Skip to content

'I want it to be bigger than Bristol': Distort Live goes on air

The online radio show co-founded by second-year University of West England and University of Bristol students will go live on the 27th of February

By Benji ChapmanCo-Deputy Music Editor

A passion project that came about after a technically challenging and arduous process, Epigram speaks to second-year Electrical and Engineering Student, and co-founder Luke Prenelle to understand the exciting new musical hub which looks outward from Bristol and even the UK in its scope and ambitious genre-bending typicalities.

Distort Live is an online radio station which operates by allowing DJ's to play their sets from the comfort of their home setups, whilst their tunes are broadcast far and wide across the airwaves towards anyone itching for a feast of the 'heavy and dark' sonic hallmarks which guide the show's contemporary electronic sound.

The project started when other co-founder and University of West England student Ethan Luke attempted to open a pirate radio show, enthused to increase accessibility for local DJ's to get their mixes in the public domain without the conventional routes of Soundcloud or open-decks nights. "It's been in the works for about a year," Luke said in conversation with Epigram.

Co-founders Luke and Ethan @ Basement 45 | Luke Prenelle

Allowing DJ's to mix live to a live audience without the pressure of dreaded cheers from an inebriated crowd beckons in a variety of rising DJ's, bringing with them genres which would likely not be played at your traditional open-decks night.

Stemming from its DIY roots, the show is equally offering something new to listeners who will be able to tune in remotely through Distort's website without the need to delve into the ever-expanding underbelly of Soundcloud's gigantic library to find alternative electronic sounds.

The show is not shying away from classic genres either, with an already stacked lineup of DJ's including both founders who will be leading the charge with some classic drum and bass/garage as well as the likes of Jake OM, dj doubt, ISSY, Lou Roller and Wondercore.

"If you're not someone that's completely obsessed with music it's very hard to find different genres"

Many of the lineup are native to or students of Bristol and the announcement has come during a period of revitalised interest around student radio following the relaunch of the esteemed Burst Radio by the new team who have been blistering through the new year with a host of socials, events and online coverage.

The space Distort inhabits in Bristol's soundwaves however is more specifically for electronic music fans, as Luke went on to say "I want to create it as a hub for all these underground genres, and the small scene where people might not have enough money or recognition to explore."

"I don't want it to just be a drum and bass show," Luke said. "You don't hear any European industrial techno in Bristol and there are these (new) trap based genres that have been coming out of the UK. There's stuff you just don't hear."

"It allows small, niche music genres to be accessible to people who don't spend all day searching on Soundcloud"

It will be curious to see how Distort will manifest both online, and in its reflection on the local scene where DJ's may begin to start spinning new tracks they have uncovered through the show's exotic wealth of underground tunes that don't need to be discovered through hours of trawling on the net.

The project has been financed with a keen economical precision that has also allowed the team to budget some exciting incoming socials, namely a launch party at the Crown on February 27th.

Entry to the night will be free, and Distort Live will officially launch on the same day.

Featured Image: Luke Prenelle

What are you looking forward to hearing on Distort Live?