Welcome to the inaugural edition of our new series with Digitally Imported, The Digitally Imported Dial, where we highlight some of the best channels and shows available on the web’s premier electronic music streaming radio platform. Every channel is curated by hand, so we’ll hear from the men and women behind the scenes how they bring us the beats we love.
This week, we’re taking an in-depth look at the DI Techno channel, which features such pivotal shows to the genre as Chris Liebing’s CLR podcast (Mondays @ 4pm EST), and Adam Beyer’s Drumcode Live (Fridays @ 1pm EST). We spoke to the channel’s programming director, Johan Lecander, to find out more about how he chooses music and shows for the channel and the musical discoveries he himself has made in the process.
Johan is a long-time Digitally Imported employee, having been involved since 2000 following years of raving and DJing in the electronic underground of Sweden. His track selections for the DI Techno channel come mainly from industry connections, as he explains:
Digitally Imported has contacts throughout the electronic music industry worldwide who share new music with us pretty much daily. I review more than a hundred new tracks each week, about 30-40 percent of which are techno. I listen to every single one of them and then pick out the best individual tracks for my regular channel updates. That’s usually 50-90 new tracks per month. In addition, I hunt down interesting tracks I’ve heard in other DJs’ mixes and podcasts.
Customer feedback also factors heavily into his programming choices.
As a channel curator a feedback system is an absolute necessity. I am committed to picking out the best possible music for our listeners, and welcome their feedback. On Digitally Imported, listeners can vote tracks up or down as well as comment directly. I monitor these trends closely as they are crucial for me to keep the music as enjoyable as possible for Digitally Imported listeners.
He of course has some preferred programming of his own on the Digitally Imported Techno channel, of the UK variety.
If I had to pick my favorite show right now, it would be John H’s Not Without My Drum Machine. It’s a two-hour show that airs on the 3rd Monday of the month at 2pm EST. John H is an up and coming DJ/producer whose recent remix work was featured on Drumcode, as one example. He’s got a comprehensive knowledge of techno and always makes very interesting sets which can veer into the deeper and atmospheric end of techno without losing the drive and energy.
Curating a Digitally Imported channel is something of an electronic music lover’s dream, and can lead to amazing discoveries for the programming director just as much as for the listeners. Johan is rinsing a lot of “groovy and driving” tracks this month.
Currently I try to feature a lot of groovy & driving techno tracks. There’s a wide range of artists in the current playlist and usually no more than 2-3 tracks per artist, but some of the more prominent this month are probably these (in no particular order): Redhead, Sam Paganini, Tom Hades, Anti-slam & W.E.A.P.O.N., Drumcomplex, Eric Sneo. Next month it will be probably be a completely different group of talented producers.