107.7 THE END STARTS ANOTHER EDM RADIO SHOW WITH SUBTRONIC
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 p.m. to midnight. It departs from The End’s usual alternative rock™ playlist with an emphasis on big-name electronic-music artists like Calvin Harris, David Guetta, and Kaskade, who typically rack up YouTube views in the high six and even seven figures.
“We’ve been laying the groundwork for this thing for a couple of months,” says KNDD program director Garett Michaels. “We sent our listeners a survey in the middle or end of August. We got it back and were looking at the interest in [EDM] and that’s when we thought we gotta move on this.”
KNDD chose Zach (last name: Van Lue) to DJ the show because of his experience, which dates back to the 1990s. “I love the fact that he’s had residencies in Spain and Egypt,” Michaels says. He’s 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. 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. “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.”
Zach, who has 20 years of DJing experience, stresses that he wants Subtronic “to be current and diverse. It’s important to play to the audience, just like you’d play the room at a club. In this case, the room is a city. So it’s not as simple as looking out over the decks to see what gets people grooving. That’s what’s cool about playing four sets. Somebody who’s not really into drum ’n’ bass knows that some house or indie dance might come next.” Believe it or not, Zach will play requests, if he has the tracks. “If I don’t have it, I’ll bring it next week. I’ll also align a lot of music with events when they’re happening, like Decibel Festival, United State of Consciousness parties, and big club nights.”
The first week’s set list skewed fairly mainstream. Will Zach eventually delve deeper into underground electronic music? “We’re playing to a huge room, so accessibility is important. Right now it’s a balance of big tracks and artists emerging from or residing on the edge of the underground. We’re open to going deeper, but only if the audience wants it. If we expand beyond two hours, that opens up some cool possibilities.”