Why did CBS close down? What then led you to founding Intergalactic FM? Is the business side of things a struggle?
“The CBS concept ran into the ceiling and with the community attached to it it almost looked like a sect. This was all nice but it didn’t get us any further and scared new listeners, basically.
“CBS was also never designed to be anything other than it was. In order to go to a next phase I had to take it down, take it apart and rebuild it and that’s when Intergalactic FM came around the corner.
“Running it is not really cheap but depending on your wishes and the help you get from the outside it can be affordable.”
For those who are less familiar, can you explain how IFM differs from CBS?
“CBS was just one stream with tons of different music styles. This was its strength and weakness at the same time. The world is constantly changing and the CBS concept was not really flexible and changing the CBS concept felt like blasphemy.
“Intergalactic FM has been build up from modules running multiple streams, currently four. Two more stations are being developed and those will launch before 2010.
“IFM is very flexible, easy to find and to access and offers a lot more choice and possibilities also because it’s part of an organization and no longer run by an individual.”
Who, apart from yourself, are the people who make IFM happen?
“It keeps me busy 24/7. And we have to be efficient since we depend on donations and some ads. This also means we gotta be creative but this is no problem.
“In our daily struggle there are 10 to 20 people involved depending on what’s going on. Each station has an operator and crew behind it taking care of the music for the database and the programming. We also have tech people taking care of server stuff, programming and security.
“IFM is an operation from the Hotmix Foundation in which three persons are active 24/7. The Organization, so to speak.”
What’s the radio climate like in Holland? Are there many – or indeed any – other stations comparable to IFM?
“Not that I know of, but I’m not the most objective person to ask. There are tons of internet stations coming from the Netherlands but I can’t name one of them. IFM really satisfies my radio needs – and beyond.”
Am I right in thinking that IFM operates out of your apartment? Has CBS/IFM always been based in the same location, or have you moved at all over the years?
“Yes, the office and studio are at my place. I moved to The Hague a few years ago from Delft. We currently can’t afford a place for IFM although we’re busy trying to find something, maybe with the help of the city government. We are ready for that now.”
Largely thanks to you and CBS/IFM, the west coast of Holland has become synonymous with electro and italo…
“This music has always been around but there never was a central place for lovers to hang out and to find likeminded people. Plenty of people knew us already from our records and stuff, and the radio only helped to get all the freaks together and gather all the music that always kept us going. We see it [IFM] as the central Electro portal although the term Electro has been severely polluted.
“As TLR once said, ‘Electro was once something to be proud of but now you’d rather not be identified with it’.”
IFM has four main channels, The West Coast Sound of Holland, Intergalactic Classix, The Dream Machine and CBS/IFM4. Can you tell us what each of these streams offers in terms of music?
“IFM1 is mostly everything in between old-school and modern electro and music that qualifies as ‘wave’. IFM2 is classics. We play from country to Italo, from surf and garage to Chicago house. IFM3 is soundtracks during the day, and space and experimental at night. IFM4 is CBS which will soon turn into a 24/7 request station. You can browse through the database and each track will feature a request button. Pushing it will get your requested track in queue and when it’s your turn it plays on the radio.
“IFM5 will be underground hip-hop and IFM6 will be punk and garage and everything related to that. Hope to have 5 and 6 running before 2010, we are working around the clock to make it happen.”
With your forum, membership cards and so on, IFM seems to encourage a sense of community. Do you feel that’s something lacking in modern culture?
“It seems everything is being built around communities nowadays. People can’t wait to throw all their details, opinions and – often unfinished – creations online. The insecurity of individuals has become major business and we are anxiously awaiting comments while F5ing our individual site hoping it gets approved by other individuals who will maybe even become our friends! Oh and don’t forget to click the Gucci ads while listening. For all you know you could be wearing the wrong shoes. You and your community are nothing more than cash cows for majors.
“The IFM community is the people listening to the radio. The people who do things for the radio. The people who attend our parties. The people who really care. I would not be able to sleep if we had to milk people’s cash under false pretences.”