Episode #28: Exclusive Mix By Radius Etc.

Episode #28: Exclusive Mix By Radius Etc.



Tune in to our latest episode of Bodega Pirate Radio for an exclusive mix by Radius Etc. a beatmaker, label head (ETC Records) & photographer hailing from Chicago.



We had Chicago’s own Radius Etc do a beat making set a while back & finally got the set ready to share. Performing entirely on MPC1000 & Kaossilator Pro, Radius Etc's improvised set bridges traditional techniques with futurism.


I noticed a strong live beat maker performance scene in Chicago. That’s extremely rare & special What do you think about the city helps nurture this?
Yes very true, Chicago has had an ongoing strong live PA/beat performance scene and has established it way before it was a popular thing. As far as I know from what I've read or have been told from some OGs, is that cats like Ron Hardy (OG house legend/master) and Larry Heard amongst others, would bring their studio gear to rock original tracks at the club alongside vinyl and to accent existing recordings. My big bros; The Opus, were the first I can remember seeing do this at various venues, and they came with a heavy assortment of powerful hardware. I think many of us have been interested in preserving our roots and finding other ways to just standout from other "more popular" scenes and also carry on the traditions that not only our house OGs built, but local Jazz elders as well, by presenting what we do live in the most comfortable and natural way we know how. Many of us didn't gravitate to Serato, yet also came up within a beat battle culture, where we battled with our gear that we created on, as opposed to with CDs as many other places maybe used to.


Chicago has always been a progressive DIY electronic city. Are there any nights/ residencies that you recommend? Who are the music makers that keep you inspired?
I highly recommend Open Beats at Cafe Mustache in Logan Square, presented by my great friend and label (Etc Records) brother; Fess Grandiose. Super community oriented night, which is also the first open mic night for beats within our city as well. I also recommend Push Beats which also takes place in Logan Square at The Whistler, I do wish it were at another venue to be honest, yet it still is very intimate and they have been my close family for a long time as well.


There are many music makers that keep me inspired, so many I can name, as far as Chicago, once again; Fess Grandiose, also my LAGOS brother; Leo 123, Minusone, MianYU (fka Light Collector), Kenny Keys, Cōs, Scientific Todd, Shannon Esoteric Being, my bro Makaya McCraven is always leveling up in various ways, Ben Lamar Gay, is one of the most unique cats, you can't box into one space, Junius Paul, Illuminati Congo, just an all around potent catperiod (blessup Ras!), Sonny Daze (Division 81 salute), Bigbro/cuz The Twilite Tone, Theo Parrish, Moodymann, King Britt, Madlib, Omar S, Jrocc, Uncle El, A. Billi Free, Sam Trump (aka Sam,000), whom I recently started working with both in studio and live, Lailah Reich whom is my cosmic ace in my group; Dia.L and Beyond Luck, my whole Culture Power 45 team (we don't do digital!), my current three roommates here in Detroit; Moppy (also founded BeyondLuck with me), Raj Mahal and Meftah. I have so many though, I'l just keep it within my direct reach for now. Love and blessings to them and more that I cross paths with.


How long have you been making music? Where has music taken you in the world? Where do you still want to go?
I've been making music for 17 years or so I believe, I mean it was in mind prior to that, I know I've had the ear for putting certain musical elements together way before that though.

I've invested mostly in myself and taken my music direct to various places I've been interested in worldwide and simultaneously, my music has taken me many places I've yet to even see physically when I count where some of my vinyl or digital outlets have reached statistically, so far I've reached Japan (Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka), Barcelona (where i'm headed for winter), Berlin, Paris, Winnipeg, Berlin, London, and within the states; Los Angeles, Detroit (current home), New York, New Orleans (I want to go again asap!), Austin, Dallas, Toledo, Hawaii, Seattle, Portland and few other places. As mentioned though, I've mainly reached these places through my own investment, so I'm been very grateful to be invested in and I am looking forward to more forsure. I'd love to reach other parts of Asia, especially Thailand, The Philippines, Korea and China, Toronto, Montreal, Philly, Croatia, Iceland, Australia, New Zealand, all over South America, all over Africa (especially Ethiopia), just so many places i want to reach, I could go on and on and on! I'd really love to do some actual residencies in some of these cities.  

*I think the L.A. question is too outdated, I have lived off and on in L.A. I worked out there as well, it was like a second home forsure, my second established scene outside of Chicago is there and I am building in Detroit more now too, but yeah I have been heavy in the live beat/electronic and music scene in general in L.A., since early 2000s. I've played Low End Theory (RIP), Beat Cinema, Beat Swap Meet, all numerous times and even worked and performed at Amoeba Music in Hollywood before*


You founded the label ETC (Educating The Children, Elevated Thoughts Collective, Ear to Chicago) ­ what was the motivation to start? Are there any upcoming releases that you are excited about? Do you have any advice to others looking to start a label?
Yes indeed, I'm all about Embracing The Community and Expanding The Circle these days, the motivation started initially as a platform to release my own material years back (2013). After sending demos or projects to various labels, blogs and djs, and not really getting any response or getting consistent bs runarounds from some the people I respect to this day and nothing manifested, I decided to just put out stuff through my own label, which is built on bandcamp; a platform I highly respect. That grew into both group and close friends projects, currently focused on EPs. ETC records, also is an extension, from my roots that gave me foundation, that includes; Moment Sound, which was a Chicago label and all city live electronic touring showcase of producers/musicians, built by my now peers, that I looked up to and respected; Lokua, Garo and Slava and my Gritty Goat family (Hans Hendley, Kyle Humphries and Kevin J Simon), from Dallas, which was a diy label formed in NYC, once they all located years back as well. All of these cats are very much alive and well, so I'm not speaking as if they've passed on by any means, yet I'm channeling them within the energy of ETC Records as well.


I am very excited about every release that is on schedule or that I have in mind and want to be on a legit schedule with. We recently just dropped Minusone - Self Care, MianYu (fka Light Collector) - Tidal Breathing , and most recently my LAGOS bro, Leo 123, Moppy of my group Beyond Luck is up next this December, my bro out in Paris, with ties to Chicago; Jostereo in January, the second Dia.L (Lailah Reich & I), release in spring and much more on the way, that I won't speak of just yet! Stay tuned!


I say just do it, honestly, do your best to put out your own music or close friends or someone you really believe in first, and keep pushing, don't give up. This is all new to me, I have so much room for growth and so much that I really want to and wish I could do. My greatest resources are my foundation and evergrowing community, I'm still seeking other means of finances and distribution, but I know it is working and will only expand, so I keep on pushing. As long as you are inspired and keep learning and applying, it has to work out.


You’re also a photographer ­ what is similar about music and photography? How do the two arts diverge?
Wonderful question, Both are one in the same, the most honest organic ways for me to express/communicate to myself first and then to everyone else. They are the most pure extension and reflection of self. Moments in time; my reality caught in time and space, yet still not really because even then they continue to tell a story or go in other directions and reach places that I can't even see or begin to imagine.


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