Featuring a collection of music “Since the beginning until now” ranging from “Synth, electronica, electro, synthpop, techno”, the station is the brainchild of Renato Moyssén, a passionate music lover, who in his own words is “addicted to music”.
Artefaktor Radio has been building and maintaining an international audience and its flagship show is undoubtedly ‘The Electronic Family Tree’ presented by The Blitz Club’s legendary DJ Rusty Egan.
But the station also features ‘The Synth Wave Show’ with Rob Green, Andrew Maley’s ‘Perfect / Pop’, ‘House Love’ with Lynda K, ‘Hypnotica Electronica’ hosted by Mat McKenzie and Gary Taylor’s ‘Future Enterprises’. Artefaktor Radio’s content is varied but crucially, is not that varied to ensure the station has a distinct indent and USP.
The Artefaktor brand also has branched into promotions and live events. Celebrating the station’s first anniversary, ‘Synth Wave Live’ headlined by NINA last April was an unqualified success and a second event is now in the planning stages.
Very much kindred spirits, The Electricity Club had a chat with Renato Moyssén about Artefaktor Radio’s ethos and development.
Most people would be content to do their own podcast and put it on Mixcloud, but you have set up an entire internet radio station, has this always been your ambition?
First of all, thank you Chi for having me on your excellent magazine.
Well, my first idea for Artefaktor Radio was that I’d just have to press the play button and continue doing my everyday activities. The main reason for creating a radio station is to share music with the audience. I don’t think that it’s a good idea to keep the music that you like to yourself. It’s always better to share the music with people and make it a community project. Radio has always been my passion. Basically, I just got tired of working for somebody else and that’s why I decided to open Artefaktor.
WALL OF VOODOO did a song called ‘Mexican Radio’, how did you first get involved in broadcasting?
I love this track! Well, it´s a long story. Let’s go back to July 13th 1985 when the Live Aid concert was held in UK and US. I had the opportunity to follow the concert for just over 16 hours on satellite TV.
Then a month later, I was driving home and I was listening to the radio (Rock 101). Suddenly the DJ asked the audience about the Live Aid concert. He didn’t have enough information about it, so he asked people to call him if you knew something. Right then, I parked my car and I contacted him. Later, I made a deal with him that if I lent my record collection to the radio station, I would get my own show starting in September of same year. I was very happy about this.
It ended up being my first appearance as a DJ on a radio station. It was planned to start on September 22nd, but then, unfortunately in Mexico City, we suddenly had a very strong earthquake on September 19th. The city suffered a lot of damage. So I had to wait another month to start. Finally, after spending a year on the air at that radio station, I soon moved to a new station, where I became the General Manager for 10 years. As you can see, Artefaktor was not the first radio station I have ever managed. But the main difference is that now, I’m also the owner.
What are your own personal tastes in music?
Good question! Some people call me bizarre for my personal tastes in music. It’s not easy to define my tastes, but I can tell you that I like in the first place electronic music. I remember when disco music was played all over the globe, I liked the disco music made with synthesizers. Some of my favourite artists were DONNA SUMMER, GIORGIO MORODER and GINO SOCCIO.
Later, I really became fascinated with the New Romantic movement, Cold Wave, experimental and even some underground House music. And besides electronic music, I also like classical and opera. However, I don’t consider myself a big fan of pop music… sorry, Andrew Maley! *laughs*
I will never get tired repeating that Artefaktor is what it is nowadays thanks to Rusty Egan. He literally opened all the doors for Artefaktor Radio. About 8 years ago, when I had contact with Peter Godwin, he recommended that I follow Rusty on Facebook and on his radio shows. So I did and like other people, I started to discover a lot of new music on his shows on Mi-Soul Radio. When I was about to open Artefaktor Radio, I asked him if I could broadcast his shows and he immediately said YES! So we though started in very low-key way, Rusty and I keep on learning from each other. Now, he’s one of the most significant shows on my station.
You’ve done very well to get interviews with acts like HURTS interviewed, do you have any acts whom you would realistically like to get for a chat on the station?
Indeed! The HURTS interview was amazing! Lots of fans around the globe were trying to send their questions to the band at the same time! Actually, that day was one of the busiest that Andrew Maley and I have ever had together. As a result, we were able to build a very solid relationship with Sony Mexico. Now, we have started comparing tour schedules with some important bands all over the world.
So we’ll soon have some exciting news: new opportunities for interviews here in Mexico or in London are coming! I must say an essential part of all of these interviews is my talented partner-in-crime, Andrew Maley. He’s always available to help me out with Artefaktor Radio.
For the moment, I can’t share more news with you because of two important things: the bands involved have to confirm their participation with us and we always like to keep our audience guessing! 😉
How do you decide what is played on the station? Is there an online conference meeting or do the individual DJs choose?
I would like to have an online conference with my DJs, but unfortunately, they are also very busy people. Now, summer is here! And obviously Rusty Egan starts working more gigs this time of year. It’s an endless cycle.
First, I receive lots of new music every week. Then I have to listen to it and decide which songs are the best ones to feature on the “new music” section every week. After that, I put the new music into rotation. Lastly, I forward it on to my gang and they have the final decision whether they want to play it or not on their shows or not. That’s the way, we all collaborate at Artefaktor Radio.
The Electricity Club loves ambient music, but it can be very challenging to write about. What do you think is the most underrated of all the electronic sub-genres and would it get its own show on Artefaktor Radio?
I completely agree about ambient music. I used to broadcast Jeff Appleton’s music from Sunday to Thursday because I consider him as a genius on keyboards. But unfortunately, the show didn’t get a strong audience response. The original idea was to listen to Jeff’s music to let people relax and chill at night. But there are always some musical genres that don’t get as much love from the audience.
