We’re very excited to announce that Radio Magnetic, the UK’s longest running independent radio station, will be moving all their content to Mixcloud. Since the outset they have been devoted to foregrounding the underground with a mix of specialist shows, guest features, label features, mixes, interviews, and even some “off the wall comedy”. 

Their Live Circuit sessions capture exclusive performances from the world’s biggest acts at Festivals in the UK and across Europe, they’ve featured big label showcases and hosted guest mixes and club sessions featuring a who’s who of of the underground music world.

In keeping with their forward thinking ethos, Radio Magnetic’s parent company Inner Ear have been collaborating with Mixcloud and will be moving their content over to the platform. They have dug into their archives to bring best exclusive live recordings and DJ sets, bringing a diverse array of content for all to enjoy.

We had a quick chat with Dougal Perman, founder of Radio Magnetic ahead of the 10th anniversary celebration.

For those who haven’t cottoned on to the phenomenon yet, could you sum up Radio Magnetic in a sentence or two?

Alternative, underground, independent music you love, or will soon love. A mixture of cutting edge and classic sounds from a large extended family of specialist presenters – who are all DJs, producers, musicians, label managers, promoters and crate digging geeks.

How did it come about, and what was the initial ethos of the station?

My good friend Tom Lousada and I had worked together in student radio and wanted to do something similar, but the radio market in Scotland wasn’t very inspiring.

The ethos started out as quite alternative then went pretty deep underground. We were tired of mainstream radio playlists, which didn’t seem to offer much choice for listeners. Student, community and pirate radio provided some great music and speech shows, but mainstream BBC and commercial radio was, on the whole, unrepresentative of a large subculture – i.e. the kinds of people we met going clubbing in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester, London and other cities, who are probably a lot of the people we connect with on Mixcloud now.

Did you come across any obstacles along the way?

Our development path was littered with obstacles in terms of high streaming bandwidth costs and technology issues of all kinds but we always seemed to find a way around them. We made a lot of good connections. The streaming and hosting company we used for many years actually got in touch after we inadvertently sent them an email virus!

What are your future plans with Radio Magnetic?

We want to keep developing our specialist shows. We’ve got a host of current programmes that we’re really proud of by the likes of Scottish new music champion Jim Gellatly, internationally acclaimed rock band Mogwai, Toddla T’s good mate MC Serocee, UK Bhangra beats mashup men Tigerstyle and more.

We continue to enjoy strong relationships with the labels we love, such as Warp, Ninja Tune, Big Dada, !K7 and so on. We’re working with Chemikal Underground on some exciting ideas for creating a new style of music TV for the web, which will also generate a series of unique live recordings. We’re also looking to revamp the site, with one of the main new additions being the total integration of the Mixcloud player for all our shows.

What is it you like about Mixcloud that has lead to this partnership?

I think Mixcloud is a very exciting social media platform for a number of reasons. Whereas services such as Soundcloud and Audioboo are great in their own right, they are not intended for radio shows, DJ mixes or podcasts, whereas the Mixcloud player is excellent for those things. Features like the easily searchable playlists and time stamping make it easy to enjoy listening.

For media and music industry people, like us, the fact Mixcloud has such a comprehensive copyright royalty payment system is a massive bonus. But one of the best things is the community of really enthusiastic music fans. The more we get into the community, the more we’ll get out of Mixcloud, I think.

How do you envisage the future of radio?

On demand, downloadable or streamed entertainment media is great, but there’s still a place for live radio, always will be, for that connection people feel with the presenter who plays the right tune for them at just the right time, or discusses the issue they care about most.

I think podcast radio shows will continue to be popular and important. The best podcasts provide true individuality through the personality of the presenters, speciality of the selections and exclusivity of the sessions, and Mixcloud enables all of that to thrive, which is one of the reasons why radio will always be wonderful and continue to delight, enthral and inspire listeners.

What can we expect from this Friday’s party?

An eclectic mashup of everything that Radio Magnetic stands for from station manager Andy McColgan and I, a deep electronic dub step, electro, techno offering from Davie Kelly and a very big, heavily percussive but anthemicly melodic electronic hip hop live set from S-Type, who has an EP coming out on LuckyMe later this year. All that and the Mixcloud crew too. Can’t wait!

Check out our man in action here –

…and of course, do come along to the Radio Magnetic 10th Birthday party we’re hosting at the Big Chill House on Friday- check out event details here – its FREE!

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