On November 15, KNDD (107.7 The End) debuted its EDM-oriented radio show Subtronic. Hosted by DJ Zach, Subtronic airs every Saturday from 10 pm to midnight. It departs from The End’s usual alternative rock™ playlist with an emphasis on big-name electronic-music artists who typically rack up YouTube views in the hundreds of thousands and millions, like Calvin Harris, David Guetta, and Kaskade (see the complete setlist here).

“We've been laying the groundwork for this thing for a couple of months,” says KNDD program director Garett Michaels. “We sent our listener survey in the middle or end of August. We got it back and were looking at the interest in it and that's when we thought we gotta move on this. But it takes time to put it together and figure out what the vibe of it is gonna be. There's everything from getting music together to identifying who's gonna put the show together to piecing together the production of it and all that other stuff.”

KNDD chose Zach (last name: Van Lue) to DJ the show because of his experience, which dates back to the ’90s. “I love the fact that he's had to deal with the diversity of doing this and then having residencies in Spain and Egypt,” Michaels says. “It was an easy decision once we really started thinking about it. But I didn't think of him right away, because he didn't really raise his hand. He's had a regular gig at night at 107.7 The End since last winter.”

Michaels is still uncertain about increasing Subtronic’s frequency beyond one night a week, if it really takes off. “The most important thing is to see what the audience wants. This is the first time we’ve put this show on. It’s going to take a little time to ascertain how it’s doing. The initial feedback was fantastic. But right now it’s a Saturday night thing. The first step would be to determine whether we want to expand it to more than two hours. If the demand is there for it, we’d be open to expanding it beyond 10 to midnight.”

Unusual for modern commercial radio, Zach makes the selections himself. Michaels admits his expertise does not include electronic music, so he’s happy to delegate those decisions to Zach. “I love the fact that the show has four sets—two sets per hour,” Michaels says. “Each set had a vibe and a theme, stylistically. If you talk to anybody in EDM, there are multiple genres within the genre.”

It’s early days for Subtronic, but Michaels is excited about its potential. “It’s a great fit for The End. There’s a lot of great music to be exposed out there and played. When you do something different, a little outside the lines of what you normally do, you never know what the response is gonna be. The reaction could’ve been different. There could’ve been people calling and asking for another Green Day song. But with the diversity that the radio station has demonstrated musically over the years and being a radio brand that’s been around as long The End has, music changes. EDM—I know if you talk to most people in these circles, it’s an outdated term—but it has become sort of a catch-all place to put stuff that has a thread of electronic music running through it. It’s certainly come a long way from the mid and late ’90s when it was the Prodigy and Chemical Brothers. It’s a moving target; it’s kind of cool.”

It seems like a lot of the intended demographic for Subtronic would be out at clubs dancing and listening to electronic music during its broadcast time slot. “It might be,” Michaels says. “[But] there might be a lot of people who have absolutely no interest in going out to the bars and clubs and having a good time and staying at home. Or they might be en route to a club. I don’t think the entire world goes out on Saturday night. Otherwise, every club would be full and we know they’re not. You don’t necessarily need to go clubbing to enjoy this music. It’s a great body of music to draw from right now. There’s a lot of breadth within it. If you’re going by that logic, we should put the show on from 2 am to 4, huh? When they’re coming out of the club, they want more… But really, the mindset is, the audience gave us great feedback on the genre of music. I think it’s a great starting point. We’ll see how it goes going forward. We’ll be open-minded. If the audience is, so will we.”

Look for an interview with DJ Zach tomorrow.