TDI.online Tech. Music. Games.

The RK Podcasts

For a little while, back in the noughties, I entertained the idea of DJing professionally. I did a lot of house-parties and a few paid gigs, but I quickly realised that life would be a constant hussle for work, and worse, chasing money. I’m naturally lazy, and at the time, skint. And lets be honest, much as I love DJing, my first passion was always game development, so I decided to laser-focus on that as a career. I guess it worked out.

So DJing became my hobby, albeit an expensive, and time consuming one, just at the time when ADSL was rolling out. Being a nerd, I cobbled together the pieces for a small PC, installed Red Hat on it, and started streaming mixes using Icecast. To about 3 people at a time, as that was all my bandwidth allowed… But Radio Korruptor was born. My icecast stream even got repeated by a Uni radio in the ‘States, so I consider that a success.

This was kinda fun, so when a friend started paying for a co-loc box (with much more bandwidth) Radio K stopped and Nuxaq was born, serving the Llamasoft community with an eclectic selection of tunes from all of the musically minded forumites. It was pretty fucking cool, and a very good laugh, especially when people were doing the full Smashie-and-Nicey on the mic.

Turns out DJing online is pretty liberating. Instead of having to play what a promoter wants, and then trying to get a half-drunk crowd to follow you on the night, DJing on the Internet means you can select Whatever. The. Fuck. You. Want. You can shape your sets for listening, dancing, or just plain chin-stroking. You can show off technically, or you can crate-dig. It’s not the electric, adrenaline-buzz of being locked into a groove with people on the dancefloor, but it does give you a hell of a lot of freedom, and consequently, pleasure. A lot of sites (mixdepot.net, progressivehouse.com, etc.) popped up for bedroom DJs around this time, and I really started to concentrate on honing the craft. It was pretty cool, thinking back on it.

So when Adam Curry and Dave Winer dropped the podcast idea I was immediately into it. I listened to Curry’s shows, but didn’t consider doing a podcast of my own until the dust had settled. Napster, Limewire and the like weren’t exactly a distant memory at that point, so sharing music was probably a little dicey even on a website, but we were getting away with it, so eventually I dipped my toe in and RK2 was born.

I decided I wouldn’t promote RK2. Ever. I really liked the thought of it being “underground”, like the spirit of early rave; something people found by word of mouth. Obviously that had the added benefit of avoiding the litigious eye of Sauron, but it worked out. At the start I just posted my own mixes to it, but then, after a while, if I heard something I liked I invited the DJ to do an exclusive, or just give me permission to host what caught my ear.

Over RK2’s 9 years I ended up hosting some incredible DJs, some of whom have gone on to be world famous. It was eclectic, not just because I was experimenting, but because the regulars ran with it as well, covering everything from 70s disco to full-on gabba techno. For the last few years it was lodged firmly in the UK iTunes Top 50, as the dance podcast you’ve never heard of.

Looking back, I’m kinda proud of it.

But holy-shit it was hard work. I had to start fielding requests from DJs who started asking me if they could come on, and unfortunately, quite a few of those were entitled ass-holes. The server started getting hacked, wordpress was an insecure mess, and I was spending too much money on music. When I left Ruffian, and had no steady income, it was time to put it to bed.

That was the end of 2013. Fuck, 6 years ago.

Anyway, this is all a long winded way of getting to the main point. I’ve decided to start another podcast. RK3 is now a thing.

As before, I’m not going to do any real promotion for it, (except for this blog post, ofc) as I’m really interested to see if it’ll grow organically again. I suspect not, but that’s by-the-by. RK3 will be primarily for my mixes, with maybe (maybe) the very occasional special guest. I don’t want to fall back into the trap of having to manage the egos of up-coming DJs, and fucking arguments about who gets what slot…

So if you like dance music (well, my mixes) then:

And don’t forget to tell a friend to tell a friend. ;)