We’re back with our 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. Each 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.
For our second outing, we’re diving into the DI Deep House channel, which features such pivotal shows to the genre as Defected Radio (Tuesdays at noon ET), Tom Flynn’s Night At The Black (Thursdays at 3 p.m. ET), and untitledmusic (Mondays at 3 p.m. ET). We spoke to the channel’s programming director, Mike Louth, 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.
Mike has a deep musical background, starting with Classical violin back in high school:
Growing up in Newcastle upon Tyne, I took music classes and played as lead violin in a couple of orchestral groups both in and outside of school. At 16, towards the end of high school, I’d discovered the delights of UK Hardcore and Gabber and started to compile playlists of tracks to share with friends that were interested (sadly, none of them were). To that end, I searched online for communities to discuss and listen to electronic music and found Digitally Imported. That prompted me to learn how to mix the playlists I had been compiling and at the same time explore all of the other genres that DI streams. My genre interests slowed in BPM considerably and after a stint enjoying Hardstyle and Electro House I started to explore the Techno and House side of things. Off the back of that I started getting involved in supporting and opening for local club nights in the North of England and having the chance to play at some gigs in America through friends at DI.
He relies very much on promo channels to wade through the sea of mediocre music out there:
I reach out to a lot of the labels I love and request to join their promo lists when available, otherwise it would take a lot of time to wade through all of the uninspiring content that is released on a daily basis. I also try and tune in to the radio shows on the channel whenever I can to hear about upcoming releases or search for live set recordings to hear what’s getting played at the moment.
And audience feedback is of course invaluable:
I monitor the voting and listener statistics that we receive and pay close attention to any mentions on social channels. Overwhelmingly the feedback is positive, but when there are some negative sentiments regarding a show or particular track I take the time to review it and consider the listener perspective. It’s still a great feeling to know that when a track I enjoy starts to play on the channel there are probably lots of people all over the world thinking “Yeah! This is great!”
His favorite show on the channel? Defected Radio.
I really enjoy the Defected radio show that we air every Tuesday from 1 P.M. EST–they have the credentials to secure some spectacular guest appearances. With that said, they also have the wisdom to spend a little time looking backwards to see where the music came from as well as pushing the good stuff of today.
He has some labels he is pushing particularly hard in the programming right now:
I’m loving a lot of the releases coming out of Keep it Zen, Suara, Local Talk, Glasgow Underground, OFF Recordings, Lost My Dog, and Steyoyoke. It’s the time of the year that people are starting to get hyped for the upcoming Ibiza season and everything is sounding like summer.
In his crate-digging, he has come across many hidden gems. We asked him to pick a couple of his favorites:
Every now and then I find a track that is left on repeat for a week (not on the channel, of course). Two examples of this are Away by Shur-i-kan on Fred Everything’s Lazy Days Recordings and Darko Kustura’s Times Ahead on What’s In The Box.