at that time and often played in local clubs, brought me to it. Sergey told me how his friend, a local techie, soldered pitches into a two-cassette player and this made it possible to mix the records together. I often took audio cassettes from him with music, which he rewrote from somewhere and played in discos. On those tapes that I first heard Prodigy, Fatboy Slim, Chemical Brothers, Westbam, Afrika Bambaataa, Propellerheads and many other famous names of those times. Electronic music was at its peak, and I developed along with it. Jungle appeared and then drum and bass. A strong desire to play music woke up in me, and I began to practice mixing, from time to time performing in St. Petersburg clubs. But this was not enough. A lot of musical material appeared and it had to be used, then the idea of an online radio station and regular broadcasts appeared. Following the tactics of that same «local techie» from the 90s, I began to actively study the materiel and very soon my own online radio server called 11th Radio («Eleventh Radio») was launched. Why Eleventh? It’s simple. This is my favorite number. The first shows were broadcasting exclusively in audio format. The guys from different cities of Russia (eleven time zones) and even from different countries (Ukraine, Spain and the USA) were consistently connected to the air, they played mixes in a variety of styles of music and directions. This live was sent to various services like Tune In. The next stage in the development of the project was the video format. It turned out to be much more difficult, but at the same time much more interesting. We managed to assemble an excellent team, the main members of which remain in it to this day. Then renting premises, building and interior design, setting up equipment, meeting and inviting artists on air, launching regular author programs and podcasts, filming interviews, organizing castings, a series of parties and tea parties in the studio …
11th Radio Team.
“Our studio is located in St. Petersburg, in the building of the Lendok film studio, next to the Mariinsky Theater. We are based here since 2016. The current organizational structure of the project began to form around 2015, when Misha began to actively gather around him people with a similar worldview. The main idea of the project is to create a platform where creative people can together embody their creative ideas in the field of DJing, live streaming, sound design, video production and other modern media formats. We bring together like-minded people with common preferences in music. 11th Radio, like one big family, gathers cool people and provides an opportunity to exchange skills. The idea is also to bring high-quality material to people, since in the modern world it is very easy to drown in the abyss of a huge amount of music, and not always of high quality, both technically and ideologically. The goal of the project is to organize a stable music and information platform around which the energy of people interested in the development of electronic culture of people and the community around them accumulates. Through electronic music, we strive to support and promote underground movements, youth communities and active lifestyles. We provide a free playground for DJs, musicians, MCs and other creative people who are part of the youth underground culture. Our studio is becoming a starting point for many young talents, as well as a place where experienced musicians can hold an album presentation or promo broadcast.”
What are the iconic personalities of Russia who have already been on the air on 11th Radio, and what popular artists can you hear now?
Both local stars and guests from abroad and other cities took part in the broadcasts and filming of our interviews: Anatomix, Nucleus, Squarewave, Current Value, Enei, Bop, Impish, Smoky D, Abstract Elements, Black Barrel, Tobax, MC No Limit, Ghostek, Gvozd, Dissident and others, many of whom regularly tour around the world. Hundreds of names sounded on our broadcasts, and here are some more that we managed to recall offhand, although there are many more: Mizo, Vecster, Blasta, Medicin, DEVIL, Command Strange, Paperclip, Ozma, Lowriderz, Joy Mobility, Nami, Sobersoul, Diagram, Thematic, Theoretical, Andy Pain, MJ Free, Nu4m, Kije, Kelayx, Stimpy, Impulse, Art, Quest, Detach, Outselect, Oddkut, A. Fruit, Talabun, Julia Marks, Beardus, Popzzy English, Krippl, Kind of, Eleventh, Tills, Edik Kingsta …
How can you get on the air? and by what criteria do you evaluate musicians?
Nothing complicated. To get into our broadcast network, it is enough to inform one of the organizers of the project or the author of a regular program about your desire. But the assessment of the musicians is given by our spectators and listeners. We try not to interfere with this process and always monitor the reaction of our audience. Our task is to effectively manage processes, plan the development of a project, implement ideas, and also improve and maintain the infrastructure, adding new opportunities.