Is there a type of music that would NEVER be played on Artefaktor Radio?
Oh yes! Tons I can say! Hip-Hop, R ‘n’ B, Heavy Metal and all those sub-genres; Thrash Metal, Head Bangers etc. Nothing from the big pop charts like Billboard or MTV or those silly TV shows about music! I have to make very clear that the only exception we’ve made is twice a month on Andrew’s Maley’s show ‘Perfect / Pop’. I guess the name says it all!
It is amazing that many of the acts who pioneered electronic music are still formidable performing entities. Which of these classic artists particularly stand out for you in the modern-day as still being relevant and innovative?
What springs to mind are such outstanding performers as OMD, ABC, ULTRAVOX, PET SHOP BOYS, BLANCMANGE, ALISON MOYET, JEAN-MICHEL JARRE, HEAVEN 17 and GARY NUMAN. I would also put DEPECHE MODE in the same category, too, but with some reservations. A final favourite is KRAFTWERK. But I doubt they’ll ever be the same after so many changes over time. Or that they’ll be recording anything new. But we can hope!
While I’m always looking for new music and keep up to date every single day, I never forget the roots of electronic music. That’s why I opened a new section on Artefaktor called ‘Flashback’.
What about of the newer acts that have emerged, which ones have caught your ears and why?
For me, it’s one of the best albums because it reunites famous people such as Midge Ure, Peter Hook, Tony Hadley with new talents. It’s never an easy thing to do, but the most important thing here is the high quality of the vocals, lyrics and music on Rusty’s album.
I have several bands that have caught my ear: UNKNOWN LAND has tons and tons of emotion from Lucía Fenix. AKA, believe me, is a very interesting project that Henri Sizaret is doing very nicely.
LEG PUPPY is another new talent that I really like because it’s very different from other projects. I also really like ANTIPOLE too. They remind me of THE CURE and JOY DIVISION but the sound is still fresh with ANTIPOLE.
Then yesterday, I received brand new music from an exciting band called THE PENDANT; they are from Kansas City, USA. They are Darkwave, but with some CLAN OF XYMOX sounds and the baritone attack of THE SISTERS OF MERCY.
Another one of my favourites nowadays is FERAL FIVE. They were inspired by Picasso and also electronic legend Martyn Ware. In fact, they were part of an event at the National Portrait Gallery in London which he curated! I’m not sure if more radio stations are playing their songs, but it’s really good music that I’d highly recommend.
Finally, about the same time that I started Artefaktor Radio, I really started getting into SOFTWAVE. They have really high quality vocals combined with cool music. I can see SOFTWAVE growing in popularity. We have a lot of special people working in good music: people like CHRISTO, Gary Watts from NATURE OF WIRES, Lloyd Price of THE FRIXION, Marina Blackmarine, David Burdick and Jeff Appleton…plus a lot more! Really they’re too many to mention.
How do you look back on the ‘Synth Wave Live’ event to celebrate the first anniversary of Artefaktor Radio? Will there be a second anniversary event?
The event in London was truly awesome! It was really incredible for Rob Green and me! We learnt so many new things. Both of us have had a lot of experience organising gigs but during ‘Synth Wave Live’ , we brought things to a whole new level!
Even though Rob and I had some differences in taking decisions before the ‘Synth Wave Live – Artefaktor Radio First Anniversary’, it’s important to point out that Rob always has been the real deal, a truly transparent and fascinating guy to work with.
So naturally, despite the usual disagreements on a few details, we soon got the show up and running! And thanks to the response we got from the audience, Rob and I have decided the day after to stage the Synth Wave Live Artefaktor Radio Second Anniversary.
Since we’ve agreed to do the gig, we’ve been taking care of the problems we identified during the first event to make the next concert even better!
At this point, all I can say is that ‘Synth Wave Live 2’ will be held in a new, more functional venue, so we’ll enjoy the music even more!
What would be your ideal festival line-up that would represent the ethos of Artefaktor Radio, if money was no object?
If money was no object, I would combine several old and new electronic acts and take them all on an international tour! We’d have OMD, FERAL FIVE, DEPECHE MODE, UNKNOWN LAND, GARY NUMAN, LEG PUPPY, THE DEPARTMENT, KRAFTWERK, REAL EXPERTS, SOFTWAVE, HEAVEN 17, MARSHEAUX , NINA, METROLAND, METER BRIDGE, BLANCMANGE, SHADOWS & MIRRORS, KID MOXIE, 5 TIMES ZERO, NATURE OF WIRES, THE PENDANT, MESH and all the performers on Rusty’s Egan’s album, too!
What are some of the future plans for Artefaktor Radio?
Some people know I am working with CHRISTO on a new project: Artefaktor Promotions. What we’re doing is taking care of the bands and helping them to expand their audience to the next level. Whatever it takes to help them succeed, we’re hoping to get more bands involved. Another exciting project is all the new upcoming interviews that I discussed earlier. Then, we’re planning to create more new shows soon, too!
Finally, I think that improving the audio quality of the Artefaktor broadcast will greatly build our audience. We want to keep them engaged and participating online too. One thing will stay the same; Artefaktor will continue sharing classic tunes and dropping new electronic music, which will excite our listeners. Who knows! Artefaktor Radio MIGHT even create another radio station specializing in electronic 80s music or Ambient or Darkwave.
Chi, I really appreciate your invitation to be interviewed for The Electricity Club. This is a REAL magazine. The OTHERS are decades behind. I want to thank all the audience and bands who support Artefaktor Radio around the world and Pamela Wagner for all the support since the beginning.
The Electricity Club gives its warmest thanks to Renato Moyssén
Text and Interview by Chi Ming Lai
17th June 2017