RED LIGHT RADIOOctober 24, 2013
Hidden amongst the lanes of Amsterdam’s Red Light District is a radio station dedicated to the world’s finest underground noise. From house to techno, to metal and experimental – there’s something for all on these digital airwaves.
Making our way through the winks and smiles of the infamous road, we joined Red Light Radio’s live stream party where co-founder Orpheu gave us the lowdown on the pioneering station.
UO: So Orpheu, tell us a little about how Red light Radio first began.
OP: The other co-founder, Hugo, had the idea in his mind for a while. He’d been playing in bands and I was DJing at parties when he first approached me about starting a station in 2010.
We both agreed it had to be something you could see from the streets, like East Village Radio in New York. This area in Amsterdam was beginning to change – the city had started to buy out brothel owners and sell the space back to fashion designers for a good price. We figured if they could get a space, so could we.
UO: What happened next?
OP: We started the station not really knowing what to expect, we bought all the gear, set up a schedule and just waited to see how all went. When we had our launch party it was clear that this was something people had been waiting for. There were lots of DJs saying they wanted to do weekly shows – so the idea instantly took off.
UO: What sort of music can you expect when you tune in?
OP: There must be around 100 people I consider to be part of this station, so we have a lot of obsessive music freaks walking around here. The style is very broad – metal shows, afro, wave, experimental – we play anything that’s obscure and you can’t hear somewhere else.
UO: Do you have a favourite show?
OP: Ah I couldn’t tell you that, but we have one DJ who has around 7000 vinyl records and he plays a completely different show every week often with a theme, like B-movie soundtracks for example. He has an obsessive knowledge of his own collection.
UO: What’s next for Red Light Radio?
OP: We started off with one room on the bottom floor, and now we have two buildings with a studio, record shop, live session room and space for creative freelancers. We call it the Red Light Complex. Our shows have a global reach and it’s still increasing every year, so for now our future plan is to keep on playing good music.
UO: You must get all sorts of strangers leering through the window…
OP: Oh yeah, there are enough weirdos here. Whether you’re a “customer” or a tourist, everyone looks through the red light windows. We get guys staring through here for about 10 minutes giving us weird looks, trying to figure out what’s going on.
Take a look at these naughty look-book pics straight from the Red Light District. Give ‘em a click and get your winter shop on.