Musical trend in Russia. Many radio stations, pursuing a musical trend, move away from their original ideas and formats. Was this the case with the 11th Radio Station? And your opinion on this…
11th Radio was at the forefront of live DJing, so we saw the rise of the format as well as its decline. If we leave the original ideas, it is only because they have outlived their usefulness. The broadcasts of DJ sets, as such, have become boring enough for the listener at the moment, and everyone around feels it. Therefore, we are not standing still and transforming streams into something more. Often in such projects, leaving the idea is associated with commerce. 11th Radio is not about money, but about idea and music. We believe that you can develop harmoniously, using all modern tools, and at the same time remain true to your idea and principles. We still maintain our original format with only occasional adjustments. But at the same time, we plan to expand it in relation to styles and directions of music and closely follow the current trend in musical culture, supporting its best manifestations.
Are there events from the radio station and how often?
Before COVID, we had parties quite regularly. Currently, various promotional groups are actively involved in holding events (if we are talking about parties), they do it very successfully and efficiently, but we do not have clear priorities in this direction. We have our own field of activity. Informational support, for example, interviews… By the way, interviews are a very interesting format that we did (interviews with Nucleus, Current Value, Paperclip and Enei). We will return to it in some time, now there are more priority tasks. In addition, sometimes we shoot backstages, Dima Medvedev accompanied the shooting of the Enei – Sinking video.
Do you support worthy young producers and how often are you asked to broadcast their material?
Yes, of course, 11th supports producers and MCs, we strive to find common ground and influence it. It is also important that they support us, we are grateful to everyone who takes an active part in the life of the project. 11th Radio is often the starting point for development. It is not uncommon for famous artists and newcomers to converge on the same broadcast on an equal footing, and an MC stands on the micro. The key point is that by helping each other, by doing so, they are promoting themselves. Vivid impressions motivate the participants, and their emotions and feedback, in turn, motivate us.
Drop Dealerz, born within the walls of 11th Radio in 2019:
“In general, … Seryoga and I started bombing the airwaves together and we had a good tandem. Everything was done with positive and good vibe. Once we went to one of the broadcasts and Vecster offered what I wanted to offer him… to create our own program, where we will do all what we want. After the broadcast, Misha Krasov came up to us and said: “Guys, you don’t want to try up your program / podcast”. We looked at each other and of course agreed.
2022 is just around the corner. What plans and interesting ideas have you prepared for the next year?
The coming year promises to be one of the most promising in the life of the project. Impressed by reading the technical literature and the opportunities that open up in this regard, the team is charged with global change. The preparatory stage lasted for about three years. We plan to expand broadcast formats, online time, and geo-presence. In turn, this will allow us to qualitatively diversify the content. At the moment, important tests have been successfully carried out, organizational work is being carried out. We will keep up with current trends and optimize content for social networks that we have not developed before. Of course, we are always open for cooperation and are confident that like-minded people will appear who want to join the 11th Radio team. In the near future we plan to implement a new format of live interviews with famous artists, labels and creative figures from Russia and other countries. We are preparing new unique opportunities for the implementation of musical ideas in video streams, it will be incredibly interesting, follow our news.
Electronic music culture is going through hard times in Russia. How would you rate the current musical environment? And what do you think needs to be done to support interest in electronic musicians in Russia?
From year to year, when asking a question about the situation with electronic music in Russia, one starts from “difficult times”. If this were so, then everything would have ended long ago. The current music environment is great, and in the era of fast internet, worldwide digitalization and technological advancement, the music business is also growing rapidly. A new generation of musicians, sound designers, producers, music managers and labels is emerging. Free tools for promoting music are opening, new directions for earning money, simple and understandable interaction with the audience, with fans. And to support interest in electronic musicians, there are now all the tools available, such as media, streaming platforms and, of course, social media. To maintain interest specifically in electronic musicians in Russia, as well as in other areas, it is necessary to tell and show more promising artists, how they implement their creative projects and what they have achieved, which is what we are doing at 11th Radio.
11th Radio team: Mikhail eM Kay, Artem Art, Dmitry Corsair, Anna Yeklina, Polina Lina Solar, Vadim Light Breeze, Pavel Danger, Vyacheslav Marcus, Chezy Gaaz, Andrey Prosto Andrey, Dmitry Medvedev.
Photo: Ekaterina Mozina, Dmitry Medvedev