Radio 1190's Show of the Month for February is Neue Haus, a weekly spotlight of the best new electronic music and live mixes. DJ Owen Zoll was kind enough to answer some questions for us below, and we're stoked to be highlighting his efforts this month! Tune in every Wednesday at 3pm to listen.
What’s your show called? What’s the concept?
It's called Neue Haus, which is German for "new house" and has absolutely no meaning except that it sounds cool. Haha.
It kinda works as just the home for electronic music at Radio 1190 - in the past, I used to just play new electronic songs from a bunch of different genres every week and throw in introductions and stuff. But now I think I want to move it into a more creative, more long-form direction, where I'm mixing a bunch of new music from a specific genre live.
How long have you been a DJ?
I started in fall of 2016! I was obsessed when I found the radio and quickly volunteered until I could get myself a show. I did a normal rotation show until this fall, when I had an idea for a show called Music for People & Things where I focused on a universal theme every week and did an abstract show about it, like about the moon or mothers or something similar. That was a lot of effort though - I like how with Neue Haus I can still focus on themes but it's a lot more spontaneous and improvisational.
What’s your favorite thing about dj-ing?
My favorite thing... I love the radio, but I especially love DJ mixes and how they use a bunch of other people's art to make an entirely different piece of art without stepping on all the originals. It's something that is so exciting to me because it has so many functional benefits - you can dance to DJ mixes, but they're also like little playlists and you can tell a really interesting story if you want.
I think my goal with this show is just to be able to engage people on all levels. I know it's a tiny show and it's basically a passion project, so I want to be able to give people casually tuning in that kind of curious feeling that makes them want to come back. I fell in love with electronic music by listening to late-night college radio in high school and if I make a single casual listener out there happier, then I'll be happier!
It kind of reminds me of the quote from Brian Eno where he said ambient music has to be as ignorable as it is interesting. I want it to flow so well that you get to choose how much you want to listen to it. I want to make a really put-together show that also be great background music.
What prompted you to do this show specifically?
I wanted to do this show because I love electronic music! I think as much as I love other flavors of music, house and techno and ambient and everything in between just feels like it is the purest possible reflection of the society we live in. I used to think that it was really futuristic and just kind of sci-fi and escapist to dance to techno for 3 hours or something... but I don't think that's what it is anymore. I think that I always come back to electronic music because it is so unfiltered in a way - like it's not trying to be something else. It feels like the lingua franca of modern music to me.
And that's why I instantly said yes when Jolie, our music director, asked me if I wanted to do this show. I couldn't be happier and I want to do it until I can't anymore!
What are some of your favorite bands/artists that you’ve played on the show?
It's kinda weird, since I couldn't really name a ton of artists. Dance music is so weird how it's basically anonymous, like the best artists have 1 song and it has 1,000 views on YouTube, haha! But if I had to answer, that's what I would say, I think. Doing this show has made me look further and wider for really good music, and I love the feeling of playing an artist that has maybe never been played on air before. I loved playing this song by Machine Woman called "Camile From OHM Makes Me Feel Loved", it's this insane techno track. Also "Tail Lift" by Joe and "Volumes" by Minor Science are crazy.
What’s coming up next week?
Next week is gonna be so much fun! I'm catching up on music from this past fall, so I have music from Call Super and LOFT, who are both really oddball dance artists. It'll be a fun challenge trying to mix those songs together. Also, I have a few tracks from this crazy heavy techno guy Claro Intelecto which I'm excited to play on air. I might play a Yung Lean song too... !!
Check out last week's show on mixcloud! https://www.mixcloud.com/owenzoll/neue-haus-021/