“I think it’s the sense of community, when you tune into NTS it can sometimes feel like a friend is playing you music or chatting to you in your front room. It’s that accessibility and lack of ego that makes it a joy to listen to.” Fergus McDonald
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Celebrating a year of airwave trailblazing, the NTS crew have organised a music-fuelled knees-up. Kicking things off with a street party in E8′s Gillet Square on Saturday afternoon, the fun will continue until the last man is left standing at an as yet unknown warehouse. Food, drink, good times and superlative vibes will be served-up to an on-going soundtrack with live sets from Thristian BPM, Mamiko Motto, Martelo, Jon Rust, A Guy Called Gerald, Marcellus Pittman, Funkineven and Charles Drakeford. An amazing day and night of music, everyone who has helped make the Hackney-based, viral radio station the vibrant international success it is today will be out and about. i-D Online caught-up with regular NTS’er and resident photographer, Fergus McDonald to find out how one small brainwave became a global community, all from a former taxi booking booth in Dalston and debut an exclusive mix from one of their birthday party headliners, Veronica Vasicka.
Who have been your favourite radio presenters to photograph? Sam and a reluctant Andy from Meandyou, Tikksar from Assorted Meat with his dogs in the background and Henny Moan’s RBPLC of Many Voices were all pretty memorable for different reasons.
Tell us about some of NTS’ most memorable moments from the past year? We started the first birthday celebrations recently and that was pretty special, Mischa and Leyla made a killer NTS Radio Guinness cake and we had a party in the office. Sitting with A Guy Called Gerald whilst he recorded his Open Deck set. The Christmas party in general and various DO!!! YOU!!! Breakfast Show sing alongs with Charlie and Sam.
What has been the station’s biggest success? I think the sheer variety of shows. You never know what your going to hear when you walk in the studio everyday.
How does the booth operate on a daily basis? We broadcast live from 9am to 2-3 am so its generally a case of just passing over to the next show and making sure everything is running smoothly.
How do you go about sourcing new talent for your radio station? We were very lucky in that Femi knew an amazing group of people to start us off and from there it has just grown organically. We have a show called Open Deck on Friday afternoon with a different DJ or musician every week and that’s generally people we admire or are fans of.
Which shows do you think we should listen out for? My personal favourites are The RPBLC of Many Voices, Meandyou, Assorted Meats, Pipe Down, No Boring Intros, Inches and Timing, Gilded Sound Reflections and The DO!!! YOU!!! Breakfast Show.
You’re currently based in Hackney, what made you want to take the station from the UK over to Montreal to work with the Mutek Festival? Mutek have been putting on events for 13 years championing interesting, often unheard electronic music that doesn’t get a platform in the media generally. NTS is very much based in Hackney but we have listeners worldwide. When we were asked to be the festival’s radio partner for this year’s event we jumped at the chance to bring some of the music and debate to a wider audience, regardless where in the world it is being held.
Text: Milly McMahon
Photography: Fergus McDonald