- 18 Nov 08
Following twenty months of trials, RTÉ officially roll out five new digital radio and broadband services on December 1.
These are Choice, a sister speech station to Radio 1; easy listening and ambient service Chill; Junior, which is aimed at two to ten-year-olds; the dance-minded Pulse; and 2XM, which compliments 2FM’s existing rock and indie output. A sixth station, Gold, could be added to the permanent line-up early in the New Year.
“There’s a bit of an underground vibe about 2XM in that it’s totally, 100% about the music,” proffers 2XM Scheduler Mark McCabe. “It’s not, ‘Hey, we want to be a commercial DJ like on 98 or 2FM’. It’s going to be a very different sort of radio station, with people who are prepared to fly by the seat of their pants and try something new.
“We’re also going to involve bands like Hot Sprocket, The Blizzards, Fight Like Apes and Republic Of Loose who are all coming in to co-present Dance Monkey Dance (Wednesday @ 3pm and Saturday @ 10pm), and do various interactive things through the website.”
2XM’s output breaks down in two parts – the non-stop music 2XM Rocks, which airs daily from midnight ‘til 10am, and the DJ-presented shows that comprise the rest of the round-the-clock schedule.
Along with extra airtime for the likes of Dan Hegarty, Cormac Battle, Jenny Huston and John Kenny who’ll be reviving his legendary Metal Show (Monday @ 5pm), 2XM will be introducing a slew of new names to Irish listeners.
These include Mixen Vixen, one-half of the Tongue & Cheek DJ duo who’ll be showing off their turntable dexterity on In-D Mix (Friday and Saturday @ 7pm).
“To be involved in a groundbreaking radio station like this from day one is a great opportunity,” enthuses the 21-year-old who’s also running the Button Factory’s T.A.C. night, and as plain old Sarah Byrne is studying Theology at Trinity College. “Myself and my Tongue & Cheek partner, Alan Taylor, have only been DJ-ing since the start of the year so it’s really happened fast. We’re allowed to play whatever we want, so expect lots of indie electro, ‘80s and ‘90s dance and some general random-ness! In addition to the mix, we’re going to be starting a presenter show in the next few weeks, which will give us the chance to plug bands we’re really into, like The Coolness from London who are guesting in T.A.C. on November 25.”
Plugged like a pro! 30 years older than Ms. Vixen, but just as passionate about his music, is KCRW FM Los Angeles’ Nic Harcourt. One of America’s most influential alt. rock tastemakers, his Sounds Eclectic show (Tuesday @ 10pm, Friday @ 3pm & Sunday @ 10am) will draw on the expat Englishman’s vast reservoir of live sessions, which includes the likes of The Raconteurs, MGMT, Moby, Goldfrapp, Vampire Weekend and our very own Lisa Hannigan.
“It’s such a great show,” Mark McCabe resumes. “We’re also going to be putting out David Brown’s Texas Music Matters (Tuesday @ 3pm and Saturday @ 5pm), which is the business if you’re into alt. country and Americana. We’re planning to pick up some of the best programmes from Ireland’s student radio stations too, so it’s going to be very fresh and very alternative.”